Forget Finding Your Voice, Find Your Subject

In my enforced silence I glimpsed this and feel a tidal wave coming.

MC Easton

All this hand-wringing over writers finding their voice. Find your voice, writing instructors told me. Here’s how to find your voice, craft talks assured me. Once you find your voice, it will unlock everything, writing books promised.

I’m starting to question, though, that voice is the big deal everyone seems to think it is. I’m starting to think that voice springs not from some intentional quest for it but from an artist being truthful, to themselves and to their subject. If you care about something deeply—not because you should, and not because you look good online posting about it but because it vibrates in your bones—I don’t think you can help it: voice finds you. Because your voice is you. Your passion, your banality, your secret fears, all the worst and best parts of you.

So voice alone isn’t enough to make your writing interesting. What makes you interesting is…

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