The Passive Voice

She said, “Writing in the passive voice screams novice.”  The statement hit hard. I took in a deep breath held it for a few seconds and slowly let it escape through my nostrils. She was right. I was not a novice but I was writing like one. I felt my shoulders tighten. I looked around the room. Had any one noticed my discomfort.

“The can was kicked by Sally, far down the street” – Oh, my gosh, this was not the way I should write. But, it was the way I was writing! Pain. Dissatisfied. Oh Yea. I was!

After that night, and with the light switch flip on inside my head – I began the arduous task of correcting and improving my voice. 

I would love to say it was easy but it has not been easy. In fact, it continued to be damn hard until I ran across Donna Newton’s blog post again. I reread it, twice. Subject – Doing Action – Object. Watch verbs!  Oh, thank you for flipping that switch inside my head! 

I am not saying I am totally cured. But, I do feel the Newton prescription is working its magic on my passive voice. 


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