That a writer must find and develop their own voice may seem obvious to a seasoned storyteller. But to many it’s not obvious at all, especially those writing non-fiction works like business books or academic and other intellectual works. I carefully mentor such writers and encourage them to give themselves permission to allow their own voices to emerge in their work.
One of the important purposes for which many people write non-fiction is to brand themselves as authorities in their field. Finding your own voice and writing your book in that voice is one of the most crucial aspects of the writing process, because it’s through your own voice that you command authority as a writer. It’s how people know you really know what you say you know, that you have mastered your knowledge area.
Finding your voice can be a long process, because you need to modulate your voice, moulding it into one with which both you and your audience are comfortable. If you’re writing a book for an academic audience, for example, that audience needs to be assured you can articulate your cause with the scholarly correctness they’d expect from a colleague, and at the same time be charmed by your personable and conversational tone. It’s a balance that requires sensitivity to your language as well as the language of your audience.
Finding your voice is a journey that can take years. Start the journey now.