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



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Lyle Nicholson is the author of four novels, two novellas and a short story, as well as several articles published in Canadian Magazines and Newspapers. His path to his writing was first as a terrible actor in a Johnny Cash movie, called Gospel Road. He played Andrew the Apostle and apologizes to all who see him in the movie.
He was also a disobedient monk for several years and left the monastery to work at several jobs he’d was highly unsuccessful at until he started his own sales agency, where he finally had success. This was to the delight of his wife and his mother.
He retired in 2011 and took up writing full time. He now lives with his lovely wife in Kelowna, where he writes, cooks and indulges in fine wines.