Finding your voice

I am sitting with my laptop at the dining table while my husband queries me from across the room about why I haven’t been editing my novel. Nearly a month has gone by since I asked for six months. Have I been working on it?

I tell him no. To myself I think that I have been planning and trying to decide what approach to take. I’ve been allowing some thoughts to settle in my mind. And I know very well that it is over a month since I asked for extra time to edit my novel.

My adult son is in the living area with my husband, listening to our conversation. He asks me, “Why do you think you need to edit it?” I tell him, for the second time, that I have had several authors look at portions of it and advise me to make changes.

“Did they all say the same thing?”  he asks.

His question catches me off guard. I know he’s getting at something. I am suddenly alert, searching my memory for evidence I have missed.

I reply that two of the people said I should do less telling and more showing. He says, “But some people like more telling.”

I keep on thinking about his question, and as he is leaving I acknowledge that one author loved my ending, while another thought I should change it.

My son smiles and looks at me as if to say, I told you so. He remarks that so much of writing is subjective. Then he shares with me that when he was in high school he wrote a paper for which he received a C grade. Not satisfied, he took the paper to another teacher and asked him to grade it. He gave him an A+. He took the paper back and showed it to the first teacher.

One person simply did not like his writing style, while the other obviously saw its merit.

I conclude that my voice is the voice to which I must be true.