By Francine Rivers

What does it mean to have a “voice” as a writer?

Every person has unique DNA. We also have unique fingerprints and retinas. There are billions of us, but each human being is individual and distinctive—an original creation. That’s true of the way we express ourselves as well.

Sit with a group of friends and you will quickly notice that each has their own way of speaking thoughts, emotions, experiences, interests, and ideas. Each observes life from their own singular viewpoint. Each personality comes through in how and what they say.

It’s the same with writing. Each writer has a personal way of using words, constructing sentences, and presenting pictures and dialogue through words. We have different rhythms. We use words that express what we see, hear, touch, and taste. And whatever characters we are building are coming out of that one person’s heart and mind’s eye.

Sometimes in becoming a writer, we can take on someone else’s voice. Not intentionally, but because we’re studying another writer’s style, immersing ourselves in their work. We become like an actor, taking on a role, as though speaking in a brogue or French or Italian accent. It’s not our natural voice, the one God gave us. It’s someone else’s voice.

When we begin to dive into our own writing, in time, our voice comes through.

I didn’t know I had a “voice” as a writer until an editor told me I did. Seriously? I couldn’t see it. I still can’t. But readers do.

How do you find your voice?

It’s already there. Audibly, no doubt.

It comes on paper only as you relax and allow your soul to speak your story onto the pages.


New York Times best-selling author Francine Rivers continues to win both industry acclaim and reader loyalty around the globe. Her numerous bestsellers include Redeeming Love, A Voice in the Wind, and The Masterpiece, and her work has been translated into more than 30 languages. She is a member of Romance Writers of America’s Hall of Fame as well as a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW). Visit her online at Francine will speak and mentor at the 2019 Summer Conference, August 12–15 in Portland.