Is a writer’s voice overrated?

Truth is, if you want to get paid as a writer, finding your own voice can be a distraction – even a hindrance.

Noah Berlatsky in The Atlantic raised an interesting point regarding the value of voice. Academia teaches writers that voice is quintessential. As writers, our own personal style must be perfected before we can expect success. However, in the real world, for most of the writing opportunities that pay, a writer’s voice can get in the way of productivity. Whether it’s to help write a textbook or maintain a company’s blog, voice don’t pay the bills.

Noah writes…

But for the vast majority of working scribblers, writing is less about finding your own voice than about figuring out how to say something someone, somewhere will pay you for, or at least listen to.

Good point…So do we forget our voice?

I don’t think so. The places where I write (blogs and fiction), a voice is critical to success. So, it really just depends on what you’re writing. For manuals and textbooks, sure, voice isn’t a priority. For other projects, voice can be a powerful tool.

So what is the point of voice, or, what’s the point of putting YOU on the page?

Funny, because I thought voice was the point of writing. Of course, the dream of every writer is to make a living at it. But at least for me, throwing out voice is throwing out the baby with the bathwater. The reason I work hard at writing is to be able to put myself in my work, and create a meaningful message that makes readers feel something in a way that no one else can.

A bit narcissistic? Yeah, we all have our problems.

Voice may be overrated for making a living at writer, but great writers will always need to develop a voice to create something powerful. Even though much of the work that pays won’t care about your distinct voice, readers will for many of your projects. Want to improve your writer's voice? Here's a few tips >>

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Read the article from The Atlantic, “ ‘Voice Isn’t the Point of Writing”

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