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How To Discover Your Writing Voice

Let me begin by thanking my good friend Ileane for having me appear on Basic Blog Tips, it is truly a pleasure.

I receive lots of requests for Guest Posts and one of the first things that comes to mind is what I will write about and how I will tailor the content to flow with the overall tone of the blog it appears on.

To address the first concern, a stroll through the archives of the blog is required so I can get a sense of the atmosphere and to be sure I don’t offer something that was recently featured.

What I often notice in those archives are changes in the tone and style of the blog owner as time has evolved. It’s what happens to people who write professionally, they find their writing voice along the way.

I hear some ask, what is a writing voice?

It is that tone and cadence, that rhythmic flow of how people speak. We all have it to some degree and you can hear it in the way we tell a story. When you read the writing of certain people, you can almost hear them speak.

Many bloggers and writers start out as naturals at delivering their thoughts in an entertaining and engaging way. But far too many of us struggle during the early stages of the career, some to a point of walking away from the craft.

Let’s discuss the basics of this development, because the sooner you can clear this hurdle and get into a groove the better your content will become. It’s a matter of creating new habits.

We understand that to optimize anything, we must determine why something is underperforming in the first place.

Reasons We Struggle to Find Our Writing Voices

  • Over thinking – This can often be traced to worrying about a number of things like, what others will think of our work, whether or not it sounds professionally written or possible challenges to the position we’ve taken.

None of this really matters when we write like we speak. Unless you speak like a University Professor, don’t write like one because it will come off as unnatural.

I experienced all of the above on my very first blog post, which shamefully took me about 4 hours or more to write. I was too busy polishing every syllable and crafting something that was really not me.

Solution: Be as natural and as genuine as you can. Realize that no one is going to grade your work and make a public display of any shortfalls. Simply allow your thoughts to flow onto your document in a conversational style, then go back and correct any typographic or grammatical errors. Yes, it’s important to have good diction but it is also critical to sound natural.

  • Fear – Let’s face it, when you write blog content for the internet you are on a world-wide stage and that thought strikes fear in the hearts of many. But realize how many others are out there doing the same thing, writing and attempting to gain traction for their blogs or websites.

We are fearful that our writing will be seen as poorly constructed, bad English or we will be judged as unintelligent.

  • Solution: Fear is a natural reaction to doing something we are uncomfortable with and to overcome this we have to borrow Nike’s slogan and “Just Do It”. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Before you realize it, you are no longer fearful about sharing your thoughts in public. You are not alone nor will you be singled out for ridicule. So have no fear of failure, just face your fears head on and they will soon become a thing of the past.

These are the two show-stoppers you’ll have to overcome. Get them out of your life quickly then apply some of the tips listed below.

Tips to Help You Become a Better Writer

  • Write What You Know – There will always be a struggle if you attempt to write about a topic you have little knowledge of. Can you pull it off? Yes, but the amount of research required will make this more of a chore than it should be and the love will soon be lost.

On the other hand, writing about a topic you are both knowledgeable and passionate about not only makes for outstanding content, it is also easy to accomplish. Just remember to keep things simple so the reader can fully understand your message.

  • Write in Your Own Style – Writing is the transference of your thoughts to a document for others to consume. Deliver those thoughts in your own style and you will soon discover your writing voice.

Don’t try to be the next Ernest Hemingway or Toni Morrison, be the first you.

  • Write to Your Significant Other – Pour yourself into an article written to your loved one and have them give you some feedback. It doesn’t have to be a love letter (you’ve likely written that already anyhow), but an article on your favorite topic. This can help you identify your true style of writing.
  • Write In Different Moods – To write as a profession means that there will surely be times when you’ll have to write when you are not in the mood to do so. Write something when you are happy, sad, or under the weather. It’s best to do it when you can instead of when you have to.

It can simply be a few paragraphs; the idea is to get a sense of your overall writing style and voice.

Conclusion

To improve your writing skills and find that natural style and voice, continue to write something daily. I am not saying that you have to post daily, but write something daily.

Soon you will discover that flow state where your thoughts are easily transferred to the document you are working on and content creation will no longer be a major challenge for you.

When this occurs, you will be the awesome writer that you always knew you could become.

Stay Productive!

Have you an experience to share? How did you come to discover your writing voice?

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About 

Jimi Jones is an Internet Entrepreneur and can be found on his main blog site JimiJones.Com where he writes about PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT and living a more productive life.

77 Comments (click here to leave a comment)

      • Jimi Jones

        Recognizing the various styles is good, so long as we don’t try to sound like everyone else. The more we write the more our own voice come through.

        Thanks for your comment, Sarah.

  1. Jeevanjacobjohn

    Hi Jimi,

    First of all, I am happy to see you here @ Basicblogtips. Your problems and solutions list is amazing ! These are the exact problems that are daily faced by a blogger. To me, I think facing the problem is the solution. I really like to be fearful when it comes to blogging – this feeling of fear has helped me to write better content (both mine and other sites). Those tips are amazing ! I really agree with you. One needs to be pure in thinking and writing to produce quality content – you have to write your thoughts. Thanks for the great article !

    • Jimi Jones

      Hi Jeevan.

      It’s good to see you as well.
      There is little for you to fear, my friend. You’ve been cranking out some great content, to which I commend you on your efforts.

      This is a struggle for many however, and I hope that in some small way, these tips provide a little edge to take them over the top.

      Thanks for you comment. :-)

    • Caleb

      As the old saying goes, “Work smarter not harder!”

      You know I wrote my own piece on this very same topic at famousbloggers called: Finding your own writing voice..

      ..and if there ever was an ebook that needed to be produced it would be a collection of yours, mines, and all other similar pieces in this subject so bloggers can get the “fear and over-thinking” you mentioned out of the way :!:

  2. Ronika

    Thank you for the tips.
    As a fairly new blogger, I find that it is certainly taking time to discover my true voice. I also find that it changes based on various factors – what I’ve read or watched recently, time of day, mood etc.

    • Jimi Jones

      Hello Ronika.

      True, it takes a little time for some but as you continue to write it just all comes together. Every blogger starts at the same place, one post, one reader and a ton of questions about whether they are “sounding” like a writer. :-)

      I agree, depending upon your mood and a number of other factors, topic included, your voice and tone will vary a bit. But overall a certain style is underlying all that to create.

      Wishing you all the best going forward, just keep at it, I’m certain you will be fine. As an example, this comment is written from your heart and has a nice flow to it because you simply spoke what you felt. It’s often just that simple.

      Thanks for your comment!

  3. Tristan

    Jimi, I love this: “Don’t try to be the next Ernest Hemingway or Toni Morrison, be the first you.” So true. Those people got famous because they did branch out and do their own thing, not because they copied famous writers from previous generations.

    Great post with some quality content. Thanks for sharing!

    • Jimi Jones

      Hey Tristan.

      I could not agree more, write for yourself and the current generation, creating your own recognizable brand of writing. Know the difference between emulate and imitate.

      I appreciate the comment, thanks. :-)

  4. DiTesco

    Solid. If only many people knew that having your own voice, views and opinions is in essence what being “unique” is, then it will much easier. Understand this and this how you create “unique and original” content. Simple isn’t it :)

    • Jimi Jones

      Francisco, how goes my man?

      You’ve summed it up well, friend. “Unique and original” content is rather simple to create.

      I think some writers get hung up on the topics in general because everything has been written about before. But you have to write things in your own unique style, that’s what make the difference.

      Goos to see you. :-)

  5. Patricia

    Hi Jimi

    Well written and informative post. My writing style has changed and hopefully developed more into my true writing voice as I have written more blog posts. Tend to write more conversationally now. It helps that I have loyal readers who come over to my blog at regular intervals so we all interact and converse with each other often. So I know my audience well and this helps with choosing topics to blog about.

    Patricia Perth Australia

    • Jimi Jones

      Hi Patricia.

      It’s good to see you here.
      Those loyal readers of yours are a testament to your writing quality. They don’t visit to hear you babble. LOL
      They visit your site because they love the conversations that take place.

      You have a very nice style, I see your comments all over the place. :-)

  6. Richard

    I think a good way to start finding your own writing style is to do some free writing every once in a while. Just sit down with a blank screen and start typing what comes to mind in a free flow. You can organize it into a proper article or post after you’re done. It’s a good way to really let loose and be yourself.

    • Jimi Jones

      Hello Richard.

      This is a good point and really great exercise for writing improvement. This is something that some writers do when they are stuck and are having difficulty breaking through “writers block”, but you’ve added a great tip here. Do this to help develop your style and discover your voice.

      Good one!
      Thanks for sharing that. :-)

  7. Daniel Snyder

    I think the hardest part is writing when you don’t want to or feel like it… writing in different moods is critical! And you need a whole lot of self discipline. Great post.

    • Jimi Jones

      Hey Daniel.

      Man, I sure agree with what you’ve said here. Writing when you don’t feel like it can really be a challenge. However, I’ve found that once you begin, things tend to fall into place. Like most things, getting going in the first place can be the largest obstacle.

      I appreciate the comment.

  8. Kevin Tea

    Jimi, good to see you with another great article and guest blog. You are consistently one of the bloggers I know who can write an easy to read post but at the same time deliver a knock out punch. There is always something to take away.

    • Jimi Jones

      Hello Kevin.

      Thanks for the kind words, my friend. I can always count on you to be supportive. Man, we’ve shared quite a few posts over the past year and a half or so. Always a pleasure, without a doubt.

      Good to see you!

  9. Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach

    Love this topic! I just wrote an article that’s related to one’s writing voice…not only do you need a unique one, but you also need one that people can relate to.

    It definitely makes blogging that much easier!!

    • Jimi Jones

      Hi Barbara.

      Having a voice and content that readers can relate to is most of the battle. That combination leads to the building of some nice blog communities.

  10. Kissie

    Hey Jimi, I learned this by trial and error. The more I started enjoying what I was writing, the better the posts became. Anytime I could feel what I was saying, the readers responded the same way. It was amazing and that’s when I gave up trying to be a “good” blogger and decided to be Just Kissie.

    It works! :-) I’m the best me I know!

    Until next time,

    • Jimi Jones

      Hey Kissie.

      I remember you saying that you just wanted to enjoy the experience of blogging and relax. You’ve not looked back since. :-) It was a great way to find your voice and be just who you are. Therein lies a good lesson on how to find your groove.

  11. Kimi

    Hi Jimi,

    That was awesome tip, especially about writing.

    Since English is not my first language, i have to train to write everyday to improve my writing skill.

    I hope it will help me much :D

  12. Jimi Jones

    Hi Kimi.

    Practicing is always a good exercise for improving any skill. Even those of us who speak English as a first language continue to improve upon the way we write and speak, at least I do. :-)

    Thanks for your comment.

    • Jimi Jones

      Hello Tito.

      I’m happy that you find these helpful. It is mighty competitive out there so we can use every advantage available.

      Thanks for your comment, it’s much appreciated.

  13. Ryan Biddulph

    Hi Jimi,

    Excellent advice.

    I like the piece about writing when in different moods. This has been a fun practice for me. Sometimes readers get Mr. Peaceful and Contemplative, sometimes they get a little more juice.

    It’s vital to let your personality out. Be natural and write what comes to mind and crush the fear of criticism by doing so on a continual basis. Eventually the fear greatly dies off and you’re free to find your own voice without silly little self-conscious voices popping up.

    Thanks for sharing your insight and have a powerful day!

    Ryan

    • Jimi Jones

      Hey Ryan, how goes?

      Showing some personality is a must, as you’ve pointed out. Otherwise the content can become just another term paper, and how boring is that? :-)

  14. Daniel Sharkov

    Hey Jimi,

    Discovering your writing voice can definitely be a daunting task, especially when you are just starting out with blogging. The problem is that instead of writing about something you are comfortable with, you try copying the big bloggers. The subjects often turn out more than one can chew. Seeking ideas and inspiration is good, but keeping things unique and adding your own touches is a must.

    Taking other poeple’s opinions too personal is another bad thing. It is better for you and your business to be able to take criticism. Bloggers should not expect pleasing each and every visitor. That is impossible.

    Great article buddy! Really liked the flow! :)

    • Jimi Jones

      Hi Daniel.

      I agree, many early stage bloggers try to follow those who are highly successful by attempting to sound and write the same way. This immediately takes them away from who they are and makes the task of blogging, which is already difficult enough, an even tougher challenge than it should be.

      Also, getting caught up in efforts to please everyone is a complete waste of time. As you’ve pointed out, that’s just not going to happen. Taking a stand on your position while being open to discussion usually works best. Nothing wrong with a good civil debate and we can always agree to disagree if we have to. There are those, however, that will not agree or be happy with what you have to offer under any circumstance.

      Be willing to accept that and move on to the next comment or next post. :-)

      Thanks for that comment, Daniel.

  15. Ajinkya

    Voice is most costly than writing as very very less bloggers use their voice skill to share their thoughts . I like the “writing your voice” concept . The over thinking part stammers me too , as sometimes the post doesn’t seem up to the mark if I think too much about it :P Just with carefree style , the post is always correct .
    Very inspirational !

    • Jimi Jones

      Thanks so much for your comment, Ajinkya.

      I think the over thinking part hinders lots of writers early on, but when we get past that it becomes so much easier.

  16. Sheila Atwood

    Sometimes I look at my first blog posts and have to laugh. I’ve come a looong way baby.

    Writers write. It is not as I don’t have something to say or have something that interests my readers, I have plenty of that. It has just been a matter of getting it on the page so it makes sense. Then the more I write the easier it is. The more I have written the more I have become me.

    Some times I have to remind my editor that my writing may not pass 8 grade english, but it’s me and my style.

    “Be yourself. Above all, let who you are, what you are, what you believe, shine through every sentence you write, every piece you finish.” ~ John Jakes

    • Jimi Jones

      Hello Sheila.

      LOL – I know what you mean about those first blog posts. We can look back and have a little laugh now, but they were not so funny back then. I wrote my first one on a Sunday and it took me nearly all day. Finally, it turned out okay but I knew I had to somehow get better. Taking 4 and 5 hours to write one post was not very enjoyable. :-)

      Thanks for your comment.

  17. Suresh Khanal

    Hi Jimi,

    Its great to see you on Ileane’s blog with this great post. Wonderful and true suggestions that directly deserved followed. Writing is the most important as well as most difficult aspect of blogging – but what remains there apart from writing in blogging? :-)

    • Jimi Jones

      Hey Suresh.

      Thanks for the welcome. :-)

      What remains apart from writing?
      Far too much to include here. LOL Perhaps an ebook or a long series of post would cover some of it. Article marketing, traffic generation, search engine optimization, site maintenance, business planning and development and a host of other activities.

      Writing, as you know, is only the beginning.

      Good to see you.

  18. Rahul

    writing seems sometimes burden for me. thanks Jimi, you’ve shown a great way. i believe that practice makes a man perfect. and i think lack of confidence does play a great role in writing ability.

    • Jimi Jones

      Hello Rahul.

      Like most things in life, they always improve with continual practice. As we get better and better our confidence grows and we no longer find the task at hand to be difficult.

      Thanks for your comment. :-)

  19. Murlu

    I always like to think “write without editing” – when you’re writing in a free form fashion; you always end up writing as if you’re just talking to someone; you’re not pausing to figure out exactly what you want to strategically say. Use that ‘bar talk’ – you wouldn’t stop for five minutes to think of what you wanted to say; you’d just say it and then expand upon it.

    • Jimi Jones

      That sounds like a nice technique, Murlu.
      Definitely a way to speak naturally. As you say, go back and do your edits and expand upon what you have written.

  20. Steven

    I’m over 180 posts on my blog and I am just beginning to find my writing voice. One thing I’ve learned is to be as simple as possible without watering down the message. When I first started I was way too verbose.

    • Jimi Jones

      Hey Steven.

      That voice comes to some sooner than others but it always arrives at some point if we keep writing. It’s a great feeling of confidence when you’re “feelin it”. :-)

  21. Milind Bawankar

    This is excellent! I think I do a good job of writing in my voice already, but think these exercises would be really interesting. And everyone can always use extra practice!

  22. Issa

    Interesting that writing voice is all about tone when you don’t hear the words being spoken to you, and yet, one can still feel if its genuine or not. I think that many are having this problem on writing naturally, either they don’t know how to organize their thoughts or that they’re struggling with the language. Nice points you’ve got here. I think, I found my writing voice when one of my clients dared me to write something out of the back of my head without thinking about word count, keywords, and the neutrality of the post. It worked.

    • Jimi Jones

      Hello Issa.

      Finding that voice is a wide-spread problem but it is also overcome with time and practice. Like me, I think many try too hard initially instead of just letting things flow naturally.

      Your story for discovering your voice is typical, it comes when we just be natural and not over-thinking the situation. Good on you for taking that dare. :-)

  23. Andy Eaton

    great article some good tips in there, I sometimes worry when writing for my blog, but I learned a while back that the more you speak the truth the more people like it and will listen to what you have to say.

    • Jimi Jones

      You’ve hit the nail on the head, Andy. There is no real magic to it, just being yourself and telling it like it is seems to do the trick. People want to engage with real world situations.

      Thanks for your comment.

  24. Sandra Lee

    Hi Jimi,

    This really made me smile: “Don’t try to be the next Ernest Hemingway or Toni Morrison, be the first you.” This is wonderful advice. I really like the encouragement not to “over-think” and to be as natural and genuine as possible. Excellent suggestions. Thanks so much.

  25. Paul Tech

    You are right that writing what we know is important, if we couldn’t care less about physics yet want to discourse the science behind rockets, the writing will be terrible.

    But then, we don’t need to be experts either. A trip to the market can be a good read too when we write in our own style and without fear.

    • Jimi Jones

      Hello Paul.

      You hit the nail on the head. I think writing is quite easy so long as we stay within ourselves, otherwise we only complicate the matter and cause ourselves to struggle.

      Thanks for visiting and thanks for your comment.

  26. Betty

    I agree. Also, when you write long enough, you will be able to discern different styles. It is important to be you and not attempt to copy another. We each have our own distinct flavor.

    • Jimi Jones

      Hi Betty.

      You can definitely recognize writing styles from person to person. being yourself is always best. Folks that simply copy the work of others are going nowhere because they obviously lack creativity. It seems easier to write your own stuff to me.

      Thanks for joining the conversation.

  27. Multimedia Translation

    I agree with your views. Writing is the transfer of your thoughts to a document for others to use. Bring such thoughts in your own way and you will very soon find out your writing voice.

  28. Danielle

    Well, Everyone can write blogs but few are selected to be called “gifted” in this kind of field. We have our own forte in writing, different styles and forms but our main concern is just the same, to express our thoughts and be loved by the readers.

  29. Jimi Jones

    Well said, Danielle.
    Few reach the status of “gifted” but no one should be discouraged by their current abilities. Continually working any craft can lift one to greater heights. We never know how the story ends. :-)

  30. raverture

    hi Jimi,

    Thanks for the tips. As a writer, sometimes I do not know what and how to write an article. I am having difficulty thinking of the best topic that can easily enthrall the interest of the reader. I have learned a lot of things from this post. :)

  31. Danny

    I’ve never thought about this, but it makes so much sense.
    A writing voice, I definitely see it with many bloggers. It is one of the most important aspects of liking the blog and reading it frequently or leaving it alone.

  32. Roma

    I am beginning my career as a writer and have started writing some blog posts. Your 4 tips to become a perfect writer seems to be working for me.

  33. Dallas home alarm system

    I have never thought or even had interest in writing. But that suddenly changed after reading your article. I think writing brings out your thoughts and the best way to share from people around the world.

  34. Reeha

    Great guest post. tips you shared above to make us perfect blogger is something special for me. i picked some great points here and will implement them when i was writing on any topic. thanks for sharing it with us and keep on sharing more useful posts.

  35. Mario M.

    Hey Jimi. Great post out there buddy. Discovering your writing voice – the way we actually speak defines how we write. I do believe so to a great extent.

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  1. How to Discover Your Writing Voice…

    Let me begin by thanking my good friend Ileane for having me appear on Basic Blog Tips, it is truly a pleasure. I receive lots of requests for Guest Posts ……