Gods, I need an editor!

​As with any trade, the more you work at it, the better you become – and it’s the same with writing. 

Looking back now, I can see how clumsy and amateur some of the prose from my earlier work actually was. A part of me wishes I could go back and tighten up some of this – especially my first book, Pearl’s Hereafter – but I have neither the time nor the patience and want to focus on what I’m writing at the moment.  

It’s not so much that I’m embarrassed by my earlier work, as I think that it’s great story-wise, but it’s just the idea that people might have formed judgements about my writing based on its early shoddiness. I’m reassured, however, by the fact that Stephen King dismisses his first two novels as utter crap. All writers – even great ones – began from somewhere. 

It takes a while to find your writer’s voice and hone your craft. Like Stephen King, I also feel apprehensive towards my first two books (one of them hasn’t even seen the light of day yet). With my third book though – The Essence of Sunshine – the quality of my prose dramatically improved and I was very pleased with the finished piece. In fact, it is the first project that I haven’t felt the need to go back and fix. 

At the moment, I am writing a fantasy, which has yielded my best writing to date. I am excited to share this latest work and want to focus on bringing it into fruition. However, I do think that my earlier books need some TLC, so I am now considering hiring an editor for this purpose. If I can get someone on board to tighten up my earlier works, then I can carry on doing what I truly love and invest all my creative energy into my writing. 

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Nurturing your writing voice

To write efficiently, you need to call upon your writing voice.

If you are not in tune with your inner writing voice, then you can lose track of how the prose flows and sounds. But when you use your writing voice, you kind of narrate as you go along, which helps you to gauge if your writing is good enough. In other words, you are being both the writer and the reader at the same time.

I’m not suggesting, of course, that you read out loud. Just acknowledge what you’re writing in your head, rather than just spewing any old nonsense onto the page. Authors speak in a certain way on the page, which differs from how people speak orally, so it’s important to get into that zone.

On days when my writing voice is absent, I find it very difficult to string sentences together and produce quality writing. To remedy this, I usually grab a notepad and do a writing warm-up, spewing words onto the page until the sentences become more coherent and I rediscover my writing voice.