Monday, August 06, 2012

#30in30: Defining My Literary Voice

"Do you have a 5, 10 year plan?" he quietly asked. That question used to cripple me. Only because I never knew exactly what the right answer was supposed to be. It's like the "describe yourself in 5 words" question. Such a hard question to fully answer. This time, I had an answer. Because the older I get, the more focused I am becoming. My ultimate goal is to write a novel. That's the easy part, proclaiming my future. The hard part deciding what to write, what particular story to tell. In college, I started working on a novel. I was heavily influenced by the literature that I was taking in. I was all about the urban lit genre. I gobbled it up. I read just about every highly praised street lit book. The story lines were new and exciting to me. Mainly because they were all so foreign to my life. 

I grew up in the hood but I was never a street chick. I was enthralled with that lifestyle in the pages of those books. My first attempt at writing my novel was unauthentic to me. It wasn't my voice or my story to tell. So I destroyed it. I sent all of those words to a fiery death. I didn't want anyone to read them. They were awful. Now, I am more focused on telling a story that speaks of my heart. I know that I want to create great characters who have depth that just happen to be Black. My plot and story have to be awesome. I am leaning more towards a romantic comedy edge. That is what piques my interest. I want people to get so lost in my world that the race of my characters means nothing. I just want to write a beautiful moving piece of work. It's easier said than done. 

Anyone who proclaims to be a writer knows how hard it is to share your art with the world. My words are like my babies. It's hard to give the world your heart because everyone isn't going to love what you do. I have tough skin but my heart is fairly fragile. It's the one thing hindering me. I have decided to just do it. Just go for it. I have to know if I have the literary chops to make it. I feel it deep in my heart that I do. I know once I have my work published, I am opening ng myself up to the criticism of the world. People will have their strong opinions about it. Some will love it, others will hate it. I have to accept that fact. I know I won't be able to satisfy all of the readers with my work. I have to accept that fact. 

Finding and perfecting my literary voice has been a tedious task. I do not want to tell a story that has already been told. I cannot be a carbon copy of the writers I love. It's one of the main reason I love my blog. I get to write my story in my voice here. Writing is a skill that needs to be sharpened. It can only be accomplished by writing in mass quantity with mass quality. I pour my heart out here. I'm hoping that I can translate that passion into my novel. I am putting it out into the universe that I will write that special piece of literary gold. I'm focused on doing the work to achieve that. My mind, heart and literary voice are all in sync. Remember my name and this particular post. I know what my future holds.


  1. I look forward to this! ...Also, I love how you decribed sending your previous attempt at a novel to a "fiery death." Great visual I had - there was wine involved and even a cigarette. Maybe a tear or two too.

    Have a blessed day Kenda!

    1. Thank you. LOL! No cigarettes but there were tears and a Cosmo or two. It was bad, very bad. I'm going to reboot and try again!