Welcome to Susan Niz, February Author in the Spotlight here on Booksnob.
Finding your voice as a writer
We are often told that drawing from personal experiences is the way to create writing that is authentic and meaningful. “Write what you know.” But many writers successfully create imaginary worlds or write from a point of view that is drastically different from what they have lived. I propose that we should write what our instinct tells us to write, we should write without a preset idea of what we envision for the final product, and we should let the journey of the writing process take us where it may. When developing voice as a writer, the idea of ‘final product’ is secondary to the process itself.
For me personally, writing is, at times, a process driven by underlying psychological forces. I am working through past traumatic experiences, creating ‘scripts’ with different outcomes, or reliving moments that need to be revisited in order to be resolved. When writers talk about ‘the pen taking over,’ I believe this is the subconscious taking control and doing what it feels it needs to do. We can make sense of an outer, interpersonal world as well as the intrapersonal relationship we have with our sense of self and our past. Perhaps this is why writing can be so emotionally painful at times, and also so gratifying. For others, writing may be less personal, a journey of creative spirit not so closely tied to one’s own history.
Whatever drives you to want to write, let the process be natural. Make attempts with different genres, different forms—whether traditional or experimental. We can try to imitate other authors. What comes of this is an appreciation for the voice of another writer as well as the development of our own voice. But when it comes to creating our own, original work, let the voice guiding you be strong. Believe in it. It is yours. Emerson said, “Make the most of yourself, for that is all there is of you.” You may be amazed where you can go and what you can create if you release yourself from your own expectations.
Write what you need to write. Create a world you’ve never seen before, transport yourself to a different time period, or just a younger you. Just write and trust yourself. Revision and final product? That’s a different story. Voice is like the melody behind the narrative, the soundtrack we can’t live without.
If you are interested in winning a copy of Susan's book Kara, Lost please click on the link: