Famous Writers on How They Developed Their Voice

Reading is a vital part of a writer’s job – it’s just as important as the writing itself. If you’re struggling with your work (especially with your voice or style), pick up a good book and soak it in.

A good style simply doesn’t form unless you absorb half a dozen topflight authors every year.

– F. Scott Fitzgerald, in a letter to his daughter

If you read good books, when you write, good books will come out of you. Maybe it’s not quite that easy, but if you want to learn something, go to the source . . . Dogen, a great Zen master, said, “If you walk in the mist, you get wet.” So just listen, read, and write. Little by little, you will come closer to what you need to say and express it through your voice.

– Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within

You cannot hope to sweep someone else away by the force of your writing until it has been done to you.

– Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

I always advise children who ask me for tips on being a writer to read as much as they possibly can. Jane Austen gave a young friend the same advice, so I’m in good company there.

– J.K. Rowling

*Photo by Magdalena Roeseler @ 500px / CC BY