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Battling Your Sea Witch So You Canand Finding Your Voice Commented [KM1]: Love this title, but

: Love this title, but felt like two


separate thoughts with the “and,” so consider my edit in
order to link the ideas together.

Introduction

The A challenge for almost most anyonebody who’ has written… . . . well, doing Commented [KM2]: I changed the automated ellipses
with one with non-breaking spaces.
anything ANYTHING is finding your voice. You have these great ideas, you plan it all Commented [KM3]: Again, these two thoughts don’t
seem connected or relevant to each other currently. I’m
also not exactly sure what you mean by the sentence.
out, you make an outline, you start writing, and then after the first paragraph or so, you
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realize: I hate all of this. So, then you scrap it and start over again, and again or

sometimes you just scrap it and don’t start over. Now, I’m sure we’ve all faced this

problem at some point, and it’s easy to think at those times well, I’m just not a good

writer or I’m not experienced enough to do this., but However, what it comes down to is

the fact that you can’t quite write what you’re thinking in your head, because the voice in

your head explains your thoughts better than you’re able to write them down. This

problem might seem like battling our own personal sea witch, but there are tools within

reach to help you find your own voice (without having to stab anyone with the helm of a

ship), and, in the end, you will have a much higher chance of liking what you write once Commented [KM4]: Love this bit of humor.

you’ve found your own voice.

Finding your voice is something that takes practice; you can read all the articles you

want (even this one), but in the end you have to work on it. The only thing that makes it

different from the situation described above is that you know what you’re working

towards—you have a specific goal and steps on how to get there (or at least you will

have steps once you’re done with this article). Of course, this article isn’t all-inclusive,

but the steps in this article can help each writer have the tools necessary to be able to

look at their writing and feel that they have something to work with—maybe not
something perfect— from the first draft, but something you feel good enough about to

keep working on.

Be Concise

One of the first things you can do to find your voice is to be concise with what

you say. The more you ramble, the more you’ll feel like you’re writing someone else’s

words. When we ramble while we write, it’s usually because we don’t have a clear

sense of direction (or we’re trying to reach the minimum page count). Now, if you’re

rambling to meet a minimum page count, then I offer my condolences and wish you

good luck, but if that isn’t the reason, then you need to find your voice. The more

concise you are, the more you’ll be able to clearly convey your ideas, which usually

means that you’re voice will shine through much more easily. The key to being concise

is having good organization;, and that organization comes with planning, although

sometimes even an detailed outline can be difficult to execute if you don’t have a steady

writing flow of writing. Here’s a trick I learned in my advanced writing class in college. Commented [KM5]: This sounds like rambling to me.
Perhaps consider my revision.
It was a class dedicated to writing about the humanities, and our professor made

us do what seemed like countless writing assignments to strengthen our writing, which

at the time seemed like the bur under my saddle—designed to cause me weekly pain

and grief. But in class one day, she gave us this advice: “iIf you don’t know what to write Commented [KM6]: Where does this quote actually
end? I ended it after the etc. but I wasn’t completely sure.
about or can’t figure out how to start writing, start out likewith this:, “‘I have to write this

paper about _________’” or ‘“I have this idea for a story about _________, and I don’t

really know what to write about, but I’m thinking something like _________ because I

really like… . . . ,’” etc.” All it takes is somewhere to start and then you’re off. You can
take all those ideas that you’ve organized and outlined and start writing. And if the worry

of being not being concise impedes your flow, then don’t worry about it until you’ve

gotten everything out that you want to say.; Tthen you can go back afterwards and edit

for concision.

Write Like You Speak

The second tool is one that has some controversy surrounding it. Some people

tell you to “write like you speak”; others will say that writing like you speak leads to

choppy, disorganized writing. Regardless,So here’s my two cents: if you read your

writing out loud, and it doesn’t sound natural to you, or like something you couldn’t Commented [KM7]: Did you mean could not?

reasonably imagine yourself saying, then it’s not your voice. So essentially my advice is Formatted: Font: Italic

to write your best version of speaking (as if you were talking to your grandmother—or

your boss depending on the context of the writing).

It could be difficult to find the right balance between writing down your words

verbatim and writing in a way that reflects how you talk about things, but there are ways

to accomplish this. First, you can describe your personality;: choose a few adjectives to

describe your personality. SecondNext,, you can ask other people to describe you as

well. Once you get a true feel for your personality, you might have an easier time

knowing if what you are writing reflects it, or if it your writing is simply a fruitless effort to Commented [KM8]: The closest antecedent is it, which
is referring to your personality, so I suggest changing this
second it to your writing for clarity.
get words on a page.

Another technique is paying attention to what you like to read. Humans tend to

be narcissists, so we like things that are like us. If you don’t believe me, read some

articles about how we tend to marry people that look like us. The saying “birds of a