One of the most important aspects when writing is knowing what type of writer you are. I’m not referring to genre, though that is something you must know before you begin your novel. I’m talking about the voice you as an author portray.
Finding your unique voice as a writer will help you to gain a larger audience. But, in order to find your voice, you must know yourself. This means sorting through your emotions to find the core of what makes you different from other people.
While searching for what makes you unique, take an honest look at yourself and discover if you fear being judged. Veronica Roth, author of the Divergent trilogy, suffered from severe anxiety after the success of her first published novel. She had difficulty starting Insurgent, the second book in the trilogy, because of this anxiety. Ernest Hemingway also suffered from anxiety because of the pressure of readers’ expectations.
Fear of judgment can really harm your writing. It can dry up your creative juices and make you freeze. You may not be able to write at all. You keep thinking about how people may hate your novel, or you want to know what people will think of your book before you’ve finished or even started it.
Overcoming this fear will not only enable you to write, and write what makes you happy, but will allow you to continue searching for your unique voice.
Developing your own voice doesn’t come immediately. It doesn’t come quickly either. There’s a reason why debut novels often aren’t bestsellers. Many times writers are still developing their unique voices after they’ve written their first novel, and so it’s rare to see an author’s first written novel end up being published. Most authors have written at least one novel before the one they got published.
Take your time discovering your unique writer’s voice. Part of the journey to finding your voice is knowing why you write. It would be great to earn money off of writing. You invest so much time and energy in your novel that some recognition would be appreciated, but being a writer is more than earning money and acknowledgement. If those two reasons are the only reasons for why you write, you won’t have the endurance to wade through the murky, judgmental, and often convoluted world of publishing.
Find your internal reasons for writing. Accept that you are a writer, and that writing is a part of your identity.
Ask yourself, if you knew that you’d never make a cent off of your writing, would you still write?
(Photo courtesy of Nilufer Gadgieva.)