Promoting your writer’s voice online: How do you sound?

by Patricia J. Parsons

If you write fiction, you’ve been told over and over that publishers and readers look for “fresh voices” and it’s much the same for nonfiction. A writer’s voice is that unique fingerprint that identifies that writer’s style, or as it was put to me early in my writing career, style is the sound your words make on paper.

Writers spend a lot of time cultivating this voice then completely ignore it whenever they are online. Doesn’t it just make simple sense, though, that you’d want your social media voice to emulate the kind of style and voice a reader will find in your writing? It does to me.

Modern social media marketing strategy suggests that online tactics and tools are key to the promotion of absolutely everything these days, books included. So why do writers often forget that their voice everywhere online ought to be consistent and reflective of who they are as writers? So, how can you figure out if your voice online is truly reflective of your writer’s voice? Here are some suggestions.

  • Take a sample of your recent posts – Instagram, Twitter, Facebook posts and responses in groups etc.). Copy and paste them into a document. Print that document out, pour yourself a glass of wine and just sit back and read. How would you describe the writer you are now reading? Is that writer’s style the style you are cultivating as a writer?
  • If you dare, give that print-out to a friend or even better, an acquaintance who doesn’t know you as well. How does that reader’s assessment compare to your view of how you want to sound?
  • Before you post another thing online, write your intended post in a Word document and read it aloud to yourself before you paste it online. Does it sound like your voice? Your style?

Multiple-award-winning London-based American writer Meg Rosoff has said this about your writer’s voice:

“Your writing voice is the deepest possible reflection of who you are. The job of your voice is not to seduce or flatter or make well-shaped sentences. In your voice, your readers should be able to hear the contents of your mind, your heart, your soul.”

Shouldn’t all of your writing reflect this? Perhaps in the end, if it does, your online persona might just be what draws readers to your work. To hear more of that voice.

#writersvoice #writingstyle #writing