Writer & Eternal Student

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Do You Use A Writing Voice?

Published: September 6, 2008
This was initially published on my now-defunct No Job for Mom blog.

When I say writing voice, I’m not talking about whether or not your write in the first, second or third person. I’m talking about using the proper voice to convey your thoughts and ideas. Do you use the right...how should I say it... pitch, tone, accent, um...intonation level in your voice when you write?

Let me see if I can explain this better by example. The other day I was engrossed in an article. I was so submerged in it that when the phone rang, I had not transitioned from the article voice to my Felicia voice when I picked up the phone. Not being totally cognizant of the lack of voice transition, the conversation went like this:

RING, RING, RING (No, my phone doesn’t go RING, but I can’t quite figure out how to spell the new-fangled ring tones)…

Felicia: Hello

Caller: (Pause)

Felicia: Helloooo?

My Brother: Felicia, is that you?

Phone Voice

Felicia: Yeah, it's me.  At least I think it's me.

My Brother: I didn’t recognize your voice. I started to hang up and re-dial because you didn’t sound like yourself.

Felicia: (Chuckling) Yeah, it’s me. I guess I was more engrossed in my writing than I thought.

I then went on to explain to my brother what I was writing about. He laughed and told me that the voice I used to answer the phone personified the topic of my writing.

Two Startling Lessons Learned

  1. Brothers do actually complement their sisters from time to time.

  2. While I might be walking on the fine line between multiple personality disorder and artistic creativity, finding the right mental voice makes writing easier (honestly, I never knew that I thought in different voices and accents).

A Welcome Distraction

While answering the phone when writing is an annoyance and a distraction, this time I learned something about my writing and myself. When you sit down to write, keep the phone near you for two reasons:

  1. It’s a pain in the backside to have to get up to answer the phone.

  2. It just might introduce you to your writing voice.

About the Author: I am Felicia A. Williams, a wife, mom, grandma, writer and eternal student.

Last Modified: 25 November 2020

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