I have a deeper female voice and no accent, which is ideal for radio I've been told. But what many people who heard me on the air locally or on commercials across the country don't know is that there are two other voices that are nearly identical to mine. Though my mom and sister and I may not look exactly alike, we all sound exactly the same. When people would call our house, they would hear a girl and they would often say things like..."Jeanie...Heather...Brooke...who IS this?!" My mom got to hear an improper joke from one of my sister's male friends once because he assumed he was talking to her. Things like that happened all the time.In radio, when I recorded my voice for commercials or even shows, I would sit in the studio with headphones on. I would hear my voice through the headphones as I talked and it was always kind of strange. When I would drive home later, I would hear my voice on the radio too and that was even more strange. I got used to that eventually, but it took time! Today, my sister sings in the praise band at her church. Every time we visit and she's singing up front I think my goodness, why am I singing so loud? Everyone can hear me!! Then I remember it's not me. It's her! And she has a microphone. The praise band sounds very good, but it's still strange to hear my deep voice resonate throughout the sanctuary.
Whenever I visit with my mom and sister, I'll go home and occasionally when I say something I'll think, "whoa, that REALLY sounded like Heather. Or wow, that really sounded like my mom!" I have a video from when my oldest daughter was little and my mom laughs in it off camera. It sounds SO much like me it took me a long time to figure out that it was really her. When my nephew was little, he heard me voice and came running to me. He wrapped his arms around my leg...and then looked up. The look on his face was priceless. He knew immediately upon seeing me I wasn't mommy. But why did I sound like her?! He was very confused.
While the three of us sound very much alike, we are different people. And the way I personally can tell the difference is by the way we say things. My mom has the same tone of voice, but she talks more distinctly and more properly. My sister also has the same tone, but she says things in a different manner than I do.
The same can be said about writing. I've been told that my writing has a similar tone or style to a variety of different authors including Karen Kingsbury, Richard Paul Evans, and even occasionally Danielle Steele, depending on what I've written. But it doesn't matter how similar the style or mannerisms are, the story is different. The way I say things is different. Sometimes I read other books and think it sounds like me too. It's weird to hear my voice in someone else's book! But had I written that book, it likely would have sounded the same, but it would be a very different book overall.
I believe writers are born with a voice. That voice may sound like someone else in some ways, but overall, it is uniquely that particular writer's voice. There are many things you can do with that voice and you might even be able to change it. But what you need to do more than anything is make sure it's heard. It doesn't have to be heard by the masses in order to mean something. Even if it's just you hearing yourself, your writing is worth it.
Find your voice. You may have several! And enjoy it. Chances are, others will too.