I restarted this blog with good intentions. Really, I did. I planned to post a story every week and write articles of such philosophical deliciousness that your brain would get fat from consuming all the heavy facts and symbolic richness that are my thoughts. I was going to put my butt in the chair and churn out content like 10,000 monkeys pounding on typewriters. Except I’m human. And I use a computer. And the random letters I typed would form real words that may or may not make sense when put together.
© Doug Savage
But the economy stubbornly refuses to improve. Feel free to thank our government representatives for that. Since I’m a self-employed freelance writer, I have to focus on doing the writing that pays the bills which leaves very little time for my personal stuff. I wouldn’t have to do this if people didn’t insist on getting money from me.
Take, for example, my landlord. Things would be so much easier for me if they accepted my proposal to pay them with exposure. I was all like, “I have this totes awesome blog that gets 50 hits a week! I will promote you like crazy to my 6 readers and my 103 Twitter followers and all I want in return is a free place to stay.” I even threw in some free articles but she kept saying they can only take cash. I don’t know why they didn’t go for such a sweet deal.
So until bartering makes a comeback, I’m stuck ghostwriting for cash. Unfortunately, by the time I have an hour or two for my own projects I have no creativity left to write blog posts or fiction stories. This makes me sad. If I am to become the J.K. Rowling of erotica, then I need to, you know, actually write stories.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I have a ton of stuff in the first draft stage. First drafts are no problem for me because my first drafts consist of stream of consciousness writing. I turn off my internal editor and type. Sometimes an actual story with a plot and fully developed characters results from this. Usually, though, I get a few pages of story notes, e.g. ‘The protagonist goes into the room and finds his fiancé having sex with his father. Surprise!’
Where I start having problems is when I have to take that mess and turn it into a coherent thought. At that point my brain tells me it’s done all the thinking it’s going to do for the day and clocks out. Instead of writing, I end up doing things that don’t require thinking like play Spider Solitaire. I’ve gotten so good at this game that my win percentage is 78% right now.
My life is so full of win right now.
This weekend, though, I had some extra time which I spent sifting through all of the articles I’ve written. As you know, I’ve been having some trouble with Google since their “F**k you” update otherwise known as Panda. I suspect duplicate content may be part of the issue.
My blog archives currently contains content from three websites I used to own. When I took a break from the internet, I moved all of those posts to my WordPress.com blog. When I created this blog, I transferred all of those posts over here. I think Google considers this blog to be a copy of all those other sites I used to own. Even though there is some unique content on this blog, it is not nearly enough to counteract all of the duplicate posts. As I’m sorting through the posts deciding what’s going to stay, what’s going to go, what’s going to be rewritten, I discovered something very disturbing.
My writing has gotten boring.
As a ghostwriter, I must write in a neutral tone devoid of personality so the client can claim the article as their own. I’ve been writing that way for so long, it’s carried over into my personal projects. I was reading an article I recently wrote to submit to content directories and the difference between the way I write now and my previous articles is enormous. It’s so bad, you would think I had a split personality disorder. What’s worse is the writing is boring. Even I started fading in and out while reading the article. How crazy is that?
This made me realize I have to make time to write. I have to use my voice or I’m going to lose it. There are tons of wanna be Rowlings out there. Tons. The only thing distinguishing me from them is my voice. Without that, I’m just another monkey banging on a typewriter. And unfortunately for me, the typing monkeys have already published a novel called Atlanta Nightsso I can’t even go for the novelty effect.
So how are you developing or preserving your writing voice? Talk to me in the comment section.