Over this past weekend, I had the opportunity to converse with a young man who dreams of becoming a writer. He has eclectic interests much like me and wants to write on a variety of topics which may or may not, lead him into writing novels. When he asked where he should start, I said, "Find your voice."

When he asked why, I said, "Your writer's voice belongs to you, but it will be different in tone depending upon what you are writing and for whom you are writing."

When he said he still wasn't sure what I meant, I told him I'd write an article he could print out and keep in his pocket.

I write far better than I talk. Stepping on my tongue is an art form with me.

Uniquely you

Finding your voice is the most important thing you will ever do as a writer. A professor once taught me that whether or not your voice is speaking fiction or fact, the voice is still yours and you must be true to it. Journalism taught me to find my voice, respect my voice, and accept my voice, even when it goes off on a tangent. I sometimes refer to my voice as the drone that lives in my head. The drone can go on and on, but there are times when it says something so profound I am amazed it came from me. Those are the occasions that keep me writing when the drone becomes a voice of wisdom and I bow before its power.

Sometimes, you won't like your voice, especially when it demands you to be vocal about a subject other people find unacceptable. I have written about many things from human trafficking to Hepatitis C after which I spent an afternoon conversing in science fiction. While the tones may be different, the voice is the same. They are all uniquely me.

Writing traditional commentary

Keep in mind that people like to snuggle together and sing kumbaya as long as everyone is on the same page.It is easy to go along with the crowd, but it is not easy to express your own opinion, especially when it is contrary to current thought.That can make writing commentary difficult.After all, the writer is opening himself or herself up to criticism of his or her opinion which is exactly the response the writer hopes will happen.

Commentary is all about the individual and how that person perceives the world around him or her. Commentary begins a discussion about an event or a topic, but first, it starts with you and what you think. Find your passion and your commentary will write itself.

Social commentary is the act of expressing an opinion about society. It works by making a plea that will hopefully create a change if enough people are driven to your side. Social commentary is an important tool to be used in convincing others of your cause. It is of vital importance to have a unique voice in this situation simply because you are reaching out. People are touched most often through the heart accompanied by logical analysis.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Be concise
  • Be thorough
  • Be descriptive
  • Be yourself
  • Be accurate

Having the wrong statistics or embellishing a topic in any sort of commentary is not appropriate. Fake news has taken the world by storm so it is important to stand behind your work and be as accurate as possible even if people don't agree with you. Make sure you do your research then write away. It can be tempting to exaggerate, but don't be charmed by the emotion you may provoke by creating a falsehood.

The Truth is always better than a lie.

The sky is the limit

Let your mind soar when you write fiction. Imagine the unimaginable, see the unforeseen, solve a crime, find a romance, discover inner peace.

Fiction is like flying, you can go anywhere and do anything. Your voice is not constrained by fact or opinion. Fiction is the place where you can set yourself free so go out and do it. Be a well-rounded writer if you can. Think original thoughts, be uniquely you, and you will never be bored a day in your life.

I promise.

Comments from my Facebook Authors Club

Jenn: I don't think, for me, (my voice) changed since I started writing, I'm just better at it in the technical sense. I'm very tomboyish in my thinking which makes my romances non-standard.

Sheryl: By being as honest and unafraid as I know how. My first writer's group (all published) told me I had a voice even at the beginning, but I think it gets stronger all the time...

Cyani: I think we're all born with our voice. I don't think we need to find it, in so much as find the courage to be real on the page.

How true is that?