How to Find Your “Voice” as a Writer

Voice is one of the most important elements of any great writer. No doubt about it.

Without a unique “voice”, they wouldn’t have had so many readers.

But what is this voice, exactly? And how can you make it come through in your writing?

Well, let’s think of voice. Some have a deep tonality, a certain way of articulating words. They have a style. They talk like no one else you ever met. Others have this squeaky voice that sounds like scratching a blackboard with your fingernails, and even though what they’re saying could make a lot of sense, and it could be something witty and smart, you can’t wait for them to shut up, because you can’t understand a thing they’re saying anyway.

Well, the same is true for your writing. No one can hear you, but they can feel you through the words you use and how you choose to use them.

Odds are that you are struggling to find your voice as a writer. To find that style. Odds are that you are also putting a lot of pressure on yourself to be unique. To write like no one else before you.

If only you knew how simple it really is.

You just got to write like yourself.

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It’s time to let go of the thorns

Bad habits. Toxic relationships. Jobs you hate. Addictions. Negative thinking. Procrastinating.

Letting go, holding on. When to do what. Quite the dilemma. The idea that you have to suffer before you get what you want, that good things come to those who endure.

At first, it seems rather difficult, no? Well, you only need a bit of self-awareness. You need to understand why you do what you do, and how it makes you feel, and what it is that you expect to happen. Continue reading

There is something wrong with our world

There is something wrong with our world, something fundamentally and basically wrong. […] The great problem facing modern man is that, that the means by which we live have outdistanced the spiritual ends for which we live. So we find ourselves caught in a messed-up world. The problem is with man himself and man’s soul. We haven’t learned how to be just and honest and kind and true and loving. And that is the basis of our problem. – Martin Luther King, Jr.

These words are some sixty years old. And they are valid though, and I believe that they have been valid from the moment we created what we call “civilization.”

I believe it’s a general feeling of uneasiness that the world is going to fall apart, that all our children will have left are some ruins.

Civilization is such a fragile thing. Societies are built on ideologies, on the combined effort a millions and millions of people, and they try to imagine into reality a future so great that we can brag about creating Heaven on Earth. Continue reading

Human

“You say you’re ‘depressed’ – all I see is resilience. You are allowed to feel messed up and inside out. It doesn’t mean you’re defective – it just means you’re human.”David Mitchel

Loneliness. It’s painful. It’s a disease. It’s as if there’s a wall between you and everyone else. It’s just you and the silence. Just you and yourself. It forces you to think. To remember. To feel. To remember what you’d never want to feel again.

Depression. It’s like drowning. With the added difference that you see everyone else breathing. It’s standing at edge of an abyss, staring down at the void, contemplating the idea of oblivion.

We often feel broken beyond repair. Hopeless. We see ourselves as unworthy of redemption.

I want to tell you that we are here to feel.

That is all.

Everything that makes you feel alive is worth experiencing at least once. Sometimes even twice.

It’s all so we develop a certain perspective. It’s so that we grow and become what we’re supposed to become.

So feel. Just feel. Just let it be. Just accept what is.

Let go.

It’s the bravest thing that you can do.

The past is just a story. It’s something that may or may not have happened.

The future is uncertain. No matter what we do.

So the only thing we have left is the present. Here. Now.

The Traveler

Disclaimer: This new project of mine is called God, The Devil, and a Man walk into a bar.

Caminante, no hay camino,
se hace camino al andar.
Antonio Machado

The traveler sat down on a sand dune and saw nothing. He heard nothing. He feared the worst. He had reached a truly godforsaken place: a vast, mournful pan of emptiness where anything sentient resented anything else that was alive. Every sun-scoured scrap of fauna had barbs, hooks or thorns, every animal had poison, paw or claw. Scorpions scuttled and snakes hissed and slithered while they went about their grisly business of survival. Even sand was an enemy. It burned his feet raw, it stinged his eyes and acted as a surrogate for pain.

His skin felt like scraped by sandpaper, his tongue was cloven to the roof of his mouth. His eyes felt like they’d melted into the back of his mind, making everything seem mirage-like. He knew he was alone, abandoned, and doomed. A colorless heat haze had blurred out the background and his vision had become myopic.

Yet, through the silence, through the nothing, something throbbed, something gleamed. Continue reading

You are your own hell (and heaven too)

“I think hell is something you carry around with you. Not somewhere you go.”Neil Gaiman

It does not matter what happens to us, but how we interpret and how we react.

It is not necessarily our abilities that determine our success, but rather our beliefs about those abilities. How much faith we have, how much courage. How much we love ourselves.

In this hyper-logical world we live in, this game of chess, it’s easy to forget about the importance of having the right kind of mindset. It feels like a race, to own, to have, to pursue, to be busy, busy, busy, but the truth is that our minds can create happiness whenever we want to. Continue reading

Amber

Fragments of a wild and bizarre beauty would appear and disappear fast, never settling for more than what felt as a second. My mind couldn’t put together all the glints that my past kept throwing at me. But then the incessant moan of the city night faded into silence, and my mind began to weave an intricate web of memories. What had started off as a waffling and erratic cocktail of images, condensed to such a degree that I could barely discern Amber’s face, had now grown into a fascinating and yet frightening labyrinth.

I took pleasure in building her, piece by piece, until my mind contained a fully fleshed version of a thin and gracious young woman, a white dress sculpted around her body and her black hair falling down to her waist.

It was a two year old memory, but it felt as real as the people I was walking around with.

We were at my father’s restaurant. I was watching her from afar. She was thin, but there was still flesh underneath her rigid dress, there were still thighs and hips and breasts, all tailored together with delicate mastery. Continue reading