What voice do you write in?

Writing and reading fascinate me, the way pretty much nothing else can. One reason could be because of what I do for fun – blogging and the other reason could be because of what I do for a living – editing.

In my years as a reader, writer, blogger and now editor, one thing that keeps jumping out at me from a well-written piece is the author’s voice.

Voice used by writers

We’re not talking about active or passive here, or even passive-aggressive for that matter. (That could be a follow-up post, though, so stay tuned.) This is more about how the writer conveys what she wants merely through the power of words. Let me start with my own voice.

I’ve been writing on parenting for almost 9 years now, although I’ve only been regular and active in the last three of those years. Most often, my voice on that blog is introspective, and true to its name, reads like a series of diary entries, snippets of love that I share with my daughter and of course, the readers.

Then there’s this blog where my voice varies across each genre that I tackle: there’s a personal, intense note to my poetry and the calm, clinical voice of my posts on blogging. My non-fiction essays are sometimes reflective, maybe humorous and also a tad self-deprecating at times. My flash fiction is the one that surprises me the most: from outright shock to creepy disgust, pure anger to borderline sappy I’ve tried pretty much every voice.

What I have noticed though, irrespective of the kind of posts I write, it’s the voice that touches the readers. Basically, it’s not just the content but how you say it that matters.

Is one voice better than the other? Perhaps. Again, that is a debatable point and reflects both upon the writer and the reader, to be honest. I personally think my strongest voice is the introspective one, but I’d love to hear your opinion too.

The true beauty about voice is that if it comes from somewhere deep within you, from the core that is essentially part of who you are, it almost always touches a chord.

That, my friend, is the most fascinating thing about a writer’s voice.

To end, I will now pose two questions to the readers of my blog:

  1. Which voice of mine do you love reading? This can be across genres.
  2. If you are a writer, which voice do you identify as your strongest?

 

33 thoughts on “What voice do you write in?

  1. I like all your voices but I think the fiction really stands out. You always have a twist or surprise in that – I see you writing a fictional book with characters that have a lot of “Shades of Grey” and evil as well. I think you should a weekly fiction post and especially short fiction.
    Your parenting voice is more friendly and that makes it easy to connect.
    My own voice, I am not sure what kind it is. I think I just write the way I speak only I tone it down and try to be polite. Why be rude when you can be kind?

  2. I like the introspective voice and the fictional voice where you are more uninhibited.

    For myself, I think funny in my head, but unable to put the same humour in words.

  3. Shailaja, I love reading all your voices, introspective is top on the list 🙂 You write micro-fiction beautifully too. I think my emotional ramblings are my favorite, second are my book reviews… what say? 🙂

  4. Well it’s got to be introspection.. I probably do have a similar voice too.. A voice I otherwise like to read is humor. I have read some brilliant blog posts with that tinge of subtle humor… I somehow can never wrote like that… So for now I shall just enjoy reading them.

    1. I’m in awe of those who write humour effortlessly and in a clean way. It’s inspiring. Like Wodehouse’s comedy, for instance. I cannot stand snark at all.

  5. I love your parenting introspective voice best of all. Perhaps because I find it speaks to me the strongest.

    As for me.. I’ve never really analysed my writing but it has to be parenting – heartfelt parenting I’d like to think.

    1. I love your parenting voice the most too. It’s interesting if you think about it. Our first blogs are the ones that touch a chord the most with people. Something to be said for that.

  6. I find I really enjoy your nonfiction essays. I agree when you are reflective and introspective, your voice is the strongest but I guess that’s because you are writing from the heart.

    For me, I like to think when I am introspective and reflective as well, my voice is the strongest. I think when I feel passionate about something, it really comes across. Apparently, in my fiction too, it’s when I’m passionate about the subject matter that my voice is the strongest.

    1. Completely agree. It’s when you’re passionate that it touches a chord. If that can infuse everything we write, how wonderful it would be. I love your personal essays too.

  7. I love your flash fiction. The way you share those twists and those creepy ends. You do a great job there.
    For me, I love to share a personal story and that makes the voice, reflective may be 😉 Not sure actually. You can tell me that.

  8. I was introduced to your Parenting blog first.So, for me its the best as it made me stay here for more. Keep amazing us with your all the styles.

  9. I. I prefer the introspective and reflective voice, always – in yours as well as others’ writings.
    2. I suppose most of the writing on my blog (not matriwords) can also be seen as coming out of a more introspective/reflective voice. Even those posts which don’t have much of my voice (where I quote a long passage or excerpt) have a reflective quality to them at least in the way of inspiration behind them.

    1. I’ve kind of gauged that from your writing, Beloo. It’s the ones on Aurobindo that resonate with me, to be honest.

      I suppose we all identify with a voice similar to ours in others’ work.

  10. I never really thought about it until you pointed it out here. I enjoy your posts and whatever voice you are using at the time is the appropriate one. That is how you draw in your readers.

    But if I have to choose, I suppose it would be your reflective voice as it triggers more thought.

    1. That sounds very gratifying, Carol 🙂 I am so glad to know that every voice resonates and draws in the readers. What else does a blogger need? 🙂 Thank you!

  11. 1. I guess I like the posts in which the voice is reflective. Like that eulogy post. It’s pretty rare to find posts that have such depth and actual real life significance. And of course, I love your microfiction post. Long time since I’ve read one, though 🙁
    2. I guess I like my sarcastic voice. And lately, I’m liking the fiction posts I write, too. But I want to master writing humorously. I can never get my characters to crack a joke on paper!

  12. It’s not just the content but how you say it that matters.

    How true, Shailaja! And despite you writing on various subjects, there is a uniqueness which helps readers identify your voice.

    I want to touch the introspective side. Unfortunately, I don’t have as much experience in life. Hence, it’s about sharing valuable lessons that I have learned from others and from the little experience that I have.

    Lovely post as always.

    1. I am so glad to hear that, Vishal 🙂 I think I try not to hold back when it comes to voice, to be honest. What you see is what you get. At the same time I try not to rant or vent on social media unless it’s something I can do without pointing fingers at people. That’s an art that some people are experts at!

  13. Most definitely your parenting posts because they are real, introspective and relatable. I actually like all your musings including those about life. I guess the honesty, wit and humour in those appeal to me. Personally, l’ve seen that most people like my parenting and relationships posts for their honesty and reflection (humour in life too). I guess l share experiences and write honestly no matter what l write about including travel and food.

    1. I think I’d agree with most people too 🙂 Your honest take on a variety of things binds me to your writing 🙂 And thank you for the compliment!

  14. I love the voice of your short stories and the variety it contains… yup I love creepy stuffs … and poetry too…
    I don;t know what voice have … probably borderline weird 😛

  15. I’ve never been good at picking favourites, and I’m not even trying here because I love all of your voices. 🙂 My personal best would be my voice of intuition, when I write out of instinct. I suppose it is the same for all writers? 😀

    1. I guess so but I have read writers who can assume another voice/ another character by doing intense research. So it’s not always instinctive, I guess. It must also depend on how well you internalise the voice and reflect that in the post.

  16. 1. I’m not too sure; Definitely not poetry – but that’s a personal thing. Perhaps your parenting and flashfiction
    2. I’m not too sure, again. Perhaps humour and fiction. And some parenting too.

    1. Interesting that you put parenting last on your own list. I’d have said that was among the stronger voices. I prefer those of yours over the fiction actually. Humour, yes, that’s a given across all genres.

  17. Honestly, I have yet to read all your voices. I have enjoyed your blogging posts. Your poems are beautiful and convey a lot. I would like to read more of them for sure.

    I’m still exploring myself as a writer. Till now I wrote more personal snippets like you mentioned. However, I’m slowly veering towards fiction and am getting good feedback on it. 🙂

    1. Aww what a sweet thing to say. I’ve reduced writing poetry on the blog and do it more on Twitter and my FB page. Perhaps I should get back to it on the blog. Thank you so much for the lovely comment.

      Good luck with the fiction. It’s a learning curve and one I thoroughly enjoyed exploring myself 🙂

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