Find Your Voice to Make Your Writing Interesting and Memorable
Finding your voice as a writer is not much different than using your speaking voice. Depending on what kind of writing you do, you may have to find different voices, or find ways to express different sides of your personality.
Finding your voice is not like searching for the Holy Grail. Most of the work will be unconscious. As the Beatles said most notably, "let it be". Just write.
Your writer's voice is like your spoken voice
Or, like I do since I write alone in my home office, say what you want to say out loud first, then write it down. Occasionally my most vocal cat will respond, but for the most part I am left undisturbed behind a closed door and can practice listening to myself.
Not all writing can be entertaining, but it must at the very least be interesting. Whenever you write, find the passion about your topic somewhere and convey it in your words.Why, you may ask. Why worry about voice, isn't that being egotistical? I'm not Hemingway, and not trying to be Shakespeare either.
Ghostwriting makes finding a voice imperative
Even a ghostwriter such as myself needs to find a voice for each and every client. This is a fantastic way to explain voice, because obviously it isn't about me. Always, always, always, your writing is about your reader. If you mention yourself, it is only because somehow this will help your reader.
When I write a commercial piece, it's all about the benefits of the product to the reader. If I posture as an expert, it will only be to convey an air of authority to the merchant, to build the reader's trust.
Here's where my passion comes in. If I cannot ethically, honestly write with conviction, I will turn down an assignment. Why? Because I cannot create a voice for someone or something I do not believe in. I can't find the necessary passion to make my voice convincing.
Find the passion, discover the voice
It doesn't matter how passionate my client is, if I don't feel it, I can't write.
I've found passion to put behind writing about music - here I found a voice that was eloquent, flowery and emotive.
I've found passion to write about herbs and complementary healing practices - my voice in this instance was matter of fact, spiced up with interesting little-known stories and anecdotes.
I've found passion in writing about stairs - at first, I thought "you go up, you go down, 'nuff said" but found a voice that evoked warm images of gleaming wood or austere, modern styling with steel and glass, wrapped around text that explained the useability of the company's plans, kits, and customer support.
One handy tip for finding your voice is to read a lot in the area where you plan to write. Whether it be fiction, nonfiction, writing for the web, or writing for advertising, reading in your particular genre until you find writing that interests, excites, entertains, and tantalizes you will make you a better writer.
The other "best tip" I can offer is to write, rewrite, and re-rewrite. Editing makes you a better writer, helps you see and understand your voice. When someone reads something and says, "You wrote this, didn't you", you know you've found your voice. In this instance, imitation is the best form of flattery.
Just as someone can imitate your spoken voice and others will recognize that it's you, so also your written voice should be recognizable, memorable, and engaging.