Saturday, 19 May 2012

Finding My Voice - Maintaining a Balance

Sometimes, especially in this challenging period that I am presently facing, finding my creative voice can be a real task. What I mean is when LIFE takes over, I  tend to abandon my creativity and thus, start 'losing' my voice. When this happens, I start to 'lose' my pitch, my tone, the personality and the urgency of my voice. In other words,  I get caught up with LIFE and get carried away with all of the external forces out there, which leaves me frustrated. Furthermore, when I feel this 'loss', I feel the essence of my voice seeping away like a damaged IV drip.

As I take on this journey with my writing class and most importantly, with my overall writing, I know that it is important for me to maintain a balance. A balance on keeping hold of my current economic realities and my creative capacities. All in all, I know that I have to keep a studied focus to my creativity, but also keep on being focused with other important areas in my life.

 I feel like right now that I am balancing on one side of a seesaw, and that all my writing is holding on, precariously, at the other end of this seesaw. You get the picture, right?

However, in all of this, I am a spiritual person. I call on Yahweh/Jah at all times to get me through my difficult and challenging days. I talk to my husband who always gives me amazing words, wisdom, strength and unconditional love. I pray, meditate and practice stillness. Ultimately, I know that in order for me not to abandon my writing voice and to keep it relevant, I have to:
  •  Keep on writing consistently everyday. This usually is one of the top tips that is recommended to new and advanced storytellers/writers/novelists. I am now understanding that the sheer mass of my writing - regardless if it is good or bad - will become the raw matter in which I will chisel my  burgeoning and nascent voice.
  • My writing voice is really the voice in my head. It’s not how I talk aloud, but how I talk to myself, in the noisy cavern of my skull. I listen to myself talk, inside, and that’s the voice I try to get down in writing.Getting that voice from my head to the virtual paper — that’s the trick. It’s not easy, but again,  I try to do it often as I can, and hopefully, I will get proficient at it. I see it as a rewiring of the synapses, so that my head-thoughts shoot down into my fingertips and come out as typing motions, as bits and pixels.   
  • Find out what is true. I write a lot, and most of it will be (and is) BS. I have concluded that with  my creativity I cannot filter the BS if I want to find the authentic truth.I sort through the BS until I've learned to recognise the truth, by feel, by emotions, not by any logical criteria. The truth looks remarkably like BS
  • Find clarity. Good writing, it’s been often said is clear thinking. If my thinking is muddled, and I feel out of balance, out of synch, then I know that my writing will ultimately suffer. However, I’ve found it’s a matter of simplifying. I am practicing to  remove extraneous ideas and words until I have only what is needed to express a simple thought. Strip all the BS away and be left with the bare bones. With that, I can start writing with a clear and concise voice.  
  • Remove the noise. It’s a process of subtraction more than addition. I know that I have ended up with too many words, because I have never subtracted I always want to hold onto things which drag down my writing. If I find that the noise gets in the way of my voice, I am learning to strip it down, trim the noise from the bush until I am  left with the unadulterated  truth.With this process in mind, I  write, edit, and then ultimately, remove the noise. I feel that currently, in society today, that most people have too much distraction and too much noise in their lives to hear their own internal thinking. Too much is going on around them, and online, and they have no time for solitude and for being 'still'. Because of this mass distractions that we have in front of us, we can’t hear our own inner thoughts, our brilliant voices, without solitude. I am also learning to  remove the noise in my own life as well; all those distractions which keep me being unbalanced and out of place with my creativity.
  • Use your voice. I know that I am not embarking on a quest for my voice just for the sake of beauty, accolades or a healthy sense of ego; I know that this is not enough; I know that I must use my voice to express myself, to help others, and in some way, change the world.
My writing is starting to come out of a place of authenticity. This is something I touched on with a previous blog post. So if this is my starting point, my reference mark, then my writing will continue to flourish.
Although I do have my days of unbalance and trying my hardest to maintain my balance, I know that in continuing to find my voice is my own odyssey in keeping my balance and remaining focused with my voice and my writing.


  1. I love this post, especially about clarity and truth. I'm living my life according to my own personal truth. Finding my voice... Well, that's more difficult, but I need to do it...esp. when dealing with Dutch ppl, lol

  2. I just found your blog due to your post on Erykah and like what I've seen so far.

    I don't consider myself a "writer" and no longer want to pursue writing as anything other than a hobby but have struggled with the same issues that you're addressing.

    The points you listed are excellent and 100% accurate, especially the first one. It's funny that when I was "serious" about writing I could plan day after day, make outlines, character sketches, have basic plots in my head, etc. but could not get anything even remotely resembling a "story" on to paper. I read books on writing, did "writing exercises," joined groups and forums and still couldn't get anything out.

    Now I have diarrhea of the pen. lol I can write for hours. Pages and pages. I could probably put together a whole book in the next couple of days but don't have any inclination.

    The change for me was point number 1: writing every day.

    I would not worry about how it sounded, whether anyone else would read it, the flow, nothing. I just wrote what was in my head: shopping lists, thoughts, conversations, commentary on a commercial for cheese, anything. Once I got used to "catching" the thoughts in my head and putting them on paper I realized I had an endless supply of "material." Any thought could become a 20 or more page story. I could write one line and feel satisfied because it completed an entire story or thought that was in my head.

    Even this comment is longer than I meant for it to be. But I wanted to try to give some encouragement because I know how hard and intimidating it can be to try to piece together what's in your head and put it onto paper(or type it into computer). If you practice daily it *will* become easier for you. Don't pressure yourself. Just make it a conversation for yourself, with yourself. Maybe it's a story, maybe it's a memory, maybe you just feel like drawing circles on your paper. But get used to doing that and whatever story or message you have in your head will be easier to get out. Also find what medium works for you. I'm definitely a pen and paper girl. I just like the feel of the pen and find that I can flow easier with one than typing. I'm not sure why, it just works for me.

    I wish you the best and hope to see some work from you in the future. Take care and have a blessed day.

  3. Thank you so much for your comments - very genuine and heartfelt!
    Sometimes, I feel that I am too hard on myself. When I come to this stage, I pull away, withdraw from my writing and carry on with LIFE!
    I think for me sometimes, I can be too pedantic, and this then stifles my creativity... I just need to 'be' sometimes, relax and enjoy it. That is what I am trying to do! Lol
    Thanks once again for your comments. They made me smile:) Some great tips as well.


  4. You're very welcome. I really hope it was helpful.

    I definitely recognized myself in your comment, "Sometimes, I feel that I am too hard on myself. When I come to this stage, I pull away, withdraw from my writing and carry on with LIFE!"

    When I was doing this writing was a chore. It was something I had to "make time for" during the day - and there was never enough time. So like you, I would just carry on with life.

    But writing with NO expectations on yourself or what you're writing is truly liberating. Not just in a writing sense, but in a personal sense as well.

    There was a time when I had to *MAKE* myself stop! My notebooks became my best friends and confidants. I could write any and everything without worrying about hurting anyone's feelings, whether it was "correct", whether it was interesting... I could fill a 100 sheet composition book in a week or 2. I really loved it and it was therapeutic as well. You'd be surprised what kind of thoughts and memories come up when you're free to say anything and you get used to actually saying those things instead of letting the thought/feeling/memory pass as we usually do.

    Now I write when I feel like it. Sometimes I'll write every day for a period. Other times I've gone for weeks without writing anything. But it's still very easy once you get over that hump.

    I read somewhere that writers write because they don't know how. lol It was supposed to mean that they(we) tend to have a difficulty expressing what they(we) want to express and others either take that ability for granted or aren't interested in it. But to me that is a big part of the beauty of writing: when people share thoughts, ideas, and stories unique to them. Since no 2 people are alike, every writer has a new story to tell. I'm sure yours are unique and wonderful as well.

    I hope you don't mind me saying so, but I did pick up that you have a love for writing. I hope that you are able to enjoy it and that it brings you success.


  5. Thank you Anonymous! Your words were truly helpful and very soothing and empowering at the same time.

    I think that other people have very high expectations of me and my writing - my husband and close friends, who are on this journey with me. They know of my capabilities and how well I express myself creatively and thus that is when I hit my proverbial brick wall at times, because to be honest, I am scared of failing in my quest to get this book that I am currently working on, published. Because of this, I intermittently sabotage my creativity, thus leaving me feeling frustrated and stagnating at various times with my writing.

    I get sparks of revelations and inspirations, and I guess that is where the blog posts come in. They are far removed, I suppose, from really dealing with my novel. I guess because I am writing something really personal, and also, at the same time, therapeutic to me, I have to at times take a break and look at it objectively and not so much subjectively, and then try and find some common ground with what I am writing about. Does that make sense? Lol

    Because there is quite a lot going on with my life at the moment, I just really need to prioritise and get some kind of balance, and I think this will lead me to a clearer and purer place to what my original objectives were for writing my novel.

    You are so right about 'writing with no expectations', and I think this is what I intermittently do; as I said previously, a whole lot of folk have high expectations from me. I need to come away from this place of expectations and just write freely; I've never had a problem with it before. This I find, as you have rightly said is truly liberating. When I look back at the writings in the countless notebooks that I have collected over the many years, where I have literally just been free writing, my flow of words are truly well, free!

    You are right. I love to write, I have a tremendous admiration for it, as for reading as well. One day, I hope to soar with it. And one day, when it comes to my acknowledgments in my book, I will remember you and your wonderful comments. And I mean that!

    Once again, thank you so much for your heartfelt comments. They mean so much to me. Even though you are an anonymous presence on this blog, your comments have a essence of connection and authenticity with me, and for that I am truly appreciative:)

    Peace, Love and Light