on voice, process and learning

on voice - Joanne Fedler

A large part of my writing journey this year has been understanding how I work. Figuring out what my process looks like has been as important as the actual writing.

Sometimes you work out your process by implementing ideas that work.

For example, I have discovered that for my writing day to work well, it is best if I sit in a cafe for an hour planning and organising my ideas before heading home to write. If I neglect this important step, I spend that hour (and more) sorting and organising my home and before I know it I’ve lost half the day.

And sometimes your process reveals itself in trying something that doesn’t work.

I have a friend, let’s call her Rebecca, because that’s her name. She is also a writer and a blogger. She writes as Hemingway exhorts us to write. She writes “hard and clear about what hurts”, with a healthy dose of Aussie humour in there to make you laugh while you cringe. She uses her words to show us parts of ourselves that are unpalatable, smug and rather unholy.

I tried to write like her once. It was an utter disaster.

I drafted and redrafted the piece, working on it over a few days, and somehow it just wouldn’t twig. I couldn’t get quite the right tone of self-deprecating humour. It was awful. It sure as heck didn’t sound like her, and it most definitely didn’t sound like me. It wasn’t until I scrapped that piece, and started again writing with my own voice on the topic that I got somewhere.

But that wasn’t a wasted exercise because it reminded me that I have my own voice. I have my own way of putting words on a page, and while I appreciate someone else’s writing enough to want to emulate them. I am not them, and I have to own my voice.

If we approach everything as an opportunity to learn, then even the days wasted working on a draft in someone else’s voice can help the process.

And on that note, I have discovered that getting up at 5:30 to write is doable for me but getting up at 5 is not.

Join me for the journey,






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