01 March

Writer Voice - Write You, Not Them...


New writers... they're a special breed.

Coming off eons of notebook navel-gazing scribbles and polished pro reading... these new scribes KNOW what's good and what's not, and by gum, they'll write freakishly polished first drafts, or not write at all! If The New Yorker or the New York Times don't hire them on the spot after just their first article flying into the ether, then, at least, their first Pulitzer Prize will arrive by UPS later today. Yes. Right out of the gate. They will be THAT good.

I love new writers. Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Full of vim and vinegar. And hopes higher than Everest (with deadly literary crevasses as deep, but don't tell these gleeful souls).

The Newbie Writer Secret Recipe: they've read everything their favorite writer has ever written, and they have that pro scribe's literary voice DOWN COLD. These freshly brewed hacks will explode onto the word crafting scene as Idol Scribe 2.0. They even bought the smoking jacket and cravat their fav writer wears! There's nothing to stop their stratospheric popularity now, boy. One typed out word, and their accolades and riches await.

Did I mention I just WUV newbie writers?


Author Vignette:

For years, newbie writer, Hunter S. Thompson, typed out passages from F. Scott Fitzgerald's works in an attempt to morph into being Scott. Hunter often said that as Fitz examined, and wrote from inside, the well-heeled world, he, Hunter, committed literary B & E into that same world. And anyone who reads these two writers side by side will wholeheartedly agree. Their writer voices couldn't be farther apart if they tried, even if they shared the same deathly love affair with booze.


Stories like this wane and waft all over the place, where a fan dives deep into their idol's world, to emulate, to inhale that world. But although mechanics and line style can be well refined in following the greats, more often than not their voice is never found within those well-celebrated pages.

Why, you ask?

Because they are Them, and you are You. And you'll not be each other, ever.

New writers are frequently paralyzed by this need to BE somebody else. This is probably why they began to scribble in those notebooks in their teens.

They think to themselves, "If only I did this, or said things this way, or bought that, or travelled there, or drank here, or schmoozed with whomever my idol sidled up to..."


STOP thinking, doing that.

You're wasting time and money you do NOT have for a quest that can never be fulfilled.

Hint: The world does NOT NEED another Them. We already have Them. We NEED YOU.

That one-of-a-kind, irreplaceable YOU.

We need YOUR viewpoint on our human experience. We need your heart, emotions, intellect and drive.

Yes, at first, as the newbie writer you are, your literary You will come with many mechanical warts, but over time and much practice, you will open our eyes and professionally deliver something we could have never received from those already celebrated Them's, not if we hunted for said for a million years. 

Scary Fact: Your word gifts will only last as long as you do, and every moment you're wasting trying to suppress them to be Them is time you're stealing from us — your future reader fans.

HOMEWORK: STOP trying to be someone you're not. Sit down, and start pounding those keys, expecting, nay DEMANDING, your literary warts to show, so you can correct and learn from them, and get ever closer to the stellar You, we're dying to read.

Moral of the Fitzgerald/Thompson Twinning Writer Voice Tale: both ended up married to the bottle, losing their ability to write, and dying a pathetic death well before their time. I guess that's something that's aptly copied over from idol to fan. Yay. (Not.)

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