I’ve heard it said the first important step in writing is finding ones voice. I’ve also heard authors confess that when they write, they don’t read another author for fear of voice influence, however deep within the subconscious another’s voice may land. Perhaps some writers think another’s voice may outshine their own, tempt them to compare themselves with some imagined standard of excellence, throw them into self-doubt where they fear their own voice doesn’t measure up to the lofty mark of a more firmly established writer.
I believe all writers are on a forward momentum, ever-evolving path. Writing is an unending learning curve, a growth process of trial and error which often involves a weeding out process of that which does not work in the pursuit of fine tuning the craft.
All writers have the same aim: they seek more clarity, more ways of being unique, more ways of being succinct, more ways of commanding the English language, and it is an individual process contingent upon the myriad elements that make up the specific writer.
As for me, I write from the voice in my head—the voice with the inner-monologue running rampant whether I like it or not. I think it is born from my thought process; it is personal, it is intimate; it stands outside of judgment; it depicts my view of the world, it is unapologetically who I am. Another’s voice may have more bells and whistles, but they are not mine, so emulating another would therefore be a falsehood.
There is every reason to believe that in the literary world, there is room for us all. Writers should not doubt this. They should honor their voice with a devil-may-care attitude then get about the business of learning the craft to give them the forum in which to contribute to the world in their blessedly unique way.