If you’ve been a blogger for a while now and you love writing, you might be thinking about becoming an author.
After all, that’s the dream, isn’t it? Anyone can blog — there are literally billions of blogs out there — but stepping your work up a level and penning a novel seems like pretty serious business.
Along the way, it can sometimes feel like you are losing your own voice. It’s easy enough to develop your own style, voice, interests, and values on your blog — it’s your baby, and you can write whatever you want, whenever you want.
But when you’re writing a book as an author, it can often feel like you are being pulled in a million different directions. You want one thing, your editor wants something else, your friends and family all have an opinion on what you’re writing, and heck knows what your readers are after. And it’s all too easy to lose your voice along the way.
If you’re planning on taking the step from blogger to author, and you’re worried about this, fear not! I’ve come up with some top tips to keep you focused on your writing voice throughout your journey. Read on for inspiration.
(Check out this article on 7 writer lessons you won’t want to learn the hard way for mistakes to avoid once you’ve started writing, too!)
Keep your readers at the heart of what you do
You’ve already got an audience of fans that love reading the work on your blog and visit it specifically to hear what you’ve got to say.
It’s the same with writing a book or becoming an author. You’re writing partially for yourself, but remember that you’re also writing for your fans — the people that have stuck by you for all these years. You want them to read it, enjoy it, and be transported to the world you’re describing in your novel.
What do they want to hear? What do they enjoy reading? Chances are, this will mesh up with your writing voice nicely. Of course, you may have to put some effort in when it comes to learning and speaking the language your demographic wants to hear, but that’s okay.
You can actually practice writing for your audience on your blog by writing a short story series over the course of a few blog posts. You could push them on social or share them with bloggers networks, like Bloglovin’. Not only will this get more traffic to your site as readers come back to delve into the next part of the story, but you will also get feedback on what works well and what doesn’t.
Write about what you know, in a style you know
While mimicking the style of great writers that you love is a way to learn how to write well and figure out what you really love stylistically as an author, you need to establish your own style.
This is greatly improved by finding your own area of expertise.
Write about the things you know. What you know a lot about may seem completely alien to someone else. It could be a totally obvious area that seems simple to you but not to others; remember, everyone is different.
You can build on this. After all, you’re a blogger. You’ve already got a style of writing that you can develop as an author. You’ve got a platform, an area of expertise which you’re passionate and confident writing on (whether it’s literature, fashion, travel or food). You’ve got a devoted audience.
You might feel like you don’t actually know that much (I know I do sometimes!), but you’d be surprised once you take a closer look. What comes naturally to you? Perhaps you have technical or scientific-based knowledge. Or perhaps you have emotional intelligence and you’re great at reading people and connecting with them emotionally? This in itself is a strength and can make for some powerful, emotive writing.
Seek expert advice from a book editing service
At some point on the journey from blogger to author, you’re going to seek advice and knowledge from someone more experienced — especially if you want to get published!
When penning your first book as a blogger, it can sometimes feel like you’re getting lost in the details, struggling to overcome writer’s block, or losing your unique voice as the novel progresses. Everything seems more complicated the more you try to simplify it, and often you can’t see the wood from the trees.
To find your unique voice again, and stay yourself, bring someone else on board; hiring an editor can help you to fix any issues and finetune your writing.
The experts can help with editing every aspect of your novel, or, in the words of the pros Jericho Writers: “The aim is to help you produce that final perfect draft.” Whether your entire manuscript needs an extensive assessment or just your opening section requires a review, editorial services can offer you specific direction and advice, to make your draft the best version possible.
Book editing services will improve your final draft and take you from blogger to author in a way that will help you to find your writing voice, rather than lose it.
Don’t be disheartened by criticism or negative feedback
It’s hard not to take criticism like a punch to the stomach. If you’ve been slaving away on a manuscript for weeks or months, and someone starts pointing out things that are wrong — whether it’s grammatical errors or character flaws or plot holes — it can feel like a personal attack.
It’s different when you’re blogging; if someone criticizes a point you’ve made in a blog post, you can chalk it down to a difference in opinion and hash it out in the comments section. It’s 1,000 words on one topic that a reader didn’t agree with; you can just move onto the next piece — easy peasy.
But when you’ve been pouring your heart and soul into writing the first draft of your novel, and a critic points out flaws in what you think is an integral stitch in your story, it can feel like the whole thing will begin to unravel. You start to question everything, including your voice.
Please don’t be disheartened when this happens — constructive criticism will keep you grounded, and improve both your writing and your book. As Virtual Speech puts it: it “enhances performance and assists with professional growth.” Ultimately, it’s a good thing! And you’ll become a better writer and a stronger person as a result.
Address the feedback, make the required changes to your manuscript, and treat your book as an ever-evolving beast. If you’re worried about losing sight of the book you were planning to write, then draw a mental moral line about what you’re willing to change. This will help you to keep your voice while allowing your book to progress in a positive manner.
Writing your first book is an exciting opportunity. If you’re thinking about going from blogger to author but you’re worried about losing your voice, then you can follow these steps to keep you walking in a straight line toward your goal.
About Kaleigh Alexandra
Kayleigh Alexandra is a primarily UK-based Nordic writer who originally specialized in Shakespeare, but who now spends more time solving small business problems than penning sonnets! Her favorite Shakespeare play is the witty Much Ado About Nothing and the feisty Beatrice. She’s an advocate of micro-entrepreneurship (She has personal experience of as a frequent blogger and e-commerce entrepreneur).
Her passion for helping people find their dream business idea led to the founding of MicroStartups.org— a site dedicated to giving through growth hacking. She’s passionate about building brands for startups and charities and more often than not, you can find her penning advice on these topics, getting exciting about grammar or working on a side hustle.
Find Kayleigh on social media.
Have you recently gone from blogger to author? Let us know how you found the process and any advice you’d share in the comments below!