Finding Your Voice and Style

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If you have never written anything before but feel the urge to do so, the best thing to do is start writing – anything at all. Do not feel any pressure to create a finished product. Forget all those polished, completed books you have read. Every one of those writers embarked on a writer's journey at some stage. They will have written something amateurish and unpublishable, probably when they first began their writing life.

Now some people claim that writers are born, not made. I find such questions painfully futile. If you can write, what does it matter if it is a natural gift or something that you have learned? The fact is that you have writing ability, even more, you feel compelled to write. Natural ability still requires hard work to give it a cutting edge. Nothing in Life is handed to you on a plate. There is no such thing as an 'overnight success' – this is a term of abuse hurled around by the media to try and diminish the efforts that go into getting into the top of the pile.
We know it's a harsh world.

If you want to write a compelling story, first and foremost you must have something to say, you must have the drive to put it into words dynamically and forcefully, and you must be confident enough to push your work out there, however imperfect it is , and let it be judged, for good or ill.

You can only write a compelling story when you have fulfilled these objectives

Also consider the following:

1) Have you practiced and practiced for weeks on end, writing tens of thousands of words, only to look back over what you have written and shake your head with despair? If the answer is yes, then congratulations, you are well on your way.

There is no strong evidence I know of which proves that the writer of a compiling debt work of fiction, dropped it off without ever having written a load of rubbish at some point prior to this.

Writing is a craft and an art. Without you graft away and hone your style and technique, it is unlikely that you will ever reach a stage of masterful control in your writing.

2) Confidence comes from experience. Winning and losing are inextricably linked. How do you know what real winning is, if you have never lost a few? Life is a bumpy ride. Writing does not insulate you from reality, so it is better to write from a position of real experience. This will give your work a feeling of authenticity.

3) Do not rush. Go out and live, travel, have fun and meet people. Seek out the unconventional, the bizarre. Read a broad cross-section of media, pick magazines randomly off the shelf on random subjects and seek out fresh ideas. Writing is more compelling, more powerful and more authentic when it comes from the pen of someone who has lived and experienced as much as possible.

You can not spend your whole life indoors, tapping away on a keyboard and expect to create work that is resonant and relevant. You have to go out and see what goes on, tune into every facet of human emotion and mentally record it for future use.

Writing is not merely the production of words. Those words are just the skin on the custard of life.

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