I thought I was clever enough to write as well as these people and I didn’t realize that there is something called originality and your own voice. ~ Amy Tan
There’s something about outing yourself as a ‘writer’ – in the creative sense – that renders all subsequent writing self-consciously clunky, as if to disprove such a bold claim. At least, that’s what has happened to me.
I’m not a great writer, far from it. But I thought I was getting somewhere, slowly traversing that stage of mimicry through which most writers pass before, ideally, emerging triumphant with their own voices. Frustratingly, my writing confidence has collapsed at the prospect of public scrutiny – ironic given my previous incarnation as a print journalist.
The struggle to regain a sense of flow and originality to my words in recent days has included an extended meditation on the nature of ‘voice’ and, as is my wont, a search through the interspace for enlightenment.
Many writers have published their thoughts on the challenge of ‘voice’. As with the best of advice, the most useful suggestion I found seems obvious now that it has been articulated.
Charlotte Rains Dixon, who blogs on Wordstrumpet, says:
…the more you write, the more likely you are to find your personal style…Honestly, it all comes down to writing. In a pinch, choose quantity over quality. Let it rip, baby. That’s what God invented the art of rewriting for.
This is the woman to blame for the deluge of words to come.
Let it rip.