~ Day 14 ~ HONORING YOUR VOICE ~ Chapter 12 ~
Cecil has previously talked about needing to write with our own voices and to make the words on the page sound like ourselves. "If you write with your distinctive voice, readers will know who you are." He says, "People who know me say that when they read my prose, they can hear me talking casually to them."
Cecil writes, "For excellence in writing, your words on paper need to sound as if you're having a simple, direct conversation with the reader. And it doesn't matter which genre you use or whether it's fiction or nonfiction. Your voice is your voice."
Although the style and subject matter change, the voice doesn't. The only time Cecil says your voice should not sound like your own is when you are ghostwriting for someone else.
This reminds me of a young lady I know who is enrolled in a program run by a Christian author/speaker. The purpose of the program is to teach her how to speak publicly and write books about her love for God. Although it sounds very noble and exciting I can't help but wonder who she will sound like when she's finished. Will she still sound like herself or like the author? Will she write and speak with authenticity or will she become programed, no longer having a sense of her own identity? I guess time will tell. I hope most of all she will reflect Christ in her, the hope of glory.
Cecil shares further thoughts on this topic. He says,"Too many writers have little respect for their own sound. You may feel you have to imitate someone else, become more erudite, or use strong words to give you authority. Resist that. Work at sounding like the best possible version of yourself."
He goes on to say,"Readers choose certain authors the same way they select their friends-- on the basis of personality--or the sound of the author's words in print. All humans have a circle of people who like them and want to be around them. You also have those who don't like you, avoid you, or can't relate to you. That's the same as your readership."
I've heard it said that at least 10 percent of the population will not like you no matter what you do. At least you'll have 90% that do!
"If you're like the average person," Cecil writes, " you want to have more friends--and as a writer, that refers primarily to buyers and readers of your writing."
After sharing a few examples of his own experiences in writing Cecil says,"No matter how much some editors or other writers may not like your writing, you'll attract those who will. You'll draw people into your writing circle the same way you do in your friendship circle."
There is so much more teaching in this chapter than I can possibly post so I would like to finish off with this final paragraph by Cecil.
He writes, "No one can teach you to write with your true voice. We instructors can only provide the atmosphere or setting that honors the process and encourages you to strive to hear your inner voice. Please remember this: The true voice is the heart of good writing. It's more than techniques or the ability to write in more than one genre. It's the ability to accept your voice as valuable and to use it."
This message from Cecil is filled with encouragment, grace and a
grace-filled environment for us to grow as writers!
The Aphorism for this chapter is: "The more I know who I am and like who I am, the truer my writing voice and the more faithfully I honor that voice."
Aphorism # 12: "The more I know who I am
and like who I am
The truer my writing voice and
the more faithfully I honor that voice."