Finding your voice

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One thing that has occasionally concerned me (aside from how much I worry about things, kind of a running theme) is that what I write sounds like me and not like somebody else.

I remember years ago, with one of my earlier efforts, being told that it read like something by another writer who I won’t name. At the time I took that as a compliment, since I happen to like most of what that author’s written but now I wouldn’t be so sure. Not that my opinion of them has changed, but nowadays I’d prefer not to sound like a pale imitation of someone else.

It’s one thing to be an established author and write in the style of someone else as a homage. But for someone unpublished & unknown…

I suppose, to some degree, it’s unavoidable to not let the authors and writers you enjoy and admire influence the way you write. (At least I hope that’s true for others, and not just me. See what I mean about worrying?) But how short a step is it, from influence to emulation?

Do I still think my writing sounds like someone else? Not usually, except in some of my more paranoid moments. I think I’m aware enough now that I can I catch myself from doing so. There are  times where I think I’ve learned how to write certain scenes/actions in a certain way from people I’ve read but that (to me) is all part of growing as a writer.

Have I developed a voice of my own? That one I’m not sure I can answer. Certainly when I read things back it sounds like me but I might be too close to it to be objective. But, at least, no one has said I sound like so-and-so recently…

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