Please be warned: this post will contain a lot of questions and no answers.
Not that long ago I got hooked on voice. I began researching and learning about it, what it looks like, how it differs from style, or not. How you find it, how you hone it. It felt as elusive then as it does now, although at the time I had a lot of fun working with it. In a way I understand what it is, but in many ways I still don’t. Voice became a big road block when I began editing my stack of papers-pretending-to-be-a-novel, as I felt like there were so many different voices fighting for space. (I mean, the voices in our heads are one thing, but on paper too? Not fair.)
Eventually I accepted that the writer’s block was real and took a break. Was that because of too many voices, you ask? No, not at all. And calling it writer’s block is perhaps not correct either, but my writing was blocked.
The greatest surprise was realising there were even more questions I hadn’t even thought of asking. What do you do if you lose your voice? How do you find it again? When I say “lose your voice”, I guess what I really mean is losing yourself a little, losing that spark that made the whole thing fun to start with. Even at the best of times writing can be quite soul searching.
If anyone accidentally stumbled onto this page hoping to find advice some kind, I’ll just say: Don’t overthink things.
Clearly, this is advice I don’t follow. Think less, write more.
Words are fun! And voices are fascinating. Don’t let silly things like thoughts ruin that. I also learned that editing is a monumental task and it’s easy to get stuck on the small things that don’t really matter, or at least not at this stage, but at least I think I’ve managed to learn something from it.
To end my ramblings on a high note: I recently attended an event at Liars’ League in London where writers write, and actors read. It was a lovely evening, and it was great fun thinking about how stories are reinterpreted by others, and watching them come alive on stage. If you’ve never been, I recommend you check it out!