I contribute nonfiction pieces to an online publisher, and this past weekend I asked my husband to review an article I wrote.  It is a travel piece on the rustic cabin we stayed at last weekend, where I wrote about reviving my soul and restoring my creative juices.  My husband is a data advisor and spends his days analyzing data.  So when I saw him marking up my work with a pencil, intimidated was not a strong enough word. 

Okay, I thought.  I know he’s not a writer but he IS a reader.  He knows what he likes to read and what sounds good.  Despite consulting a map, I was apparently off on some geographical logistics, and a few descriptions sounded ridiculous.  But the main thing that struck me was his comment that he can tell when it’s me writing, and when I focus on brochure and website material.  In other words, he can tell whose voice is doing the talking.  When I know what I’m writing about, my voice is confident, strong, conversational.  When I’m not as familiar with a landmark or history of the topic I’m writing about, my voice relies more on someone else’s ad copy.  There was one area, in particular, that he strongly questioned.  But I didn’t know quite how to take his critique when that voice was all mine. 

I returned to my computer with my marked up copy in hand, and opened a blank Word document.  It was time to do a little more listening.  Because that’s when the write voice will be heard. ~ cs