The Sweetie Chronicles

Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. ~William Wordsworth

The Joy of Writing

I have spent the last two years doing what I love to do - writing. Becoming a writer was always a secret dream of mine, even when I was heading toward a career in music. I have always devoured poetry and cherished good books in a multitude of genres from horror to literary fiction. With a few "good" rejections under my belt, a full novel and a novella as well as countless started (but never finished) attempts, I know that I am closer than ever to finding that magic thing in my own writing that leads me to a published novel. My big question is - what genre does my voice truly fit best?

"Voice" is that elusive, undefinable thing that gives a novel its differentness. When I think of voice, the first novel that pops into mind is "Bridget Jones' Diary". Talk about voice! That book is saturated with one of the most distinctive voices in all of commercial fiction. I adore Bridget Jones and it is simply one of those books that makes me think, "Damn, I wish I'd written that!" I recently started reading "Under the Dome", Stephen King's newest novel, and boy does he have a recognizable voice. There is a smoothness of tone, a colloquial way of speaking that sounds down-home and real and honest. He is the ultimate story-teller and I would follow him anywhere.

But how does a writer find their voice? Practice, Practice, Practice. That's my guess anyway. That, and listening to yourself with honest ears until something hits that perfect note that resonates so clearly deep inside. I am still looking for my voice as a writer. My first solid attempt at a novel was a horror novel/paranormal mystery that is still sitting here in my office incomplete. It's not a bad voice and it was fun to write, but I can't for the life of me think of an ending for that novel. My second, and possibly more successful, novel is a highly soap-opera-type novel targeted toward a specific Silhouette category. That book was rejected, but is still in the running for a Golden Heart, and I won't totally give up on that voice just yet. On the other hand, writing a category romance was, by and large, torturous. Trying to follow those specific guidelines and match my voice and style to the other authors in the line enough to sound similar, while still holding onto something fresh and unique - yikes.

Now, I am trying my hand at young adult paranormal fiction. Even though I technically started this book early last year, I chucked most of that and started over last night. What I am determined to find out is whether writing in the young adult genre is fun for me. Do I have a natural voice that speaks to teen readers? I'm not sure yet, but I do know that trying to voice a "teen" voice is futile. I'll know soon enough, though. Just have to keep punching away until it's finished.

What I really am looking for when I say that I'm looking for my "voice" is something more like joy. What really makes me happy? This past weekend after the Heart of Carolina Romance Writer's meeting, I was lucky enough to be talking with celebrated romance author Claudia Dain. When I asked her if writing her courtesan books made her happy, she got a beautiful smile on her face and said absolutely. Writing those stories gives her joy. I want to find my writing joy.

Step one? Getting out of my own way and letting the joy come in. Sometimes I spend so much time worrying and being down on myself that I don't leave room for the pure joy of loving that I can write full time. It's a blessing, I know, and one that I take for granted all too often. Today, I want to step out of that worry box, light this amazing new sugar cookie candle on my desk, and write from the heart. Maybe then I'll start to find my voice.

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Sarra Cannon

Young Adult Indie Author

I always secretly wanted to be a cheerleader. And a witch. Now, I write about both. The first five novels in my Peachville High Demons Young Adult Paranormal series are available now in ebook!

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Beautiful DemonsThe Time Traveler's WifeLoveroot: PoemsFear of FlyingWe the LivingAnthem

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