The Insecure Writer’s Support Group ~ No#1

So today is my first post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh.

It is a platform where writers can come together and express doubts/concerns and offer assistance/guidance… the ultimate writers' support structure.

I must be THE MOST insecure writer. Call me the quintessential insecure writer. I think this stems from the fact that I'm a "late bloomer". I crafted my very first fiction piece just about a year ago, at the ripe old age of 40-something-years… rather late, isn't it?

So here are a few questions that have been on my mind for some time…

~~ Is it normal procedure to write in your favourite reading genre? I have always been a reader of the mystery/suspense/thriller genre and imagined that that would be my writing genre. Recently, I discovered that some writers belong to a cross-genre group. What does that mean?

~~ In a nutshell, what is writing voice? What type of writing voice do I possess? Is there a readily recognisable voice for each writer? Can writing voice change over time or is writing voice like a fingerprint that cannot essentially be changed?

What makes things difficult for me, is that I'm not really a vocal type of person. I'm the go-quietly-about-your-business-and-sort-it-out-in-the-process kind of writer.

I'm also in need of assistance with regards to beta-readers/critique partner? It would be a mutual arrangement and I would be in it for the long haul… even though I haven't started a WIP. Not yet. Have a few ideas, though… well, more than a few…                                                                 


  1. Colleen on November 2, 2011 at 1:09 pm

    Gosh, I think a lot of writers begin later in life, because the more life experience you have, the more depth your writing will have. My two favorite authors, Sheri Tepper and Juliet Marillier, began quite late–Sheri in her 50's–and neither had formal training in writing. I'm in my late 30s and have  much more to say now than in my 20s, and I expect that'll just continue.
    I never heard of this cross-genre writing thing! I read sci-fi and fantasy and it's the main thing I want to write.
    It's nice to meet you!

  2. Heather on November 2, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Great questions. I think a lot of us have these or versions of these.
    In my opinion there are no rules when it comes to what you want to write about. Write what you know, what you like, write what you are interested in.
    As for voice, I think about Nora Roberts. When you read a NR book, you always know its her. There is a way she writes and thinks that you get to know after a while. But…she completely broke with that voice when she started writing as JD Robb. To me it does sound like a different person wrote those books. So I think that we are capable of changing and developing our 'voice' as we write.
    I hope this helps you. Don't give up. Keep writing if it makes you happy.

  3. Alex J. Cavanaugh on November 2, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Hey, I'm a late bloomer! Nothing wrong with that. We have experience on our side.
    Most start out writing what they like to read. Genre hopping seems to happen later.
    And I could point you to several writers who've posted great tips on author voice. Think of it as how we speak – our words, our tone, our pitch, our personality.
    Thanks for participating! These are not trivial at all.

  4. tara tyler on November 2, 2011 at 7:44 pm

    i would say your author voice is spirited and positive with a pinch of wonder. it’s how you come across. voice is a character’s personality. if you show it, we will have a good sense of who they are. (doesnt have to be loud, unless thats the character =) hope that was helpful!

    you can look for a beta reader when you have something to trade…
    now you can get busy putting those ideas on virtual paper!

  5. Carrie Bastyr on November 2, 2011 at 9:51 pm

    I think writing is something that can benefit from age – more experiences to draw on and such. At least that's what I keep telling myself as it feels like everybody is at least a good 10 years younger than me…
    I write YA, but I've dabbled in romance and middle grade. And I love to read all 3 genres. So I think going with what you love to read is very normal!
    I do think voice is something that can grow and change over time and sometimes even be influenced by the voice of a writer we are currently reading.
    I can be a quiet sort-it-all-out-myself sort of person too. That's why I love first drafts. It's a great time to jump in and learn and discover all on my own.
    Good luck to you. Nice to meet you!

  6. Murees Dupé on November 3, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    It is never too late for anything. It is perfectly normal for you to think about all those things. I personally believe in writing what ever you like. 
    Goodluck with the writing and it is nice to meet you too.

  7. tara tyler on November 3, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    ps, i am giving you an award later today =)
    stop by!

  8. Ann on November 4, 2011 at 5:09 pm

    Hi there Mish,
    Thanks for stopping over at my blog and leaving a comment.  It is very nice to meet you!!!
    I would like to address your comment about coming to writing late.  It is never too late.  At least that is what everyone told me when I voiced this same sentiment.  I have been writing all my life but only started writing daily and taking my writing more seriously in the last few years.  So you see you are not alone.  I am right there in the Late Writer Bloomer boat with you!   

  9. The Golden Eagle on November 4, 2011 at 10:25 pm

    I always thought it was normal procedure to write in your preferred genre . . . though that's just me. Almost all of what I've written and am writing falls into one of my favorite genres (mainly, Science Fiction and Fantasy, though I will read anything if it's written well).

  10. Guilie on November 6, 2011 at 6:18 pm

    Sweetie… darling, honeybunch.  It's too bad a whole ocean separates us, cause I've got a big tight hug to give you.  *sigh*  Will have to cram it into the letter envelope, I guess (no, haven't mailed it yet… procrastination is MY sin :-P).  
    Of COURSE it's not too late.  It's never too late.  Never, ever.  And I believe in reincarnation, so not even after death is it too late.  
    Item #2: there is no S.O.P. for *anything* related to writing.  Sure they say "write what you know", or "write the novel/story you'd like to read", and usually that's pretty good advice, but not if it limits your inspiration.  I'd amend that to "write what you WANT to write".  Especially that first draft–that one's GOT to be for you, the story you want to tell, the story you want to hear yourself tell.  I read a lot of mystery/thrillers too (Stephen King, Dean Koontz), but I couldn't write one to save my life.  My brain just doesn't work that way… Or doesn't yet.  Maybe one day all that goo and end-of-the-world strife will come pouring out of me, but for now the darkness just manifests in quirky twists to my MC's fates 😀  Write what you want to say, Mish.  Worry about the genre once it's finished, not earlier.  And who cares if you end up not fitting in any specific genre?  There's always *literary* 🙂  Or maybe you'll invent a new genre of your own…  "In the tradition of the marvelous Writer In Transit's unimitable style…."?
    Item #3: Voice, for me, is what identifies a particular author's style.  If you show me texts of two different authors (that I know), I'd be able to tell them apart.  I'd be able to say "Yep, this is Stephen King.  That one's Koontz."  Why?  Interesting.  Word choice?  Sentence structure?  Themes?  Humor or lack of?  It's really hard to tell.  But I will tell you this: your own "voice" is REALLY hard to see, to identify.  Only after writing many many many MANY pieces will you be able to tell your own voice.  For readers, though, it's clearly visible.  Your letter showed me your voice perfectly (and it's a lovely one).
    Item #4: Writers, in general, aren't very vocal.  That's what makes us writers, I guess.  Don't worry.  You're in excellent and grand company 🙂
    Item #5: I'm here for you, pardner. I'm much faster by email than by post, I promise 🙂

    • mish on November 7, 2011 at 3:54 pm

      I am grateful for all the wonderful, supportive comments… thank you guys! You rock! 🙂 🙂

Leave a Comment

Notice: Undefined variable: user_ID in /home/writerintrans/public_html/wp-content/themes/bb-theme/comments.php on line 69

Notice: ob_end_flush(): failed to send buffer of zlib output compression (0) in /home/writerintrans/public_html/wp-includes/functions.php on line 5373