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Love, Hate, and Inner Sabotage

Love, Hate, and Inner Sabotage

mindset motivation prose Oct 24, 2023

If you’re relatively new to the world of writing and still feel like your voice is underdeveloped, you need to immerse yourself in the written word and find what you enjoy and—almost as important—what you hate. Without your own unique voice, your story can seem lifeless and unoriginal. 

Your voice is what sets you apart from the rest of your peers. Of course, the plot elements and characters in your story are important, but the one thing that makes your writing truly unique is no one can tell that story like you can.


What Exactly Is Voice in Writing?

Before we begin, a quick disclaimer. We are not discussing writing style, though this does contribute to your voice as an author.  

Writing style is all about the techniques you use to construct your sentences, the imagery you choose, and other technical details of writing. Essentially, your style conveys how you like to write.

Writing voice, however, is more about the lens through which you tell your stories. So, this encompasses your past experiences, whether they be ecstatic or traumatic, your belief systems and morals, and how you experience emotion. In other words, your voice shows who you are and how you view the world around you. 


How Can I Nurture My Voice?

There are two main issues that can hinder the development of your writing voice: inexperience and fear. 

Let’s start with overcoming the simpler obstacle—inexperience. For this, I give you the most annoying and most helpful advice every writer will get. You have to read more, and you have to write more. 

ALSO: How to Tap Into Your Subconscious to Improve Your Writing

I read a lot of books in school, thousands maybe by the time I graduated, but I was approaching them as a reader, not as a writer, so I might have learned about plot and characters, but I didn’t know how to write them. 

When you read to grow your writing skills, you have to do so with intent. Grab some books by your favorite authors and a small notepad. What are the sentences that stand out to you? Why do they stand out? What do the stories this author tells have in common?

Now, grab a book you hated and take notes about what made you angry, what made you put the book down, or groan in misery. By doing this, you’ve set the parameters for your voice. You know what you like and what you hate. Now, all you have to do is experiment within those limits.

The next step is to copy or steal until you can make it your own. 

Don’t worry. Every artist does it. 

The more you write, the more you experiment to find what works for you, the clearer your own voice becomes. It’s a matter of time here. All you have to do is keep fear from stopping you. 


What If I Can’t Do It? What If I’m Not Good Enough?

This is the difficult part. 

Writers are like the poster children for impostor syndrome. Even the most successful writers sometimes feel like quitting and doing something else. If you let this self-doubt roam free, it can stop you from reaching your full potential because you will stifle yourself or try to mold your writing to a public ideal. 

ALSO: Kill the Idea of the Amateur Writer

Thankfully, when it comes to your writing, no one has to see it until you’re happy with it. So, you can experiment in secret. Embrace the cringe, write sappy saccharine prose, or self-indulgent grimdark monologues because no one will judge you until you decide to share it with the world.

When that happens, whether you’re showing your piece to a family member, a teacher, or a writing group, you’ll get critique and feedback that can sting sometimes. That’s okay. Consider the advice given and even try it out for yourself to see how it compares to your normal writing habits. In order to keep getting better, we have to stay open to learning and growing as people and as writers.


Some Final Words of Encouragement

If you’re still struggling to find your voice, I hope you give my advice a chance. Read some good books and some bad ones. Write what you love and what you hate. Embrace the experiences and circumstances that have made you who you are. 


Because no one can write that story the way you will. 


Ariadne Aaronson
Written for The Plottery

Ariadne Aaronson is a professional editor and lover of urban fantasy. After getting her degree in creative writing, she began working as an editor with independent publishers and mentoring novice writers. When she’s conveniently avoiding her work schedule, she might be playing with cats, baking, or painting.



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