I’ve been thinking about this certain quote by American writer Jan Clausen for some time —
“How can a writer express what is most vital in her experience while anxiously watching her tongue lest she slip the wrong word?”
Then I came across an old scribbled note of mine from four years ago. I wish to share it here so you’ll see how I then thought of myself as a fledgling writer trying to find her unique voice. Oh, in fact, I wrote something along the same vein in a previous post – around the same time, On Finding My Unique Writing Voice.
Back to my scribbled note, most of it is still true of me though writing for work no longer takes too much of my time these days.
A work-in-progress, that’s what I am, as far as my being a writer (I’d like to think that of myself) is concerned.
I still have a long way to go before I can find my unique voice – in my personal blog and in the pieces I write for my work (even though I remain anonymous) – but I’m getting there.
Each time I post a piece of work content, over which I’ve spent precious hours laboring (researching, drafting, revising/editing, formatting, fact-checking, etc.) I get a huge relief and a sense of achievement, yet always with that nagging thought I can still make it better in the next article or post.
The more I write, the more passionate and committed I become to honing my writer’s skills, growing my craft, as they say.
My random personal thoughts find their way scribbled on my private paper journals every so often – there is nothing like handwriting…easier to get into that “sacred state of flow” as Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, a psychologist, describes that zone of “heightened focus.” Some I type in my digital journals, or in my personal blog.
As for work, I need to discipline myself to get wired in, the earlier in the morning, the better it is.
Like those athletes out there in the Olympics aiming to win even just a bronze, or breaking their personal records, so do I also aim to better my writing best with each piece I compose.
I used to teach writing, – enjoyed it much – but never thought writing for work is full of roadblocks: mental block, or doing my daily routine outside of work, of course.
And these I find as both a distraction and a diversion, each one pulling me away and pushing me back at the same time into the mode of writing and shutting me off from my immediate environment.
I cannot go back to class for now, though I hope so in the near future to attend writing workshops, or to secure a personal mentor to give me feedback.
Fortunately for me, in this age of the internet, there are many good and reliable resources for neophyte writers like me in the field of journalistic writing, blogging, and content-writing that I make use of.
Perhaps, this is why God has put me where I am now, so that each time I look out to the horizon – literally and metaphorically – I can see new frontiers waiting for me to forge, the doors waiting to be unlocked. The key. Myself. And I thank God so much for this talent and passion He has given me.
All for Your greater glory, O Lord!
Back to the present, nowadays, I continue to write on this blog of mine, not caring anymore whether there will be someone to read it or not. I write for the sheer delight of it without having to seek an applause or approval. While I still yearn for those caring enough to critique my writing for the sake of improving, I just content myself with nurturing this passion. I continue to read a lot and learn more about writing from experts.
As to the above quote, my writer’s voice is still a caged bird yearning to be free! Perhaps because I avoid discussing or expressing my opinions on difficult topics, such as politics — which most people on social media find it easy to do. But what I don’t like is how most opinions degenerate into expressions of hate or personal attacks, or how the rantings go on and on in each and every post ad nauseam.
Perhaps I still lack the courage or the venom or enough writing chops to help me crystallize my thoughts on such topics. Yes, many of the things happening in the country and in the world bother and pain me so much, or make my blood boil in anger and frustration. Yet, I’d rather write about what I think can help you and I grow to be the best human person we can become as we are meant to be by God.
Perhaps, in a future post, with the right words and form, my writer’s voice will find its way to say what’s on my mind.