Whose Voice Is It?

I’ve been working on a writing project for about a year now, opening a new Google Doc in April of last year. In that time I’ve pitched it as a book as well as a series of contributed bylines. I’ve also considered how I could publish it myself, either as blog posts or through some kind of self-publishing platform.

As you can imagine, the thoughts and emotions on this topic have been over the place as all relevant factors are considered, mulled and weighed. What I have right now is very much a first draft (and it’s still less than half finished at that) and I recognize the fact that before it becomes public I would need it edited by a professional.

What I’ve struggled with more than anything is that I’m concerned my message may be watered down in some way, shape or form. I know what I want to say and while I may be a bit wordy (OK, extremely wordy), what I’ve written is all in the service of making a point I feel is important on a topic I feel strongly about.

In the back of my mind I still see this project as a book, but then yesterday I saw this.

Again, I’m the first person to admit I need an editor. Those I’ve worked with at Ad Age, Adweek, The Hollywood Reporter and other freelance outlets have been wonderful, making my writing really come together in ways I didn’t see when working on it.

O’Neil makes a valid point, though, that has changed my mindset at the moment. He’s made me reevaluate what I might do with this project, if the best outlet and voice is my own as opposed to someone else’s platform and the voice altered – even if ever-so-slightly – by an editor while the content is constricted by maximum word counts, page restrictions and other limits on form, all of which impacts function.

It’s not like this is new thinking, since I regularly consider whether something I’ve written should be pitched or published, with pieces that are rejected (either overtly or implicitly) winding up on one of my own blogs. But this is bigger and the decision-making process is different since one of my primary issues is that I don’t want to feel as if I didn’t take a shot that could have lead to something.

I’m curious how many other writers go through this process and what issues and factors have weighed most heavily in their thinking.

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