It can be challenging to find your voice as a writer. How can you be authentically you, and not sound awkward or stiff? There are lots of great ways to figure out what your voice sounds like, and we’ve gathered a few of them here. Any one of these methods can help you on your journey to write your life story.
One of the easiest ways to find your voice is simply to free-write. The concept behind free-writing is just to write down whatever you’re thinking. When you begin, it may feel challenging: you’ll want to edit out parts of your thoughts to make your writing more coherent. As best as you can, try to avoid doing so. If you think the word “um,” put it on your paper. This doesn’t have to be a work of art, and nobody else will read it. This is just for you, to figure out what you sound like without editing. Try free-writing for fifteen minutes, and see what happens as you start to relax into the process.
Ask a friend
If you aren’t sure of what you sound like, you can always ask your closest friends how you communicate. They’ll mostly be discussing your spoken communication, but even that information can be helpful. If they tell you you’re an optimistic, slightly formal person, that is part of your voice. If you’re feeling up to it, giving your friends a piece of your writing can help them to identify what makes your words and tone unique.
If you had to describe yourself, what would be the first five words you’d choose? This can help you understand the basics of what to expect from your writing. Once you understand who you present yourself as, you’re more likely to be able to inject those personality traits into your writing as well.
You’re writing your memoir, and that means you get to use the voice that best represents you and your life. Find your voice and let it carry through your writing so that your readers can truly know what your life has been about.