I think that one of the first steps to becoming a successful writer, is figuring out what type of writer you want to be.
What Type of Writer Are You?
Thinking about Voice, Genre & Audience
Writing is a complex and intimate past-time. It is not just a skill-set, it is a way of thinking and processing our emotions and the world around us. It is an art. For those of us who call ourselves 'writers' it is an art that takes a life time to develop. And even after a lifetime, there is still much to learn.
Having said all of those things, one of the first steps to being a successful writer, is to figure out what type of writing you are good at. This does not mean that you should put yourself into a 'box' and stick with a specific type of writing forever. I am just saying, that it is best to understand where your natural gifting is and then challenge yourself with other types of writing over time.
That's why I am launching a whole new blog series where you'll discover exactly what type of writer you are. In this post we will talk about Genre, Voice and Audience.
So let's begin.
Fiction or Non-Fiction
Do you like to communicate facts or make up worlds and people and events? Would you rather tell a true-story of a real person or do you feel more comfortable designing your own people from scratch?
What type of 'writing-voice' do you have? Does your writing sound exactly like how you speak, also known as 'speak-writing'? Or do you tend to dazzle your audience with metaphors, and poetic descriptions of the world- aka., prose writing? Or, do you enjoy writing almost entirely in dialogue, where you can easily communicate emotions, fears, and opinions of your characters? That would mean that you are most likely an emotionally based sort of drama writer (like me). Would you rather use simple every day language to show your readers the world you are creating? I would call that realistic and simple writing.
All of these types of voices have their pros and cons. What is important is knowing what type of voice is your default.
Some writers are only comfortable with writing within one genre. Others can flip back and forth and even combine genres within single projects (ie., science fiction/romance, psychological/thriller/romance, etc). Again there is no right or wrong here. You just have to figure out which genre you most enjoy writing in and then either decide to stay within your comfort zone and really establish yourself within that genre or challenge yourself and branch out.
When you think of writing, which age group, or social demographic do you generally think to write for? For example, do you think of ideas that are geared towards children or young adults? Do you ideas seem to be more interesting to people in the city or rural areas? Would your ideas interest women more than men?
I know that writers often find it difficult to think about who they are writing for, especially at concept building stage. But, I want to stress that if your intention is to sell your writing, it is important to think about who it might appeal to, even before you write it.
How Do I know?
So you might be asking, how do I know which type of writer I am? Well, ask yourself the following questions:
1) What do I love to read? Which authors do I try to emulate?
2) What types of writing have I tried before? Of those types, what was the most enjoyable to write? What type of writing was the most difficult to formulate and execute?
3) What types of writing ideas or concepts do you usually come up with? Ie., do you immediately think of ideas that involve high-emotions? Or are you more likely to write about symbolic concepts?
4) What are some of the comments that I've gotten from readers? Do they enjoy my 'speak-writing?' or do they seem to prefer my 'prose-writing'?
Still Not Sure?
Wanna chat some more about what type of writing voice you have? Or what type of genre you think you want to write within and develop further? I'd love to! Just drop me a line and I'll get back to you asap.
Join me for the next blog in the series!
Next time we'll be talking about what type of writer you are, thinking about process, organization and idea-generation.