A Challenge

August 1, 2019

What is my real voice and does that even matter in the grand scheme of things? Over the course of these next 31 days, I am determined to find out.

I take a lot of pride in being able to call myself a writer. To say that I wield the English language as a sort of weapon is akin to a rock and roll legend attributing his great success to a guitar. I am close with the way I am able to put myself onto a page and strongly attribute the style of my writing to my identity. 

Though it motivates me to continue to write, this personal attachment to my voice can also become a bit of a hindrance. Often, I am unable to see critique as anything more than an attack and stubbornly refuse to apply suggestions in an act of defense. 

Until this year, when I really began to focus on my writing in a more professional realm, I was blinded by my artistic flare. Then began the process of dismantling everything about my writing that I loved.

I was working under an editor who often tore my writing to pieces in search for what he needed. Every week I would submit the words I came up with, breath held. He would send it back to me in what almost appeared to be a foreign language. 

I could not see “me” in these words at all. I was no longer there. At first this was a painful reality check but now, as the holiday begins, I find myself lit with some inner determination. 

Look, writing is a very personal pursuit. It’s a stream of consciousness backed by bouts of deep thought before finding themselves on a page. Unlike speaking, unlike conversation, it’s communication as a slow-form work of art. But at the same time, it isn’t. 

A discrepancy exists in writing, one I am still acclimating to. Different people want different things. My voice is not the voice that should be coming out of every brand’s mouth. To know this is to be a wiser writer. For this month, I want to challenge myself in stepping outside of my comfortable trains of thought and into something a bit more fluid. If I can prove to myself that assuming different voices is not the end-all be-all of what makes me a great writer than I will no longer have to deal with the identity crisis currently facing me in copy.

Hence begins this writing challenge. For the month of August, I will be on the hunt. For what, you may wonder? For a voice of many different shades. I want to find my real identity as a writer. I want to find how many different writing masks I can wear, how many voices I can use. An evolution will take place over the course of this month. 

This is me dedicating myself to the trade. To be a writer means to force myself to the keyboard. Every day.

For 31 days. And for beyond.

If you’re reading this, thank you. I hope you find inspiration in the upcoming transformation.

Lord knows it won’t always be a pretty process.


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