Finding A New Voice
Welcome to my new site!
It's been a rough few months for my little Leonard clan as we endured numerous significant changes and challenges in our lives--including the loss of my previous site to hackers followed by way too long dealing with a web host that was uninterested in providing enough customer service and tech support to fix it (without additional cost that I was uninterested in paying). In the grand scheme of things, this was a super minor inconvenience although I don't appreciate paying for a site nobody (including yours truly) can access. Oh, I also lost my associated email address so if you tried to contact me there ... Yeah.
I didn't see it and won't ever.
But in honesty's interest I will admit that the storm clouds known as the loss of my old site and all its recent content came with an unexpected and beautiful silver lining: the discovery of Wix and the new website that my little team built here. As much as I liked my old site, I love this one! I feel like it better suits both my written catalog and who I am as a person and author.
This change has given me the opportunity to reevaluate what bonus content I want to offer on my website (via its blog); if we're being open about our struggles in this career, many of us in Authorland find difficulty in determining what to share on our blogs as they--the blogs, I mean--are a bit of a necessary evil in this line of work. Don't wanna website with them these days but certainly can't website without them.
And herein we find the dilemma of who, exactly, we are writing for. Makes sense to write in our blogs for the same audience we're gearing our novels toward but how many of us in Authorland are actually doing that? I fought for so long against the urge to do as many do and write blog posts about how to write. There are, however, already so very many authors writing to other authors about writing and yet in the same breath we say that other authors are not our target audience for our books.
So I told myself things like "there are enough blogs about how to write that nobody needs mine adding to the noise" to justify not doing so.
That's Authorland's go-to topic probably because it's easy and something about which we all feel we have some amount of expertise. To step away from that comfort zone leaves us--as I am now--wondering what we actually put in this space, hence the title of this post: Finding a New Voice. A dear friend who has (I hope only temporarily) stepped away from writing fiction did what few of us have and wrote her blog posts for a specific audience. Chatting with her at length really inspired me to figure out who I want to talk to here. I've not had much luck with this because honestly I haven't had much luck in finding my novels' audience so I wracked my brain for how to fill this sacred space if I decided to have it. (Spoiler alert: I decided to have it.)
Again, I turned to the usual question: "who's my target audience?"
And again, I came up proverbially empty-handed. Maybe I needed to change my approach.
A couple years ago when I had some lofty goals for my old website's blog, I scoured the Great Oracle (Google) for blogging ideas. Then a bunch of crap happened and literal years went by (I did this with the intent to blog consistently throughout 2018). And then we lost the site ... and now here we are. But for some reason (for three freakin' years), I kept that list of blog topics that struck my fancy and when I reviewed them recently, I realized there was no obvious theme to the collection that included topics like:
Take a video of myself trying something new.
Go thrifting with me.
Review a subscription box.
Talk about what inspires me.
Well, you get the gist.
And as I moved that list from its (sigh) 2017 planner, it dawned on me that there is a theme: the blogger.
At long last, it clicked!
This isn't about who I'm aiming my blog posts for. It's who I'm writing them about! I mean after all: you're on my site to discover my books. And if you're interested in my books, you're likely interested in finding out more about the voice behind the books. I don't write on topics will I, nill I (willy-nilly). I write them from the heart, from my experience; seeking catharsis through putting words to paper, seeking kindred spirits in my readers. To quote North of Nine: Can It Be You? The only way we know is if you get to know me, get to know the origins of my work.
So will this blog be all "what inspired me" posts? Nope! You may well see posts like the ones I described above because those sound fun.
That's not to say there won't be posts on inspiration. Will you see posts about how to write? Possibly--but not from the viewpoint of my trying to instruct; more from the viewpoint of "this is how I do it." (Sometimes ill-advised, often not for the fainthearted.) There will almost certainly be posts about my team, about my books (updates, previews, cut scenes, character bios, and whatever else strikes my fancy from day to day).
I hope that in this blog you will enjoy a raw look at the living, breathing, gentle (and naughty!) soul behind Jewel E. Leonard's novels.
Stick around, my lovelies, for there's plenty more to come!