Earlier this week, I sat down to read a chapter of Paula Munier’s Writing with Quiet Hands. I last mentioned this book in a post reflecting on writing books and the teachers I learned from.
I wanted to take a moment to share my thoughts on chapter 4, “a voice of your own,” because it spoke to me and I feel it’s something we all can learn a thing or two more.
How many times have you found yourself putting off something you know you should be doing? That was me in this case because out of all the topics of interest in writing, voice has always been a more sensitive subject. I’m sure I’m not the only one. As writers, we put our ideas, dreams and ultimately ourselves out there. Sometimes there is praise, other times ridicule and criticism.
But, there’s another thing to consider, and that’s our truths. This quote from the book jumped out at me: “Readers recognize truth when they see it–and they seek it out (59). Have you ever found a book that spoke to you? If so, then the author’s truth must have touched your heart. I’ve always told people writing was where I could be myself.
Authentic. Real, Honest.
I’m sure you too have shared the same thoughts. Writing is hard sometimes, and depending on what you’re writing about, can become more daunting because certain emotions hit too close to home.
Two things in this chapter also resonated with me: exploring first paragraphs from the classics and 4 lessons for growing and finding the writer voice. The books we enjoy like Stephen King’s It and Toni Morrison’s Beloved stay with us because of their voices, their engagement and stirring up emotions that frighten and make us think. The 4 lessons gave us real-life examples of writers trying to find their voice whether by revealing it more, remembering who we are, listening to the sound of one’s voice and how not to confuse voice with the plot of your story.
This chapter had a lot of good stuff, frankly. I also enjoyed the part exploring creative imitation where you think about the writers you love, the voices that speak to you and what about their works appeal to you. This helps you figure out what drew you to these writers and how you can apply them to your writing prowess.
This book has been excellent so far and like A Writer’s Guide to Persistence, I’m learning a lot: about myself, writing strategies and other parts of being a writer that I may have missed or ignored.
Don’t ever be afraid to learn something new or gain a new perspective on something you’ve always known. You never know what you’ll discover!