voice. For lack of words, I stalled on my work in progress (WIP).
I evaluated my symptoms. Was I suffering from writer's block? Nope. That's when you stare at the screen and don't know what to write. I had a three-page synopsis to use as a road map, as well as a 50k word rough draft from NaNoWriMo.
Was it writer's fright? No. Writer's fright is akin to stage fright, where you freeze up on your memorized lines. But after the MBT Deep Thinkers Retreat, I knew my hero's and heroine's Dark Moment, Lies, Inciting Incidents and their Ds (Denial, Disasters and Devastation).
But when it came time to write, nothing. No words.
Words for my novel flowed until author Rachel Hauck, aka Madame Mentor, challenged me to go deeper with my story. Her goal? For me to push past the first layer of my heroine's personality and write a multi-faceted woman, rather than a one brush stroke version.
I like to be challenged. Really. But what stumped me was how to assimilate Rachel's push to write a deeper story while still retaining my voice. For a while, it felt like to do one--go deeper--I'd have to lose the other--my voice.
And that's when writer's laryngitis hit.
There seemed to be a huge chasm between my voice and where I wanted to be as a writer. My attempts to get across the gap strained my voice until one day I had no voice at all. I sat down to write--and produced nary a word.
There's no simple cure for writer's laryngitis. No gargling with salt water. I just stopped writing. When I confessed my struggle to Rachel, her response was: You won't lose your voice as you learn to write a deeper story. Your voice will come through because it's your voice.
I should have known that, right? But sometimes it's easy to lose sight of the simplest truths. Rachel's encouragement was the ultimate cure for my laryngitis. I learned that pushing myself to be a better writer doesn't mean sacrificing voice--but rather refining it.
Share an insight about your writing voice in the comments below for a chance to win a fun AquaNotes pad! It's perfect for those times when the voices start talking to you while you're in the shower!