When writing, active voice is considered better than passive voice. If you’re not sure of the difference, I’ll explain via these examples.
Passive voice: The cookies were made by Sue.
Active voice: Sue made the cookies.
Active voice is more powerful. It gives power to the person, animal, or thing taking the action, instead of the action happening to them. I always try to remember to use active voice when writing. However, it occurred to me the other day that I don’t use active voice often enough in my life.
In my last Editorially Yours column, I wrote about the time I spend studying for my WSET Level 3 course. I wrote about how I’d use the knowledge I gain. What I didn’t write was my initial thought: I don’t know where this wine learning will lead me.
As that thought crossed my mind, I stopped myself and pondered. Is this the best way to think about my future career? I knew the answer instantly. The best way to think about my future career is how I will direct it.
I understand there are many things in this life that I can’t control, but I definitely can help determine my career. I don’t say that in an idealistic, ivory tower way where I suddenly open a winery that is amazingly successful and receives kudos around the world. What I mean is that I can choose the direction in which I’d like to focus my career.
How do I want to use this knowledge? I don’t have an answer to that just yet, but I know for certain that I will make that decision. I won’t wait for something to come my way or for someone to make a suggestion. I’ll take the lead and find my way.
Bye bye, passive voice. Hello, active voice!