Good article, laden with good points, Susan! Finding your own voice is, to me, probably the single most important thing you can do for yourself as a writer. For most of my life, I wrote competently and conventionally. My own “authentic” voice was just a little nutty, I was told. “Unique, but more like a quirky rant, not real mainstream writing,” was how one of my MFA teachers put it. My daughters made a sign for me: FIND YOUR VOICE. I think at age 70, after a lifetime making a good living as a writer and artist, I’ve finally found — and am trusting — my own voice. If someone doesn’t like it, tough titty. I’ve written a number of books and short stories, some in my beloved mystery genre, but my goal is to get a thriller published. No luck so far, despite many manuscripts (“well-written, but it just doesn’t grab me.”) It occurred to me a few months ago —maybe it’s because it’s just not my voice. Competent is not good enough. Maybe I have to accept the fact that my voice is not a Thriller Voice. And the light bulb went off. Maybe I had to find my own voice, and then write in that voice, wherever that led. Nice article!