I always hear people say, "Write in the active voice," so I decided to eliminate passive voice from my writing (as much as possible). It made my writing stronger, but I wonder: Does writing too much in the active voice have drawbacks?
The passive voice is a grammatical tool, and like any tool it can be overused. However, passive voice does have legitimate uses; there are times it makes sense to use it. This is particularly the case in fiction and personal essays, where mood is important and economy of phrasing can contribute to pacing.
Casting absolutely everything into the active voice can make writing more action-oriented, since it clarifies who the subject of a sentence is. But there are some sentences that are easier and simpler when cast with the passive voice.
Seeking out egregious uses of passive voice - "the door was opened" becomes "he opened the door" - can make writing much stronger. It can also prompt the writer to be more specific in their prose. However, there are times when a mysterious, detached air to a sentence is just what the moment demands, so I'd use good judgment when editing passive voice out of a draft.
Active and passive voice are tools, like a hammer and a drill. It's less a question of using one "too much" and more a matter of when each tool is appropriate for the rhetorical situation (ie, your audience, your topic, your purpose).
Basically, you can carpenter your writing together with nails or with screws, but the results will be different, as will the effect on the audience.
If you're writing action scenes in a thriller novel, it's hard to imagine when active voice would be less effective. If you're writing documentation for the government, it's hard to imagine when active voice would be allowed. :)