Forging Your Voice

A person's signature style, the way they walk, talk, and even write, is a key aspect of their identity. That said, it is ironic that we often define ourselves by imitating what we find best in others.

In The Elements of Style by Strunk and White, their second rule of writing advises readers to write in a way that comes easily and naturally. The rule also makes a point to say that much of our writing comes from adopting the styles of people we admire. It is almost impossible to avoid this habit. In fact, we shouldn't, but let things flow, influences and all.

But, only if we are willing to follow rule #5: revise and rewrite.

Though it is best to write in a voice that comes naturally, we must still take the time to properly edit our work. It is only through revising and honing one's words that writing evolves from stream of consciousness to enjoyable prose.

When we do this, we respect our readers, our craft, and ourselves. It is on the tedious road to revision that we forge our voice. It is where we find the magic of writing. It is along this winding path that we define ourselves, leaving our signature on the hearts and minds of our audience.

Written by Ken Hammond on January 13, 2011


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Ken Hammond