“All shall dissolve, and leave not a rack behind … ”
There’s no escape. Every material thing in this world will eventually crumble to dust… including you. Nothing will be remembered, except for something truly extraordinary:
But not just any stories. I’m going to make a crucial point here that determines whether you’ll succeed as a fiction writer, and whether your work will last.
Just before I get into that, take a moment to picture William Shakespeare’s reaction if he could see the planet-wide spread of his work today. Somewhere, right at this second, his words are being brought to life on a stage, as vibrant as the day they were written.
Why does his work continue to appeal?
One of the key reasons is his unique and authentic Writer’s Voice, drawn from an obsessive, deeply personal passion for mythology, legends and literary classics.
The point I’m making is that an authentic Writer’s Voice is pivotal to your success too. So let’s take a look at whether you’re heading along the right path.
How To Find Your ‘Writer’s Voice’
The reality is that it’s perfectly feasible your books might be read worldwide one day, and remembered long after you’re gone. But this can only happen if they contain a crucial element:
The potent uniqueness of you.
Right now, I’m deeply involved in creating a series of children’s iPad apps. They overflow with stories that run wild. I adore every mad, creativity-filled second of it. There’s no question it’s what I was put on the earth to do.
So let me ask: Is your writing driven by your most passionate interests? Does the emotional core of your story ring true? Do your books overflow with feelings and ideas drawn from your deepest emotional wells?
This is the source of your Writer’s Voice. Readers can immediately sense when an author writes from the heart. It’s what they hunger for. And once they experience your originality, they’ll crave more of it, increasingly.
“Write With A Fire In Your Heart…”
“First and foremost write the book you want to write, not the one you – or others – think will sell. You’re going to be working on this project for a LONG time, believe me, so you’d better love it. Write with a fire in your heart and you’ll create something special, something readers will want to read.
There may be all sorts of received wisdom out there about ‘what agents are looking for’ or ‘what publishers want’ or ‘what’s selling’ but who wants a second-rate copy of someone else’s idea? Write something unique to you and it will stand out from the crowd.”
Jane Johnson, HarperCollins Editor for George R.R. Martin & J.R.R. Tolkien
‘Uniqueness’ Is Promotional Gold
Even if you’re an introvert, if you’ve allowed your true Writer’s Voice to blaze brightly in your work, then rampant passion for it will be set alight. It will burn like a flame in every syllable as you speak with journalists or book bloggers. It will radiate through your blog and in everything you release on Twitter and all other social media. It’ll be sensed instantly by agents, publicists, book store owners and of course by anyone reading your books.
And the spotlight will be turned onto you.
Take a moment to listen to Science Fiction writer Ray Bradbury, and you’ll see what I mean. [30 Second Video.]
And… just in case even the remarkable Mr Bradbury wasn’t enough to inspire you, here’s some more friends to grab you by the collar, throw you against the wall, and make you listen.
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make
you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
“The most courageous act is still
to think for yourself. Aloud.”
― Coco Chanel
“Cherish forever what makes you unique, ‘cuz you’re
really a yawn if it goes.”
― Bette Midler
“Thank goodness I was never sent to school; it would have
rubbed off some of the originality.”
― Beatrix Potter
This is an emotional subject. Are you inspired? Have you discovered your ‘uniqueness’? Or are you still searching? Please do leave a comment.
Article written by Jonathan Gunson
Author / Book Marketing Coach
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