Okay…let’s try this again…
“How many times have you deleted this blog post and started over?”
“How many times have you changed the title?”
“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–
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?”
“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–
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!