For Christy's Query Letter Blogfest Entry, please click here (or scroll down two posts). Thanks!

ooh we are getting down there (on our countdown)!  so that means we're also getting closer to christmas and a brand new year.  (which is why i've been a little absent on your blogs and on some comments lately.  sorry!  i still have mountains of presents to buy.  i just finally ORDERED my christmas cards (yes, ordered, NOT sent out.  that'll hopefully happen over the weekend).  and there's been christmas concerts and cookie baking and decorating and shopping.  well, i'm sure many of you are doing lots of the same things.  you understand.

the 11th on our countdown of best/worst things about being an aspiring writer is not a comparison.  there is simply a best and then there is a worst.


YOU ALL.  since writeoncon i've met some wonderful, amazing people.  i didn't even know so many people aspired to be published authors.  now i recognize people's names and writing pieces as i peruse the blogs.  i've met some really nice people and helpful critiquers through "the voice". and rach's crusade. very importantly i've met and befriended my blog partner, erica, who also helps me tons with my writing.  through her i met michael who also helps me out with my wip.  erica has opened lots of other doors for me and kind of holds my hand while sharing all the things she's learned along the way. :0)  plus, we spend most of our free time emailing each other and have even hung out on a saturday night together.  (virtually, anyway!)  thanks for being a great friend, erica!!!

and, i've met so many people who visit us here at our blog.  i really can't convey how much your comments mean to me.  and how insightful, witty, comical, inspiring, and informative your blog posts are over at your places.

thank you very much.  i sincerely thought about each of you the other day while i was driving home.  i listed names in my head and thought about how lucky i was to have gotten involved in this amazing online world.  we have such an amazing support group here.  my husband doesn't understand why we all blog so much.  he tells me that once a week or even once a month would be sufficient.  and that no other group of people (those working in IT, teachers, other business venues) blog as much, if at all.  i thought about it and decided that those people all have coworkers they see every day.  teachers, for example, chat, vent, bounce ideas off one another in the halls and the teacher's lounge daily (maybe even hourly).  we (aspiring authors) don't have that in-person advantage.  THIS, the online blogosphere and twitterville is our lounge, our happy hour with one another. our cubicle and conference room. i don't know about you, but i need a near-daily dose.  who else would i vent to or run to with a new idea, or ask all my writing questions?

 i would love to list each and every person's name who stands out in my mind, but i would feel horrible if i missed any one of you.  please know that if i've ever visited your blog or you've visited us.  or you've been on the boards at the voice or have emailed me.  i thought of you.  i'm grateful for you


on a completely different note.  voice.  THAT word.  that very, non-specific word.  when someone tells me to add voice.  or to create my own voice.  or to find my voice.  or to differentiate my voice from someone else's. what on earth are they talking about?  we use the same word for many different things!  character's personality, author's writing style, the tone of the book.

 i've been fortunate to find these helpful sites (below).  i'm sure there are many, many more. and if you have any at your fingertips, feel free to leave their links in our comments.  we'll create a list of VOICE links under our tips tab.  easy go to place for helpful writing information.  (new year's resolution:  add more helpful tabs and organize the mess of favorite sites i have saved on my computer.)

this link is from nathan bransford and it delineates the different elements of voice.  i so appreciated the clarification.  (how to craft a great voice)

this link also separates the various forms of voice.  woo hoo! (nicola morgan @ help! i need a publisher.  helping you find your voice)

this link has some great voice exercises you can try to get "into character" or into the right mood to write your book.  (shannon whitney helping you find your character's voice)

anyways, i think being told to improve your voice is one of the vaguest forms of feedback there is.  especially when it comes from an agent rejecting your manuscript based on a voiceless query.  it's been one of the hardest aspects of my writing to grasp.  so, for me, it's one of the worst things about being an aspiring author because it was the hardest thing to wrap my revising mind around. 

however, if i may contradict myself, it's one of the best things, too. because voice is so much fun to learn and add and change and, well, voice is the spunk of writing.  and that just makes it the party, too.

it's late. i ramble when i'm not blogxausted and pre-holidayxausted.  so forgive me if this post made no sense.  i totally planned on it being like five sentences. you may have stopped reading after only that many.  i'm stopping now.  leave a comment if you're not dozing on your keyboard.

happy holidays and thanks.


  1. this lazy writer has decided to send Ecards this year and of course I am thankful for you too, I love your blog

  2. Christy,

    That was beautiful. I so agree with you on both counts. Finding the blog world, thanks to Erica as well, really saved my sanity. I am a people person and since my business has dwindled over the past few years, I don't have the person to person contact I once had on daily basis.

    Blogging has filled that empty space with some of the most amazing people I have ever met! Sweet, caring, talented people, who will help literally a total stranger with no strings. This was a revelation for me.

    WE appreciate you and Erica, too.

    Thanks for the great links to the sights on voice. That is definitely something all aspiring authors should check out.

    Have a wonderful day getting ready for Christmas.


  3. Oooo..."voice" makes my hair stand up and the weird, involuntary growl start happening in my throat. It's very weird. Hate that word though.

    This writing community is HUGE and if everyone wasn't so darn great and helpful and supportive, the fact that there are so many looking for publication might bring me down a bit. But you just can't help liking everyone!

  4. Isn't this blogosphere FABULOUS? Occasionally my husband will look at me like I'm nuts when I talk about 'my friend'. He says "you don't even know them"--WRONG! This is a closer social circle than I've EVER had. I mean I've always had good friends, but there has almost always been some holding back. for some reason, here, where the world can see, I don't feel that need.

    As for voice--I was going to send you to that Nicola Morgan one (there is actually a pair of them) though I disagree with her that the AUTHOR doesn't have a voice. I don't mind the chameleon thing, but I've written in several genres and my regular readers can always still tell it's me. I really do think THAT PART is just getting comfortable being OUT THERE... sharing about yourself and interacting in a friendship way gets you comfortable with the way of speaking that goes with your personality... or something. I'm pretty confident in my voice but there has never been any intentional development of it. In fact... on the contrary... it was more a letting go of what I THOUGHT I was supposed to be doing that it finally fell into place. Think less, write more.

  5. The online community is strong--I was surprised when I found out how many people have friends--met through blogs, etc.--online, when I started blogging.

  6. I agree with you on the voice. Tricky little bugger. And the people. Delightful set of writers.

    If it helps you in any way, I've decided that my Christmas card this year will be me wandering on to Facebook and writing "Happy Christmas!" once a day from now until next Saturday.

  7. It seems like we're all in on the same boat- our spouses don't understand us and why we blog so much, but we understand each other! You all really are my co-workers. I think it keeps us sane while we're holed up writing our little hearts out.

    And yes, voice is a weird thing. I try not to think too hard about it or else my brain will start leaking or something.

  8. Thanks everyone! It's one of those "teacher days" and we both had holiday events - late nights for both of us. So, while busy, we have a lot to be thankful for!

  9. Aw, so true. Meeting you and all the great peeps I've found this year has definitely been the best! I agree with you on voice too, ugh, it can be so frustrating! But I think it comes with time. I'm getting closer, I think. ;)

  10. Voice, aargh - don't even get me started ;)

    I so agree about getting to know you guys and our fantabulous online community. Hart has it spot on - I'm closer to some of you than to my friends down the street, none of whom know what we go through on this journey of ours! Can't wait to spend 2011 getting to know you even better :)



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