When I found my voice.

There’s this often referred to mystical thing called voice.

It’s talked about in books, podcasts, hell I’ve even seen it referenced in movies.

There are many types of voices within a story. There is the narrative voice, each characters particular voice and then there is the distinctive voice each author gives to the story.

Some authors find it early in the writing career, others keep going and find it after writing 9 books.

It’s taken me to the latter of these.

It was never explained to me what this voice means. It’s difficult to explain.

The only way I can describe it is like this.

When you read a Stephen King book, you know it’s King by his description, by his character creation and the way he handles his monsters.

The same goes for any author. Neil Gaiman is another.

You know his work by the mood he sets in his books.

There is a moodiness or vibe to all of Neil’s books. I’ve loved his writing since Sandman. I’ve read a lot of his books. Anansi Boys is my favorite.

With every author you know that author from how they construct, how they build, how each of their stories flow.

This is what your voice is. I can’t tell you how to find it, only that you will.

You’ll discover it while reading one of your stories. You’ll set it down, step back and wonder when it happened.

It will happen, but you have to keep going to discover it.

When it does, you’ll understand why, and you’ll also understand why other stories didn’t work.

You’ll find it. Keep writing.

We have to change our lives for ourselves.

I’ve thought a lot about where I’m going in the last couple of weeks.

It’s brought me to realize I’m not working on me as much as I should.

Sure, I write something new all of the time but I don’t work on what I’ve written.

Last week I talked about characters and how important they are.

I still believe that but things change.

I have a lot of stories that need work. They need their characters developed further.

I’ve always believed in having a goal for the summer.

Whether it was spending time with my cousin as a kid, with my kids now, or figuring out that what I’ve written is a good start, it just needs work.

What I’ve written is good enough for now.

I’ve thought I needed something new to keep me fresh and keep writing, but I have a lot of good stories they only need fixing.

My goal by the end of the year is to have most of them ready or submitted to agents or magazines.

Until the end of the year I’ll be focusing on improving all of them.

It will be difficult to ignore that little voice in my head telling me to write something new but writing isn’t always about that something new.

It’s about editing, revising and I’ve ignored that aspect of my writing for too long.

It’s time to work.

Why I don’t set daily word count goals.

Forever, like just about every writer I know, I set a daily word count goal and a project goal.

I thought I had to do that.

I use Scrivener to write with. It allows me to set a word count goal for the project and it calculates what my daily goal should be based up one where I’ve set my deadline, which is usually three months out.

But after struggling to write since finishing the book in December, I decided to use the writing formula I had for that one.

For that book, I created a playlist, which gained a few followers on Spotify, wrote for 25 minute sprints, with 5 minute breaks.

I’ve tried doing that since but I always got distracted by the internet.

On Saturday , I created a new playlist on Spotify, keeping it secret, and busted out 2916 words in the four sprints.

I took away the project goal, which when I took took away the deadline in the program eliminated the daily word count goal. I still have a deadline for the end of July, but taking that off the program increased my focus, which was my goal of following the formula.

I wrote 86k on the December project in that month, I’m not sure I’ll replicate that, but it would be great to write like that again.

I changed how I write because I felt stymied by what I was doing. I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t putting words on the page but after changing things I believe I’ll be crushing my word count for this project.

I don’t have a daily word count goal, I write until my four sprints are over, then I look at my word count. But I don’t have goal in mind before I start writing. I only want to get clean, truthful words on the page. With this formula, that’s what I’ll be doing.

How is your writing going? Are you having the same issues as I have?

Try changing your music, where you write, or event what you drink or have beforehand. Those little things can change everything.

Have a good Monday and happy writing!

Sometimes you have to jump!

Over the last six months I’ve been going through edits, revisions, and story changes.

It is the reason I took a break from the blog for a while.

I’ve been debating what to do with this book. Should I send it to an agent and cross my fingers or do I publish it on KU(Kindle Unlimited)?

I’ve decided to publish it on KU.

This is the first book I’ve published and I understand there’s a learning curve with publishing. I also know it will only be as good as I’m able to make it.

My wife and I aren’t able to afford a good editor so we’re making do with ourselves.

I know this may bring the quality down but I like this book and believe it’s the best work I’d done to the point when I wrote it last summer.

The debate on this went on all last week inside my head, I believe Friday’s post shows that.

Now that I’ve made this decision, I won’t be backing off the blog or my other writing.

Over the summer I’ll be submitting the novel I wrote in December to my writing group as well as working on the second book in that series.

I know this may catch some of my constant readers off guard but sometimes you have to jump.

I’m jumping this July. I’ll keep you up to date on anything further.

Happy writing.