Wednesday, 20 March 2019

#WEPff #winner Dixie J Jarchow writes about VOICE!

Hi! Denise here!

A huge congratulations to Dixie J Jarchow who won the WEP/IWSG February challenge, 28 DAYS. All winners are offered the opportunity to write a guest post on whatever topic they choose, but we always like to read something about their writing journey.

Our judge Nick Wilford said on choosing Dixie's story as the winner with her untitled flash on the danger of eating kale (thank you God), he said -- "A chilling glimpse at a future world where things have taken a very sinister turn. The author drops breadcrumbs to be picked up, and I'd like to sample the full meal. An idea worthy of exploration in much more depth."

For her guest post, Dixie has chosen to write about something every writer struggles to achieve -- that all-important Voice.


Finding your voice is a big fuzzy buzz in the writing world. Publishers want it, you can recognize it but how do you get it?

Voice is what makes people smile when they read someone’s writing. It is unique to each writer. It feels like the author imbued it with three parts attitude, one part experience and a sprinkling of insight.

The word choice, the cadence of how thoughts are put together, it all plays a part.  So how do you get there?

I used to coach cross country. Most of my family are elite runners. I am an expert observer of the art.

When I see someone running down the street, I can tell if they are a serious runner or an occasional putzer. A serious runner’s gait looks different, smoother, their muscles flow in a rhythm unique to them. And even if I’ve never seen them run before, I can tell that they have put in the miles. I can tell a runner’s identity from far down the street, if I’ve seen them run. They have a style, much like a voice in writing. Their body knows what to do and they can focus on the minutiae of movement and mind. They are free to improve in ways an occasional runner doesn’t even consider.

So it is with writing. 

You can tell when someone has put in enough words to hone their craft, when they are focusing on the small details that sparkle in our minds, when they open our consciousness in a way it hasn’t been before.

So, write. Write a lot. 

How much is that exactly, Mrs. Jarchow?

Darn, I don’t know. I’m too busy writing. I do know that before I got published by Prism/Pelican, I had nine complete novels sitting on the shelf, shall I say, seasoning. I’d won a couple of awards for essays and short stories. 

I don’t write every day but I do think about my writing every day. 

Sometimes I plot. Sometimes I plan. Sometimes the spirit of editing overtakes my body and holy cow, things get done.

I belong to two writing groups that pretty much meet every week unless the Hell-Freezeth-Over Wisconsin weather defeats our intentions. I belong to them because they inspire me and encourage me to continue writing. They also provide some great characters for me. There is usually coffee involved and the illusion of friendship without serious commitment, which appeals to all of us writing introverts.

Thank you Dixie!


So join us here at WEP. Write lots. Get better. Be kind to others. It’s the path that matters.

If you'd like to follow Dixie's suggestion and write for us here at WEP (Write...Edit...Publish), you are most welcome. We are open to flash fiction, non-fiction, poetry, photo essays, art...

Our April prompt is Jewel Box. Now that should bring forth some interesting entries. If you're doing the A - Z Challenge and don't want to miss the WEP challenge, try to fit your entry in with the letter of the day.

A to Z 2019

You can begin signing up on April 1 and post sometime preferably before April 17.

Who knows? You could be writing the Guest Post next time!

We'd love if you'd Tweet one of these:

The WEP 2019 February Challenge 28 Days Winner Dixie J Jarchow on Writers Voice - @TheIWSG @DeniseCCovey #amwriting #flashfiction #WEPFF

#WEPFF 28 Days winner Dixie J Jarchow's guest post is up. @DeniseCCovey @theIWSG #amwriting #flashfiction

Struggle with your writing voice? @TheIWSG @DeniseCCovey #amwriting #flashfiction #WEPFF


  1. Congrats once again for winning the top spot!

    Absolutely loved the analogy between voice and running.

  2. Your word count - nine novels (each approximately 100K words, correct?) - sounds about right. Someone told me once that to be a professional writer, you have to have written 1 million words. I think after nine novels, you're practically there. No surprise you won this challenge.

  3. You've written a thoughtful post, which reminds us that writing is composed of many parts. Voice is one of them, and very important to a story. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

  4. Ray Bradbury said you have to write a million or so bad words while learning to be a writer. He also claimed you had to write 1,000 words a day. Doesn't work for all of us...I'm a bit up and down...but in a perfect world I'd write over 1,000 words. How about you?

  5. Hi Dixie and Denise - great guest post and yes this analogy of a runner v writer and seeing the passion transferred to work: feet pounding, or fingers tapping makes sense - while more importantly is stretching the brain beyond its normal boundaries to find those extra words, better structured phrases to embed in the web of our grey cells. Clever analogy - one I'll remember ... though you don't want to see me running! Cheers to you both - Hilary

  6. Congratulations on your win! It definitely takes a lot of writing to find your voice and learn what works. Excellent post!

  7. Congratulations on your winning entry! That's an impressive body of work you have. It takes dedication to hone ones craft. The running/writing analogy points it out beautifully.

  8. I love the analogy - those hours of practice do shine through!

  9. Mmm yes, running.... I used to do that, a bit. Now I golf. Never done anything so long without either getting better or giving up. Needs more practice. And now, back to the writing :)

  10. Congrats on the win Dixie.

    You really can tell if someone is just beginning their (creative) journey, working and honing their craft skills, or using everything they've learned to craft something worthy of notice. I'm a hobby writer myself; I've put in my time in the trenches, but like an occasional runner, I enjoy the work out when I have the time, but just don't have the dedication to commit full time.

    Still, there is something to be said for the attempt. I love your analogy here Dixie. It can apply to anything that drives a person to explore beyond their limits.

  11. How long is a piece of string? Twice the length from the middle of a writing career to the beginning. Just like voice, I presume Mrs Jarchow. Wise words from a winning writer.

  12. Congratulations on your win! & Certainly an interesting guest post.

  13. I love this Dixie and I see everyone else got something out of it. Well done!


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