When I was in mortuary school, I had the good fortune of being surrounded by a number of dead bodies. A dead body is always a shock, and the shock continues. I never really got used to walking into a room and feeling the presence of a dead person. They were not breathing shallowly. There was no actual danger; the closer and closer I got to the body, its eyes did not shoot open, nor did its arms reach out and grab my wrist like in a horror movie. The fear was all internal.
Writing teachers often say that finding your own unique voice is the most important thing to do as a writer. But what are you to do when you struggle to find your voice: Mimic authors you admire or write like the author you are reading at the moment?
The thing is, when people speak of voice in writing circles, they don’t often talk about what it is. It’s pretty simple, really. It is the voice you hear in your head.
From an independent editor’s perspective, there are common obstacles I see in writers’ work, and some of these are structural glitches. Sometimes when this happens, a writer begins to lose faith. The work seems to have issues, and one suspects they may have to do with form rather than content.
As with a lot of things, when we can formulate the question, we almost always find the answer arriving right behind it. Below, I have compiled a list of six common structural problems, in the hopes that by recognizing a particular issue a little more quickly, the remedy will come with a minimum amount of heartbreak.
I started meditating to become a better writer. Pretty much everything I have done in my life has had “becoming a better writer” as its ulterior motive. Therefore, I hope what I am about to say about the connection between meditation and writing does not sound shallow or preachy. Just trying to help.