Quick Link: Finding Your Voice As A Writer

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Finding Your Voice As A Writer

by Dawn Field

Once your voice is real and audible, people’s attitude to your writing will change. Finding your voice means you are writing something no one else could write.

George Orwell wrote a famous essay called “Why I Write.” In it he lists what he describes as the four reasons any writer writes: sheer egoism, aesthetic enthusiasm, historical impulse, and political purpose.

By his definitions, all four of these motivations lead a writer to want to impose ideas upon others. Readers sense this. This is why writers get it in the neck so hard.

People react badly to egoism. No one likes someone writing just to show off, appear smart, or as Orwell puts it, “to be remembered after death, to get your own back on the grown-ups who snubbed you in childhood, etc.”

People also react badly to being told what to do or think. “Who are you to tell me what I should think? What I should do? How the world works? Why are you special?” is what they are thinking. And finally, “Why are you writing?”

You need to have a good reason. A reason you can stand by. Hopefully it’s good enough, and expressed well enough, to convince readers. Many people are suspicious as soon as you say you are a writer. How could you be so self-absorbed and arrogant, resentful people wonder.