As an academic social scientist, doing my PhD, I attempted to resist the narrow framework of scholarly writing style by embracing ethnographic narrative research methods, still allowing me to tell a story, albeit research based.
That was then. This is now. Ultimately, I did a 360 degree full circle, to find my literary voice. Now as I wander through the depths of artistic written forms (short stories, novels, poetry, etc.) I had to relearn literary concepts yet again. I poured over my Canadian, European, and American literature I had collected from my first honors BA degree. Rereading the classics and plays I adored during my undergrad. It still wasn't enough. My writing is eclectic, and I would have to anchor myself within different genres (science fiction, inspirational, humor, memoirs).
Enter the writing groups. At first for a long time I was intimidated and haunted by author imposter syndrome (check my blog post Author imposter syndrome). This is the best advice I can give someone who may encounter the same issues I experienced, especially when joining a local writing group. I was aware and knew what I wanted to write. I guess that's the first hurdle, knowing your genre. Author imposter syndrome plagued me in the beginning so to overcome that I asked many questions, listened to others, and welcomed feedback and comments on where to start. Many fellow authors directed me to different 'how to' books, which were a great help. I read these over and over, absorbing guidelines. In the end though, the most important tip to remember, if nothing else, is to write, write, and write again. Even if you know it isn't your best, just keep writing and eventually you will find your niche.
To learn more about how I defeated Author imposter syndrome, click the button below to read my blog post