Finding Your Voice

As an author and a publisher, I review dozens of stories every week. Having published about two million words on the last couple of years, I am occasionally asked what writing tips would I give to upcoming writers. One of the most important pieces of wisdom I have gleaned is that there is really no way to answer this properly for everyone in all circumstances, but I’ll give you some thoughts.

Many writers need to understand that there isn’t a great deal of interest out there in what they commit to paper/screen just for its own sake. There’s a therapeutic value in that kind of outflow of ‘stuff’, but that’s about all. If you want to write so that readers — real, living human beings — are attracted and inspired, you need to understand readers in general and your readers in particular. There’s a difference — not everyone by any means is going to be interested in what you write, but there will be a sub-set of people who will be VERY interested in what you offer. Who are these people? What makes them tick? What are they looking for exactly? What are they NOT looking for?

If you can find the crossover area between what you absolutely love writing and what YOUR readers absolutely love reading — the ‘sweet spot’ — then you’ll get sales and find your fanbase.

It's all about finding your own voice.

Keep writing until you confidently find that sweet spot, which is when you find your own voice. That may take 10,000 words, or it may take a million words, but you’ll know it when you hit it. It’s that moment when words are flowing through you like Niagara Falls and you are proud and joyous and know that you’re reading something you’ll be happy with, even if it seems no one else is. And that's when someone else will be happy too.

You see, you won't really know what it is that you're offering readers until you find your own voice. So you can't honestly reach the 'sweet spot' until you know what you're doing.

There's a correlation between these two things: the ‘sweet spot’ of you loving your work and readers loving it too, related to the finding of your voice.