For a writer first staring out, I think understanding one’s own voice is kind of a strange concept to grasp. You’re trying so hard to wade your way through the mechanics of writing, your focus isn’t on what the heck your voice IS at that point in time. The reality of your voice is…it becomes more defined and distinctive the more you write.
I’ve read authors’ books where I really appreciated their writing style, it was so lyrical. But “voice” is more than just style of writing. It’s the whole package. The best way I can describe “voice” in all its intangible glory is as follows; Voice is what gives your dialogue its unique rhythm, your characters their distinctive pop, and your plot its layered depth.
Does having a specific “voice” mean you can only have one type of writing? I hope not! I’ve written serious tear-jerkers, humorous romps, and intense action-adventures. But I’ll bet one thing is true in all of these stories…my voice comes through, regardless. In other words, no matter the genre or focus of your story, your voice will circle back to that “unique rhythm, distinctive pop and layered depth” thing every time. At least, that’s how I see it.
I believe learning to love your voice and embrace it with all its quirks is what will make you a better writer in the end.