One of the perks of social media — and yes, there are a few — is stumbling upon someone with whom you have an instant affinity, a connection that transcends politics or a shared appreciation of the absurd. Such was the case when I discovered that a Twitter friend isn’t just a pretty face but a remarkable songwriter and musician.
While I respect his request for anonymity, I begged to share something of his work, and he was kind enough to give me this. It’s the chorus of a song he wrote, and as a two-time survivor of sexual assault, I can attest he found not only his voice on this one, he gave me mine.
Now before we jump in here, my talented friend, feel free to enlighten my readers on how I browbeat you into imparting your wisdom. Thank you, by the way. Pure gold!
During a discussion with a writer friend, (I’ll let you guess who), about the differences and similarities of writing prose or lyrics, she suggested that I write a guest spot for her blog. Not being a writer of prose, I was at first intimidated, then stumped and now here I go into the deep water.
You can find a million how to articles on writing prose or lyrics, dealing with form, format, genre and anything else imaginable if you look. They are just opinions, and while a lot of market research has gone into forming those opinions, they are in fact just a guide, and the truth is there are no rules. Many times, the unconventional is what really connects with people. So what do those unconventionals have in common? They found their own unique voice.
We write about human emotion, experience and desire, and we hope to touch minds and hearts in a way that makes a comment, a line or a book memorable to others. There is truth in many common expressions, but there is nothing original. We have all heard them before, but if we hear them in a new way it gives us a reason to reflect and actually touches a spark of creativity in the reader or listener, they will often pause to consider the unique perspective. That is your voice, seeing things with your individual experiences, feelings and observations. Consider time marches on. Didn’t do anything for you? How about, time, like the muscular power of a constrictor, squeezed with unrelenting purpose? Yeah it’s corny, but many would consider the image, and give a little more thought to the idea that there is no stopping time, just like there is little hope the rat will ever get away from the snake. That’s my voice as I hear the old platitude.
We all hear lines that catch our attention because of how they are crafted. Pay attention to those words and then write the lines with your own voice. It isn’t easy, but closing your eyes and getting a mental picture will point you quickly to your voice. Just as witnesses all report differences in what they observed, your visualization will come from your essence, it will resonate with your voice and will come easier with time and confidence. Be confident because you are an individual and unique. That’s what I appreciate about artists, their uniqueness, the way they see and process and use their own voice.
As your confidence grows in finding your own voice in lots of situations and circumstances, start to focus on the things we experience in common, and you are on your way. All things human, the good and bad, provide an endless list of things to tell in a new and fresh way, because you’ve found your voice. What you learn about yourself along the way is the most valuable thing an author or artist can discover. Communication is a funny thing, and how you say things is how you move hearts.