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How to Find Your Voice as a Writer and Take Your Content to the Next Level

It all comes down to doin' you.

Finding your writing voice kind of feels like finding the perfect pair of jeans or a forward-facing hat that looks totally normal on your head. It takes some work, but once you find it and figure out how to make it come through, you'll never want to write any other way. To help you find the hat you were born to wear (newsboy from Limited Too duh), check out these five things that'll help you to discover and insert your voice into every single thing you create for Spoon.

1. Know yourself 

Try to describe yourself in three or four adjectives. Think about the characteristics that are most salient to your identity and how you view the world. The three words you choose to describe yourself likely affect how you approach life, and that view can (and should) come through in what you write for Spoon.

For example, I see myself as a female post-grad who doesn't take life too seriously, so many of my articles have tackled the hard-hitting stuff (sarcasm). I've naturally found myself gravitating towards humorous use value topics like How to Literally Eat an Entire Apple and WTF Is a Pickleback Shot and How Does It Work? What you choose to write about might be totally different, but figuring out how you see yourself will help you select topics that are more aligned with your personality, making it a lot easier for your natural voice to come through.

2. Figure out what you value

Mia Catillo

What you choose to write about might be totally different, but figuring out how you see yourself will help you select topics that are more aligned with your personality, making it a lot easier for your natural voice to come through.

What’s important to you? Women’s rights? Healthy eating? Popular culture? I could spend hours obsessing over what color frosting Chrissy Teigen used in her latest cake recipe, and if there's an award show on, I'm tuning into the red carpet, the actual show, and the post-show coverage.

Writing about popular culture excites me, an excited me = a loud me, and a loud me IRL translates to the perfect volume in writing. Identify what you’re passionate about and write about it. It’ll be much easier to get your voice to come through if you’re writing about topics you value, and luckily at Spoon, we pretty much always value what you value.

3. Let your stream of consciousness flow

If you write, allowing yourself to draft an initial stream of consciousness, you’ll realize that, yes, you have a lot of thoughts. You'll get over it; you knew it all along. More importantly, you'll see that what might initially come across as a ridiculous stream of consciousness can easily be scaled back, leaving you with a piece of writing that is a much more refined stream of consciousness (aka a piece of writing that actually sounds like you, but is digestible for readers).

4. Look back at it (your butt because you’re fuego, but also your work) and ask yourself, “Is this how I talk?”

Is this how you talk? Is this how you freaking talk? Is this, perhaps, how you talk? (<-- it’s probably not that last one). Write out a sentence, and read it back to yourself. Does that sound like you? Example from my own writing process: "You're wrong. Don't just eat around the outside of the fruit or you won't be able eat the entire fruit." VERSUS "Forget everything you know. You are not circling the circumference of this fruit — so help me, god, I will Adam and Eve your ass." (Aggressive, but sounds like me).

If it doesn’t really sound like you, try again. Backspace and rework until you can literally hear yourself in the sentence. Refine the stream of consciousness. 

Doing anything that's not you feels weird. It's like wearing the forward-facing hat that doesn't look entirely normal, but pretending it does for the sake of convenience, knowing things could be better. Finding your Spoon voice takes some work, but once you find it, you'll know what it's like to wear the hat that fits perfectly.

You'll never rely on convenience again. Whether you're writing, photographing, or creating video, finding and conveying your Spoon voice can be applied across all mediums, resulting in the same success. At the end of the day, it really comes down to just doin' and bein' you — and that's pretty boss.