A Writer’s Prayer

I have been swirling on the responsibility that comes with being a writer.  It’s a blessing and a curse.  We see things that the casual observer misses and then it is up to us to capture that moment with our words.

There are moments that I am struggling with in the upcoming election.  I am scared to write about what I see, but feel compelled to do so.

I’m not a religious person, but I do believe that there is a higher power that guides all of us through life.  These words have been in my heart for the past few months and I will post them so that I can remember them and recite them when I feel weak.

Lord, Guide my pen.

Give me the courage to write my fears.

Give me the strength to combat cruelty with kindness.

Give me the insight to read the minds of men and women.

Give me the artistry to paint the story.

Give me the wisdom to choose words that will reach the hearts of humanity.

Give me the power to be a light in the darkness.

Amen.

Dear Writing Muse: I Need Your Help Finding My Voice

I know this seems strange, but I’ve found that writing letters to “The Universe” has helped me in the past.  So here goes:

Dear Writing Muse,

I need your help.  I’m struggling to find my voice.

You know.  Voice.  That elusive writer’s voice.  It’s supposed to be the one thing no other writer can truly copy from me.  I can write about any subject that’s been beaten to death, but if the words are mine, then they are truly unique.

The problem is that I’m unsure of my own voice.  I don’t think my voice will resonate with readers.  I have a story to tell and I don’t think I have it in me to do it justice.  So I’ve been chasing other authors.

You know the ones.  J.K. Rowling.  Suzanne Collins.  L.M. Montgomery.  Margaret Mitchell.  The list goes on.  All of them are phenomenal authors with phenomenal voices.  How could I go wrong if I “borrowed” their voices to tell my stories?

I just posted something that sounded a lot like some of the authors above.  I finished it and didn’t like it, but I went ahead and posted it anyway.  Just to see if I was wrong.  You see, my confidence is so shaky that I don’t even trust my own judgement anymore.

So, how do I find my voice?  Not to be pushy or anything, but I’m not a little kid anymore.  I don’t have a lot of time to wait around for this magical voice to appear.  I need it to happen ASAP.  (Not that I’m giving you orders, or anything.)

It’s a little nerve-wracking to hear that an author like J.K. Rowling couldn’t sell more than 1500 copies of her new book when she published under a different name (Robert Galbraith).  It took the power of her brand to push that book up to the top of the bestseller lists.  J.K. Rowling.  If someone with HER voice couldn’t be discovered in the noise, then how is someone like me ever going to get anyone to read her story?

What’s that, Miss Muse?  Something about Wool?

Ah, yes.  Hugh Howey.  The self-publishing hero of the decade.  A great example of the “Law of Attraction” at work.  He just wrote stories that he wanted to read.  Mr. Howey trusted the readers to find him.  And they did.

I wish I could be that hands-off about things, but the truth is that I’m a control freak.  I want to ensure the outcome.  But I can’t in this situation, can I?  So I have to just keep on writing and trust that the right voice (my true voice) for the right stories (my stories) will emerge.

My writing.  My voice.  My stories.

Well, that’s it for now.  I’m sure I’ll freak out at a later date and write you another letter.  But for now, thank you for the clarity.

Sincerely,

A Writing Mama