Noise

Okay…let’s try this again…

“How many times have you deleted this blog post and started over?”

Three times.

“How many times have you changed the title?”

Twice.

“What do you mean by ‘noise’?”

I was going to write about how sometimes the noise of the outside world can overwhelm the inner voice–

“Me!?”

Not exactly. The writer’s voice–not the critic’s voice. Sometimes when I read too many ‘5 tips to better writing’, ‘3 ways to improve your dialogue’, ‘7 steps to a stronger story’…it all starts swimming around in my head and all that noise drowns out my writer’s voice.

“What?! How dare you call all those pearls of wisdom ‘noise’!”

I don’t mean it badly! And in fact, in most cases, I find the advice to be rather helpful…all I’m saying is occasionally, if I spend TOO much time reading books on writing, editing, plotting, dialogue or reading blogs about writing, writer interviews, agent interviews, etc it all just gets to be too much. I end up worrying about whether I’m writing ‘right’ instead of just writing.

“C’mon….do you seriously think you write ‘right’?”

No. I write the way I write. I hope it’s more ‘right’ than ‘wrong’ and as I continue to grow as a writer I hope I will continue to be more ‘right’ than ‘wrong’ but–

“Ah ha! But the only way you’ll get better is to follow the advice of others. Others who do it better than you!”

Maybe….or maybe I’ll improve my writing by simply writing more. Practicing my craft. Trying new techniques I pick up just from reading a wide variety of books and authors both in and outside of my genre. You know the old saying, practice makes perfect.

“But I’ve heard that ‘perfect’ practice makes perfect. If all you do is practice something the wrong way, all you’ll achieve is the wrong results.”

Hmmm. There might be some truth in that, but I’d like to believe that with patience and perseverance and a passion for writing I’ll only continue to grow and improve as a writer.

“I see. So basically this blog post about ‘noise’ is really more akin to ‘The Three Ps to Better Writing” isn’t it?”

No…I didn’t…

“Hypocrite!”

(Big sigh)

“It’s okay….please continue….I know you want to get to ‘the point is’ part of this post now…”

Fine.  The point is….while advice from other writers, editors, agents, publishers–

“And you!”

Yes, and me, might be incredibly helpful, I think the bottom line is we all have to occasionally step back from all the books and blogs etc. and find our own way forward. Our own style. Copying another’s writing technique, tips or tricks may be the greatest form of flattery, but I think eventually uniqueness is what attracts the readers.

“Oh my god! Are you trying to be intellectual?!” 

Take time to block out the noise and find yourself, chase your dreams and set them free.

If you do that, you will find an audience.

Good luck with your own writing and have a great weekend!

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About inkcompetentwriter

Author of The Penitent Assassin available at Amazon.com and Smashwords.com.

6 responses to “Noise”

  1. Jack Campbell, Jr. says :

    I like the books on writing, but generally find myself forgetting them during my own writing, particularly the first draft. I like to think I subconsciously use what I have learned, but who knows. Either way, I’ve know lots of people who spend so much time learning to write that they never actually get around to writing. It seems to be an issue, particularly with student writers. By the time you finish something, you’ve already learned something else to apply to it. It becomes an endless cycle.

    • inkcompetentwriter says :

      I have dozens of books on writing on my desk and if I’m in between projects I enjoy reading them, but I cannot ‘read’ them while I’m writing (unless I have a specific problem and I’m looking for a specific answer) otherwise as you point out, it can easily become a distraction.

      Thanks for your comment and good luck with your own writing endeavors.

      • laurastanfill says :

        I’m the same way about when I can read writing books. I love having them around, but I tend to read them between projects, or when I’m facing a specific issue during revisions. Otherwise all the conflicting advice totally gets to me!

        I took a laundry tub’s worth of books on my writing retreat this summer and only read the ones I needed for research–didn’t touch any of the craft books.

      • inkcompetentwriter says :

        They are a great resource–especially between projects–but I just can’t read them ‘during’ a project.
        Thanks for visiting.

  2. deshipley says :

    Make your voice heard above the noise… I’d call that advice worth following.

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