My Voice

AHHHchoooo. waves hand in air My goodness, I didn’t realize how dusty this place would get when I left it for almost a year. Well, I’m back now and as soon as I clean up I’ll post. Long pause.

On second thought, I hate to clean so instead I’m hanging a few packages of dust masks on the hook by the door. Yes that’s the one. If you’d like to visit, just pop one on and pull up a chair. Um, no not that one. The leg’s broken. I guess I need to do more than dust. Later.

Since I was here last, I was invited to join a local critique group. Each time we meet, we read a chapter of our WIP then get feedback. All 5 of us have vastly different styles which actually makes the feedback more helpful. But it is also a learning experience. I’m not very comfortable giving the feedback to others. First, I know how hard it is to write. Second, we all have different styles and distinct voices. It’s important to not try and rewrite their words into my voice. So I am taking babysteps with the feedback. Listen. Say what I like about the chapter. Identify any spot where I’m confused about what is going on. Listen to the other feedback. That is as helpful as hearing feedback on my own writing.

I’ve heard that critique groups can be nasty. Mine isn’t. They are constructive and knowlegable. They have been writing much longer than I have. And they love my voice.

Wow.

When I first started learning about craft, that was my biggest fear. What the hell is a voice, I asked myself and what if I don’t have one. Then I learned that anyone who writes anything subjective has a voice–a style and personality to their writing. I began looking for and identifying the things in books I loved–or hated, the things that made up the author’s unique style. But still there is the fear. That is why it is so important to risk others reading your precious creation. It’s hard. You risk rejection. But having someone say they loved what you have written; having them encourage you to keep writing, to fix the rough spots or toss out the excess weight but to keep on writing. It’s like winning an Academy award. It’s like the moment when you hold your brand new baby in your arms and feel the love expanding your chest until you think you will surely explode.

So thank you. You know who you are. You who told me I had a gift for storytelling and to finish the damn book. You who came before the critique group. All of you keep me hoping. Keep me writing. Thank you.

Damn dust. It’s making my eyes water.

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2 Responses to “My Voice”

  1. McB Says:

    Welcome back! And you know, I’m so glad you joined that critique group because it has made you realize that the rest of us weren’t just being nice. You’ve got a great voice and I’m looking forward to more of it.

  2. Keziah Fenton Says:

    Welcome back. The nifty thing about blogs is you can try stuff out here, play with your voice a bit. Not the personality so much as cadence, rhythm, even volume. Plus it gives us a fix while we wait for the printed version đŸ˜€

    McB is a Reader. If she says you can write, she knows what she’s talking about.

    You’re a born storyteller.

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