I’m working on a memoir now, and, for this, it seems to be even more important to recognize and be true to my own voice. I read in Writing and Selling Your Memoir by Paula Balzer (a very useful book!) that if we want to double check and hear what our authentic voice really sounds like, we should look for emails and posts we have written to people we feel really comfortable with, especially posts that involve humor, surprise, and discussion of what is important to us, and see how we sound there. At a family reunion last week, I was explaining this great idea to my thirty-year-old niece who writes for a living, and I discovered that, oh yes, she already was doing that—looking back in her writings to capture her own voice as she begins new creative writing projects outside of the things she writes for her job.
The process I am going through now consists of writing my story, going back and adding details and action that I’d been in too much of a hurry to include, and then reading aloud what I have written to see if it sounds like me.
Wish me luck!