There are times when I wonder if I'm all over the place in terms of my writing 'voice'. Sometimes my writing is reminiscent of a snobby elitist, and other times my writing looks like the a conversation between two average 16-year-old teenagers (sprinkled with 'likes' and 'you knows', stuff like that, you know).
If you can put your own personality into your writing, then by god, you can put anything into your writing. After all, it is a feat to put yourself into your writing, because doing that requires a heck of a lot of heart and soul.
When your writing has strong voice, your writing has charisma. It's almost as if you're watching a TV show or a movie...in your brain! The actors are all there (the words) and you're the director (the writer). Arrange the words well, make them create beautiful things, and voila, you have a masterpiece (well, that's a bit of an overstatement).
Having trouble finding voice? This is what I do:
For an informal essay (maybe even a literary analysis):
- write the way you think (directly on to your paper--don't worry about grammar and spelling, that can wait until later). This makes your writing more relatable.
- do your pondering before hand (if you're planning on making deep observations about human nature, don't ponder on the page--no one likes to see the messy thinking process, one wants to see the finished and complete idea)
- be passionate (if it's an informal essay, that means you have a lot of freedom! If you believe in something, write strongly about it. A toned down voice is just plain boring--save it for the research paper)
- be sure about what you're writing about (do research beforehand, not during! If you have facts and quotes to back you up, then your writing will be sound, and you'll naturally speak in an active voice, rather than a passive voice that is unsure)
- avoid using vague words, specificity is key! Bump up adjectives like 'good' and 'bad' with words like 'benevolent' and 'monstrous'.
Hope that helps!