- When you meet with resistance in your writing or feel uncertain about whether you’re writing something true to you, ask, How am I being vulnerable here? What is another way I can express this authenticity where I may either be heard or gain the skills or connections I need?
- Comb through your less-formal writing, the writing now one will see–journals, letters, notes for stories–and highlight phrases that stand out and words you use often. Become familiar with your own lexicon and learn to polish and be proud of it.
- Now go through your more formal work: the stories, novels, and essays written with the idea of publication or feedback. Notice recurring themes, happenings, and characters. Do you return often to favorite settings? What scenarios, moods, and tones show up over and over? Make a list and watch your unique voice emerge.
I’m still working on my personal lexicon, but I have noticed that it has a distinctly Southern bent.
My recurring themes revolve around the importance of family, finding a sense of belonging, self-acceptance, and finding true love in unexpected places.
My recurring happenings tend to be weird family shenanigans, exes showing up and temporarily mucking up my romance threads, pets being very important parts of protagonist’s lives, characters simultaneously fighting internal battles as well as external ones, and constant outbursts of humor.
My recurring characters tend to be petite and feisty heroines, highly involved grandparents, big and crazy close families, heroines who are aspiring writers, heroines on accidental journeys of self-discovery, heroines who have jobs they hate and who want something more for their lives, and love interests who are the last thing the heroine ever expected to fall in love with.
The settings I most often return to are small Southern towns based heavily on my hometown of Bay Minette, Alabama.
As I’m building this list, I can absolutely see my unique voice emerging, just as A Writer’s Guide to Persistence said it would.
I can’t wait to see what’s in store for me next!