Be Patient, Work Hard, and Your True Writing Voice Will Develop
No Long-winded Lessons Here
Instead of standing on a soapbox and telling you how to do something, I’m going to give you an example of what happens when you trust in your writing abilities, work diligently, and show some patience.
As many of you know, I have been working daily at this writing gig for three years now. It has not been an easy road. I write every day, five days a week, seven or eight hours each day. I have a goal, I have a plan, and I have not allowed anything to derail me to date. Because of that, my writing has developed. Allow me to show you what I mean.
Below you will find a rather long excerpt from the first article I wrote on HubPages.
How to Stage Your Home for a Fast Sale
Is It Time To Sell Your Home?
The time has come to put your home on the market, hopefully for a quick sell. You do the necessary repairs, you find yourself a real estate agent you can work with and you sign the contract and you are ready to sell, right?
Not so fast! In case you haven’t noticed there are quite a few homes on the market right now and not all of them are selling quickly. These are down times for sellers in this market and many homes are sitting on the market for months without even entertaining an offer. With so many homes available for sale don’t you think it would be wise to do everything you can to make your home presentable?
Staging is one of those ways to make your home stand out in a crowded real estate market. Think in terms of what you do when you are searching for a job and you get your first job interview. You clean yourself up, put on your best “success” clothes, get a haircut, brush your teeth….in other words, you are staging yourself. Never underestimate the importance of appearance in selling a home. Just because all the repairs have been made does not mean your home is going to sell. Your home may even be priced for a quick sale and yet it will sit for months without serious offers. What you need to do….what you must do….is make your home stand out in the crowd, and staging is how you do that.
There are professional staging companies who will handle all of this for you. However, some homeowners prefer to do it themselves and for those of you who are willing to put in the time and effort this article is for you.
Staging the Outside:: Have a good friend go outside with you; go stand on the curb and take a look at your home and property. Now, put yourself into the shoes of a prospective buyer. What do you see? If you were buying this house what do you see that turns you off? Is the paint chipped and peeling? Is the lawn unmowed and are the flowerbeds in need of weeding? Are the leaves spread all over the yard? Do the bushes need trimming? All of these things count when it comes to first impressions by buyers. If your home is not welcoming at first glance you may have lost a buyer before they ever walk into your home.
Staging the Porch and Entryway: Again, first impressions count! Clutter is your enemy, as are spider webs and toys left unattended. Spruce this area up because you want the prospective buyers to really want to enter that home.
And More Blah, Blah, and Blah
We’ll stop there so I don’t bore you to tears. What we have there is a completely pedestrian pile of nouns and verbs that can best be described as adequate. The topic was named, the information given, and life continued. It is, in fact, a perfect example of an article you might find written for a content mill, and it is worth just about what a content mill would pay for it.
Now let’s look at a portion of my new novel, Shadows Kill, which I am currently working on.
I grabbed a glass of milk and a couple chocolate chip cookies and spread out on the couch to do some ruminating. I like the solitude of the cottage. I like waking to the caress of sunshine through the bedroom window, and the smell of roses in the garden during the coolness of dawn. I like being in the capitol city of Washington State and yet unsoiled by the political charlatans and greedy corporations, and I like living in the bosom of Jimmy’s God and yet free of the dogma written by man.
Someone had sent an obvious message for all to see, a message so hideous, so degrading, so challenging, and it had my name on it….my name, my message, carved on Nanci….how does anyone ignore that vileness? Did Jimmy really think that depravity will just disappear, or suddenly be overcome by goodness? I appreciate the message and his fervor, but I’m not buying. Nobody is safe, whether you live in the bowels of New York City, or the idyllic wistfulness of the country. Evil walks among us. Hell, there are those who have never heard of Olympia, Washington, and yet twenty miles to the north of us, Ted Bundy called Tacoma his home, and fifty miles to the north of us, Gary Ridgeway dumped dead bodies as though they were cardboard at a recycling center.
Evil walks among us.
Plato said that ignorance is the root of all evil, but what is a sociopath ignorant of? There is no moral dilemma for the depraved among us. They are driven by a voice most of us will never hear. It is not a lack of intelligence, but rather a dysfunction, so deeply ingrained as to be a part of their DNA. They terrorize good, unharmed people, in the name of God or payback for cruelties paid to them in their youth, or whatever other justification they have manufactured. One does not counsel such depravity, nor does one lobotomize it. The only solution for peace-loving citizens, the only reaction that will bring them peace, is total annihilation.
Oddly, Nanci and I had discussed the topic of evil one night after a movie and dinner. She was resting in my arms, and we had just seen the news and a story of a family-mutilation in North Carolina. Tears slid down her cheek, and then she sobbed. I held her, rocked her back and forth, rubbed her back gently, and whispered lies about everything being all right.
“Eli,” she said, “I think evil like that is born from a lack of love. Without love there is only darkness, a festering sickness that has no cure. God bless that poor family.”
I had no better definition for evil at that time. Today…well…I leave discussions like that to the theologians.
Do you believe you have found your writer's voice?
And Tell Me Class, What Happened?
What happened to me, and what will happen to you as well, is that I found my writer’s voice. It came to me in time. I could not force it. I could not fake it. I had to experiment, work hard, and be open to change until I found the voice that had my name on it.
We all have one. It is unique to each of us. It may be hidden, awaiting inspiration, but it is there. All you have to do is work hard enough so that it can escape. All you have to do is dig deep enough, want badly enough, and be willing to stretch far enough, and you will find it…or it will find you.
And when that moment happens, it will be a magical moment. For a writer, it is like coming home and finding a comforting fire burning in the fireplace, and the aroma of freshly-baked apple pie in the oven.
I wish, for all of you, a comforting fire and a lovely piece of apple pie.
2014 William D. Holland (aka billybuc)
“Helping writers to spread their wings and fly.”