If voice is how I come off to the audience I am communicating with, then I think that I have multiple voices, and that the “Why I Write” piece is one of them. I have a different attitudes toward style, word choice, and sentence structure when talking to different people. For example, when I’m with friends that are my age, I tend to use slang, sarcasm, and pop culture references. When I’m with my extended family, I avoid using profanity or strong opinions, and try to speak in complete sentences. Based on different sets of shared knowledge that I assume the audience possesses, I decide whether not to explain terms that I use.
The voice that I use for writing is more formal and deliberate than the voice I use while speaking. I don’t use many unexpected words or informal language to create a unique style. I don’t use poetic language or try to communicate my emotions through writing. I try to describe things as simply and clearly as possible. I try to make an argument and explain my points in a straightforward manner so that the reader will be most likely to understand what I am saying. In order to be able to write, I must understand the ideas that I will be discussing beforehand.
The topics that most easily allow me to write in my voice are topics that I am curious to learn more about, but also related to things that are related to topics that I am already familiar with. I like to use writing as a way to make connections between topics I am learning about and what I already know. Personal writing, such as the “Why I Write” essay, is very different than the type of writing I normally do. I felt like I had to think of both the ideas and the way of delivering them from scratch.