26 September, 2014
Finding My Writer's Voice
From the moment I began my first blog years ago, I have written what I thought everyone else wanted to read. I thought my ideas were not good enough, funny enough, or sensational enough to warrant publicizing. This became especially true once I started this writing blog. I spent all my time worrying about the engagement of my posts, the number of my followers, and the content of other writing blogs with thousands of readers who were obviously much more interesting than me.
It was exhausting and I was miserable. What's worse is that my attitude of not being good enough as myself was nothing new - it has affected my blogs and tweets, my novels and short stories, and even my private journals.
So, I stopped writing online. Then I stopped tweeting and Facebook posting. I withdrew and soon found that I wasn't interested in my stories, either. I ceased writing emails and letters. Even my journals were suspect. I wondered if I wanted to keep writing. Really, deeply, soul-searchingly wondered.
The answer was - finally - 'yes.' I picked up my dusty manuscripts and headed straight back to my critique group. Might as well jump right in, right?
That first night back, one of the writers ripped me out of the last of my writer's lethargy with a scathing critique. The story was a favorite of mine and the critique shredded it to pieces. From the "archaic" terms that no one in this day and age would like to the fact that it was a short story and not a novel, the other writer pulled it apart.
And something in me rebelled.
I understood my story. I liked it. I didn't want it modern and could care less that "no one" would read it because of its old-fashioned terminology. That was my style. My passion. My heart. There was nothing wrong with it technically, just stylistically. So why was I listening to someone else's vision? Why not my own?
It didn't really happen overnight but that little personal rebellion spread and I began to write with my own visions of other worlds. The pieces I've written with my own thoughts in my own head have become the published and/or praised ones. Trying to fit into something that wasn't me made my writing dull and boring. I don't care if it's old school writing - that's what I love reading. That's what I write. And that is what I will write, from stories to blogs to letters, even if my audience remains small because of it. This is me.
I've communicated with a lot of other writers on this blog, along with those who just love a good tale without the need to create it. If any of this strikes a chord with you, I want you to remember to be yourself. Seriously. I know everyone says it but we don't often think and less often believe it.
We need to. Originality needs that playful, passionate, purposeful embrace of individuality to survive.
I only plan to post in the future when I have something to say, so please subscribe via email or RSS feed so you don't miss out. I can also be found on Facebook and Twitter via the little buttons under my picture on the sidebar. Keep in touch - I love sharing my passion for stories with you all!