Sometimes I close my eyes and hear the voices of my favorite writers.
Each one has a signature I can't forget. Whether its the contemplative, haunting turn of a phrase or a lightning fast witty quip, they've grabbed me. What's more, these authors keep me captive and I have to come back for more. They have done their work so well that I hear them even after the novel is put away. I re-read their books whenever possible. I race to the store when a new one comes out. I tell everyone I know about them.
I believe that it's different for each of us. Definitely, it varies according to genre. And then there's us as the writers, with as many different experiences as there are leaves in a great forest. We all have something to say. And we all have a way to say it that is just our own.
What's your signature?
This is something we discover the more we write. It takes a while to find our place and learn our rhythm. It takes time to learn to dance. Perhaps there are a lot of false starts and missed steps. That's okay. When we find our beat and let loose--when we trust the creative spirit God has placed inside of us and allow it to move in freedom--that's when we find that sweet spot, the place only we can touch in that way. It's then that we soar.
My journey came slowly. It took a kick in the pants from a dear friend who read my second novel and didn't like it. Her reason: the story was fine, but she lost me. So I wrote another book, this time in a different voice. It was chick lit. The sassy, sarcastic voice was definitely me. My friend loved it. But still I felt like something was missing. Then came novel number four, it was a dark story, very southern--women's fiction. And there, I found my voice. One and a half novels later, it's just getting stronger. For me, it comes out in word choice and rhythm. It's reminiscent of my favorite writer but completely my own, a beat that only I can hear in my head. It sounds like me.
If you haven't found yours yet, I encourage you to keep writing--and reading what you write. For those of you who have, what helped you? And what do you believe is your signature?
Remember--you're unique. Just like everyone else! Ha! And just because there are millions of other leaves in that forest, doesn't mean that you aren't just as brilliant as all the others.
***Image found at Google Images***
2 hours ago