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How did you develop your writing style?

I'm going through imposter syndrome-- with writing. I feel like my writing in general has improved substantially since I first started taking it seriously, but I feel
like it's not authentically me. What are some tips for young writers developing their writing style and voice?

Thanks.

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Eric’s Answer

Experience will be the best way to develop your authentic, genuine voice. By experience, I mean not only actual experience writing in both personal and professional environments, but also lived experience. We can't write what we don't know, and it's through the ups and downs of life that we gain personal understanding that can help our writing relate to a wider audience.

One of my favorite authors, David Sedaris, keeps a small notebook with him to scratch down ideas or observations that he later uses in his writing. That kind of awareness on a day-to-day basis can be great practice to help you further develop yourself and your writing.
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the advice! I recently started jotting down my observations and thoughts throughout the day. It's helped me during my brainstorming process. Dorothy
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Urooj’s Answer

Hello from a fellow Imposter Syndrome victim!

I would say the best and most efficient way you can develop your writing skills is firstly through practice.

Another way in which you can improve is by looking at examples of the type of writing you are trying to accomplish. For example, if you are looking to get better at writing blogs, search up different types of blogs that you like to read and use the writing style and tone of voice as your inspiration.

Lastly, do not overthink it! There is no "wrong" way to write.

Good luck!
Thank you comment icon Thank you! Dorothy
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Holly’s Answer

Personally, I think the best way to develop your own voice in writing is to just write heaps. Now, I know that a lot of writers get sick of hearing the whole, "just write" mantra, but trust me; it does work. Write what excites you, even if its not exactly "publishable". Just do whatever. Eventually, you will find out what you like to do, and what you don't like to do. You'll discover little mannerisms and habits you have when writing. Phrases you like to use, etc. Because at the the end of the day, your writing voice is just how you write things, and how you piece together the words that make up the story you're telling.
Thank you comment icon Thank you, Holly! Dorothy
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James Constantine’s Answer

Hello Dorothy,

Developing a Writing Style and Voice: Tips for Young Writers

Imposter Syndrome responds to Inositol Vitamin B8
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/inositol-7-ways-natural-helper-improves-your-mental-dr-keesha/

Writing style and voice are essential elements of effective communication through the written word. They reflect the unique perspective, tone, and personality of the writer. However, developing these aspects can be a challenging process, especially for young writers experiencing imposter syndrome. Here are some tips to help you authentically express yourself in your writing.

Read extensively: Reading widely and critically is an essential foundation for developing your writing style and voice. Analyze various authors’ styles, voices, and techniques to understand what resonates with you and how you might incorporate those elements into your own writing.

Write regularly: Consistent practice is crucial in refining your writing skills and discovering your unique voice. Set aside time each day or week to write, even if it’s just for a few minutes. The more you write, the more comfortable you will become with your thoughts and ideas on paper.

Experiment with different genres: Exploring various genres can help broaden your horizons as a writer and provide inspiration for finding your unique voice. Try writing poetry, fiction, non-fiction, or even screenplays to discover which genre best suits your interests and strengths.

Revise relentlessly: Editing is an integral part of the writing process that allows you to refine your ideas, clarify meaning, and improve overall flow. Be open to constructive feedback from peers or mentors to gain new perspectives on how to enhance your writing style and voice further.

Find inspiration in everyday life: Drawing inspiration from personal experiences, observations of the world around you, or current events can add depth and authenticity to your writing style and voice. Keep a journal or notebook handy to jot down ideas as they come up throughout the day or week.

Cultivate a strong vocabulary: A rich vocabulary can help expand your range of expression in writing by providing access to a broader range of words that convey specific meanings or emotions effectively. Read extensively to learn new words in context or use resources like dictionaries or thesauruses when needed to enhance your mastery of language usage in writing.

Embrace imperfection: Remember that every writer faces challenges in their journey towards finding their unique voice and style – it’s all part of the process! Don’t be too hard on yourself if initial drafts don’t turn out perfect; instead, view them as opportunities for growth through revision and refinement over time (Reid 2018).

Authoritative References Used:

Reid, J., (2018). “The Importance of Developing Your Writing Style.” The Write Practice: A Community for Writers at All Levels | Learn How To Write Better Faster & Get Feedback From Peers & Mentors [Online]. Available: https://thewritepractice.com/writing-style/ [Accessed May 23rd 2023]

Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL). (n.d.). “Developing Your Voice as a Writer.” Purdue University [Online]. Available: https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/subject_specific_writing_guides/creative_writing/developing_your_voice_as_a_writer/index_html [Accessed May 23rd 2023]
National Writing Project (NWP). (n.d.). “Writing Projects: Developing Your Voice.” National Writing Project [Online]. Available: https://www.nwp.org/classroom-resources/teaching-resources/developing-your-voice [Accessed May 23rd 2023]

God Bless You, Richly, JC.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Dorothy
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Tatiane’s Answer

Hi Dorothy! I hope you're doing well. I believe that your writing style is also related to who you are or who you want to be as a writer. In my case, I like to keep my writing clear, simple and poetic. When I can't be poetic, considering that we can't choose to write only positive things all the time (unfortunately), I choose to be clear and simple. I mean, I try to write in a way that my mother can understand, that a person without a complete education can understand and that a doctor or lawyer can understand without feeling underestimated.
A good technique to start thinking about different ways of writing is to rewrite small news stories or short texts. How would you tell the same fact in a different way, using different words? What kind of communicator do you want to be? When you're talking to your friends, who are you in those conversations? Do you know? Are you the understanding one? The one who speaks the truth and brings friends down to earth (the realist)? The romantic, soft and welcoming one? From there, you'll be able to find your voice and your writing style. You'll be able to understand how you feel most comfortable writing and what your unique way of conveying messages is.
And of course, you can adopt different personas for different subjects you want to address. I can't do that, but you can develop to that level. Venturing into different styles of writing also helps you develop, such as microtext, which has a different style and technique to academic text, poems and scientific reports, papers. It will help you become versatile and broaden your horizons.
I wish you every success and that you find yourself in your writing.
Take care!
Thank you comment icon Thank you for the advice! Dorothy
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Tom’s Answer

It feels like it's not yours because you've done something uncharacteristic to yourself. You've evolved. Make sure it's in a way that will benefit you and not compromise your position as a writer. Explore this new voice, come to understand it, and learn how to make it work for you. There's nothing wrong with taking on more than one style, especially since this can endear you to more employers.

Just write and roll with what comes. But if you need a strategy, then start a diary and take note of when you feel less than authentic, or different. This can help to reconcile your feelings and allow you to understand when and possibly how this happens.

In all other cases, just write.
Thank you comment icon Thank you, Tom! I appreciate the response and will try your suggestions. Dorothy
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PJ’s Answer

A lot of people will have long-thorough, specific, and sometimes complicated answers to this question. There’s no 1 way to do it. But I will keep it simple.
The books you love to read. The movies you love to watch. The music you love to hear.
These will help you find your writing voice. Find your voice in the things you already love to experience.
This is what helped me find my voice. And it will help you too.
Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Dorothy
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Jennifer’s Answer

Hi Dorothy,
As a creative writer, developing a unique writing style and voice is an evolving journey. Here are some strategies to help young writers navigate this process and find their authentic voice:

1. Read Widely: Explore a diverse range of literature and writing styles. By immersing yourself in various genres and authors, you can identify what resonates with you and begin to discern the elements you admire in different writing styles.

2. Practice Writing: Keep writing and experimenting with different styles, tones, and structures. Through consistent practice, you'll gradually uncover the approaches and techniques that feel most natural and authentic to you.

3. Embrace Authenticity: Don't be afraid to infuse your writing with your unique perspective and experiences. Authenticity often shines through when writers draw from their own emotions, observations, and individuality.

4. Seek Feedback: Share your work with trusted peers, mentors, or writing groups to receive constructive feedback. External perspectives can offer valuable insights while helping you refine and solidify your voice.

5. Revise and Edit: Embrace the editing process as an opportunity to refine your writing style. As you revise your work, pay attention to the phrasing, rhythm, and language choices that feel true to your voice.

6. Experiment with Tone and Form: Explore different tones, narrative voices, and forms of writing. Through experimentation, you can discover the styles that feel most authentic and compelling to you.

7. Trust the Evolution: Recognize that your writing style will naturally evolve over time. Embrace this evolution as a part of your growth as a writer and remain open to new influences and experiences that shape your voice.

8. Seek Inspiration: Find inspiration in the works of your favorite authors, art, music, film, and everyday experiences. Drawing from diverse influences can enrich your writing style and contribute to the authenticity of your voice.

It's common to experience imposter syndrome, especially as a young writer, but remember that your journey in finding your authentic voice is ongoing. Embracing the process of exploration, practice, and self-discovery can lead to the development of a unique and genuine writing style that is distinctly yours.

Best of Luck!
Jennifer
Thank you comment icon Thanks for the help! Dorothy
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Meredith’s Answer

Hello! Great question. Here are some things to keep in mind that may help as you discover your style/voice:

1) View writing as a form of art, not a rigid science. There's no one-size-fits-all approach, so embrace your uniqueness.
2) Write from your heart and experiences. This will lend a genuine touch to your style.
3) Be an avid reader! This will expose you to a variety of styles and voices, helping you discover what resonates with you.
4) Your writing voice or style might change as you grow. That's perfectly okay. It doesn't have to stay the same forever.
Thank you comment icon Meredith, thank you! Dorothy
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Mary’s Answer

Hi there! Great job putting so much work into developing your writing skills—it's awesome that you're able to see how much you've grown as a writer so far!

A saying that always encourages me when I’m trying to write creatively or professionally is that “there’s no such thing as a good first draft.” I think one of the biggest ways to combat imposter syndrome is to be gracious with ourselves… especially with our works in progress 😊. Good writers are really good editors who can analyze their work critically and hone their message and voice (which is something you're clearly already doing, so give yourself credit for that!). Oftentimes, the revising and fine-tuning of writing projects can help you really find your voice and tap into your creativity, even if it didn't quite sound *like you* in the first couple drafts.

So along with finding what excites you in what you read or listen to—which is a huge help—you could also revisit some of the pieces you've written before. Exploring styles, tones and creative approaches that you're really proud of (and, conversely, thinking about things you might want to approach differently), could help you start defining your voice and what you care about most. Also, don’t be afraid to experiment! Maybe try writing in genres that are a little out of your comfort zone and explore what brings you the most joy and inspiration. You might be surprised at what you’re able to create!
Thank you comment icon Hello, thank you! Dorothy
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Laura’s Answer

The antidote for me was to just start writing. I had a former mentor tell me that the only way to get over writer's block was to be willing to create an RRFD (really rough first draft). In other words, to let go of my fear and just put words on paper. Once I embraced that, I realized that all I needed was a willingness to start and to be open to feedback. Good writing takes courage and honesty. Once you open yourself to both there will be no stopping you!
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