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How to write a novel. Tip #3: Developing your writing voice (part II)

Be bold!

What does that have to do with anything?

Well, I’m so glad you asked. (and if you didn’t … just pretend you did).

One of the ways in which you can try developing (or finding) you writer’s voice, is to make changes in the way you write, to leave your comfort zone, and see what can come up with. The point is to find out something about your writing, and perhaps even about yourself. So, don’t be afraid to boldly go where no other writer has gone before … (Sorry. Too much Star Trek will do that to you sometimes).

Of course, if your goal is to write a novel, you will inevitably be constricted by your genre and audience. But that should still leave you plenty of room to explore different styles of writing, different tones, different moods, etc.

So, by all means, explore away! You might get a better idea of the kind of writing you like to do, and the kind you don’t like. And you might even discover a talent you didn’t you know you had.

That being said, I should mention that there’s a completely different school of thought on this topic. One that makes the argument that it’s better to keep writing in the style in which you’re comfortable. To put it more simply, it would translate to: stick to what you know and try to do it as best you can.

It’s a valid point. Perhaps it would be more productive to use all the time you can afford to hone your skills as a writer in a particular niche.

Ultimately, and as is often the case, it’ll be up to you to decide which approach you think is best.

I guess the most basic answer would be: whatever works for you!

But whichever way you choose to go, you’ll need to arm yourself with one of the most crucial weapons in your struggle to become a writer: Belief.

That’s right, you need to believe in yourself. Or at least, believe me when I tell you that as a writer (especially as a new writer), there will be times when you’ll want to stop and give up altogether.

Writing is hard. Writing is demanding.

Even for those fortunate enough to be surrounded by friends and family members who will encourage them and support them in their moments of doubt and despair (which means it’ll be that much harder for those who are trying to do this alone).

In order to keep writing long enough to find your voice, you’ll need a good dose of determination … and belief. I don’t mean blind optimism, or narcissism, but rather the belief that you can create something interesting and unique, if you work hard enough at it.

You’ll need to find the balance between having the humility to realize you’ll always have more to learn and having the confidence to trust in what you already know.

To be clear, I’m not saying that optimism and wishful thinking will guarantee your success as a writer. What I am suggesting is that, if you don’t actually believe you can become a good writer, you’ll never find out.

So, be bold, be persistent, … plus all the stuff I mentioned in the previous post. And hopefully, you’ll be on your way to developing your unique writing voice.

Good Luck!

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