Finding your voice as a writer

I started writing many years ago.  It was 1988 when I started my first stories, published some articles and wrote the first 15 chapters of a book.  Never went much further on the book.  Life somehow got in the way.

25 years later, retirement loomed or happened.  Somehow in there I wanted to write again.  My wife asked me, “What do you think you will write?”  I honestly did not know.  I began writing a business book – but when I got to a chapter where I compared good business practices to eating brocoli on a regular basis – I dropped the book.

I then I began writing fantasy.  I wrote fiction, with characters who wanted to kill each other, and were greedy, and discontent with their lives, and well, who knew, I wrote a novel, and then a novella, and now working on my third novel.

I found my voice.  It is not a literary voice.  I have already had an editor judge me as a story-teller and not a literary writer.  At the prestigious Banff Center for Fine Arts a young lady at a cocktail party looked at me down her wine glass and proclaimed me, “a mainstream writer.”

So be it.  I am mainstream, non literary, and a story-teller.  So to any readers who should read this – who are you?  That is after all the biggest question as you write.  Sure you write for a reader, but I think the first reader is you.  You must like, or perhaps love what you write.

I just wrote a scene today, about a detective and her grandmother.  I absolutely loved it.  Sitting on my deck in the late evening sun, with a glass of wine, I had to read the words again to make sure I had written them.  I wish all of you the joy or writing, and the joy of reading, and may you find your voice, and may you enjoy it for many years.


Lyle Nicholson