Every writer has their own voice, there is no way around this. That’s a good thing! Some writers have a more distinct or unusual voice than others. Some writers have luck on their side and tap into the zeitgeist and find themselves resonating with a niche group of followers or they experience a mass following.
One of the sure-fire ways to develop your own voice is to be true to yourself.
It is that simple. Just be yourself and be true to yourself. Don’t look to what others are doing – don’t envy your peers and do not, by any means, let competition bother you.
For me there was never any competition.
That’s right, you read that right – there has never been any competition.
Now, of course there have been others around me doing what I have been doing throughout my career in the industry, in academia and in the world of writing but I have never ever let them bother me or affect any of the decisions I have made.
For me, the only competition is no competition. That’s right, the only competition is no competition.
In other words, they may have been in competition with me but I was never in competition with them. I did what I wanted to do.
Nothing in my life depended on what they were doing.
So how do you establish your own voice as a writer?
Do what you want to do and do not let anyone tell you any differently. Don’t worry about what “they are doing”. Depend on your own inner voice, your own wisdom. However don’t ever confuse not worrying about what others are doing with being unaware of what has been written in your genre.
To be successful in not being in competition with anyone is to do the following:
1.) Study the marketplace, learn what has been successful in your genre, what is currently selling and what is in development. Reading the daily and weekly e-newsletters from publishing and entertainment industry resources arm you with information for you to use.
2.) Evaluate how your work, your voice, fits into the past and current scenario.
3.) Prep your work with confidence as you know what you need to know before you begin your marketing and selling of your work – no need to be influenced by anyone else – this is YOUR voice.
4.) Know that you are offering something new to this scenario. Own it. Be proud of it. Get your work out there.
5.) Study your favorite writers/directors/mentors. They were able to get themselves and their work out into the world. Christopher Nolan did what he did with no fear of any competition. Joni Mitchell wrote her songs because she liked writing those songs. J. K. Rowling wrote about a boy wizard because she wanted to – think about these creative geniuses and get your own work out there.
You know what you want to write about and continuing to write will only hone and define your writing and soon your own authentic voice shines through.
Establish who you are. You are not in competition with anyone. You are you and your writing reflects you.