(This is an extension from I Am Who?)
We all know now that Soul Searching isn’t easy. Now, the question to ask is, now that we know who we are, and where we’re going, do we pursue this path? Or do we go back to what we knew before with a bit more knowledge and courage?
Well, that would most certainly depend on the journey. We all have a certain amount of control, as we are gifted with Free Will. However, we don’t have full control, or we’d be seeing chaos around us.
Once Soul Searching is over, we now have the freedom to choose our next steps. Say, for instance, I have a friend (the one who bent over backward for me), who would love to break into voice acting after receiving her certification, and leaving a turbulent life behind her.
She’s struggling with getting out there on her own steam, and believe me, this day and age, it’s not easy living alone, and start over. The present economy is our worst enemy, and hardest teacher. She’s gone weeks with barely eating anything aside from granola mix, and water.
She mentioned doing a kick starter, but she’d heard about not receiving the money if the goal established isn’t achieved. I told her to do a GoFundMe to just see what kind of response she could get. Well, she’s going to give it a shot, and see where it can take her.
She has equipment to buy, a demo to cut, and she needs to build up her online portfolio of recordings she can present. She also hopes to break out into improv, and hope she could do standup, or theatrical acting.
She’s done Graphic Design jobs for quite some time, but has come to terms with the fact that she’s getting nowhere fast. She has amazing talents as an actress, and she could certainly go far with her fiery spark of attitude and personality.
It’s the getting out there that’s the challenge. Once she has the materials she needs, she can get going, and not stop. She has so much to offer, and I am excited that she’s going to put her all into getting out there, and becoming a success.
For me, and my Soul Searching journey, I found that avoiding my talent as a writer was a method of soul starvation. I came to terms with the fact that listening to a friend’s mother’s ridiculous response to her daughter wanting to be a music teacher was not one to follow. When my sister’s friend announced that desire to her mother, she said to her, “Being in Music is not going to put food on the table. You can do that as a hobby, but you have to be realistic and get a regular, steady paying job before chasing your dreams.”
Well, needless to say, I overheard, and followed directive. Sure, she was telling her child to be realistic, and that’s not a bad thing. However, I came to learn that when it comes to not taking risks by putting your energy into a profession you like, and see yourself doing for life, the realistic life tends to get in the way as it takes the same amount of sacrifice to achieve our goals with our passions as it takes to just make a living and get by; sounds like a trade-off, doesn’t it?
I loved writing, and continued to do so since I was a child. I’ve written many stories over the years, though none of them have been published. I have poetry published, but that’s about it.
I was afraid to chase my dream of writing/storytelling simply because it felt like an outlet more than a way of life/career. Years ago, blogging wasn’t even in the minds of my generation yet. I had to wait till the internet became available to grow.
I started out in writing fan fiction, and posting original works I had no plans to publish on an art community website I joined. They didn’t receive many viewings, save for my fan fiction, which caught the attention of fans of the series I wrote religiously in, and made it into community circles within the websites.
I won an award for one of them, and I felt so shocked that readers enjoyed the story enough to award it for Best Romance, and I had only posted a portion of the story so far. It was just an award within an online fan fiction community for the fandom; but even so, it was chosen by many readers, and that was enough for me.
Now, I work for a big name marketing firm, one of Forbes Fortune 500 companies, and I write the best Lost and Found emails anyone’s ever read there. They have asked me why I haven’t moved up from the Administrative Facilities position into copywriting or editing, and I just answer with, “I’m not aiming to write in someone else’s voice, only mine.”
You see, I have found a limitation within me that I intend to use as my strength; my individual voice. No one else can sound like me, and I have tried to write outside myself for a Creative Writing class assignment. Needless to say, they still picked my story out, and pinned it with me, even though I wrote in first POV through the mind of a serial murderer, and I don’t normally write dark fiction of that caliber.
I asked them what gave me away, and they said the voice threw them off at first, but it was uncanny, so they knew it was me, no matter how I broke up the voice, or where I went psychologically with the piece. They did say, however, that the voice was dead on with the character, and I presented him well.
I don’t see that as a hindrance, as I did at first. I felt disappointed that I failed to stump my classmates. The teacher saw my visage sink, and he said to me,
“Actually, this is not something to be disappointed in yourself over. This means you have a strong voice, and a strong message, and your voice will do the job. You are an individual writer who is sure to make waves, and not mix with the rest in the background.”
I then smiled, and took it in stride. He then said, “If you notice, no one tried to mimic your voice because they can’t.”
So, I have a wonderfully received voice that has received reviews where readers begged me to update the next chapters. I will say, thought, as a writer, that can be seen as a drug. I realized, ten years ago when my writing was at it’s peak, that I lived to update just to get those reviews.
I don’t know if I could say it was unhealthy, but I started writing fan fiction again, and I noticed the interest hadn’t changed, and people still begged for more.
So, I chose to walk a new path; albeit slowly, as I am coming to terms with what truly publishing a novel entails. I have taken classes, achieved a certification in Creative Writing, and a Bachelors degree in Liberal Arts with a Writing Focus. However, even though it helped to brush me up on grammar and my flow of voice, I have to do the rest now.
As scary as that sounds, it’s not as scary as trying to hide from someone and be out there at the same time. Sure, I can use an alias, and I plan to. I need to figure out image and such, I already have a pen name to use, but it’s the jump off the cliff that scares me. Once I’m no longer on familiar ground, I will be held up by the wind consisting of those I know nothing about.
I will be carried upon the winds of the readers touched by the voice I released onto off-white pages in books, and hope they are willing to keep me afloat. The winds can be fickle, and control all when it comes to fiction and likeability. The media can be your best friend, or your worst enemy.
Publishing my first book could be the biggest risk I will ever take; but in the end, it will be worth it, as I will be able to say, I lived the life I was meant to live.
That is what my friend strives for, as she wishes to fly on the wind uplifted by her fans, while I hope to fly at her side on the updrafts of my readers.
In closing, I thank those who follow this blog, and favorite my posts; this is a new venture for me, and if my blog teacher saw my achievements through this blog, she’d congratulate me on the success it’s achieved. Feel free to offer feedback on anything I’ve written here in this post, or others. This blog isn’t to help encourage me to write, as I will write what I need to say regardless of whether I hear feedback, but it’s always nice to hear the voices of those who enjoy mine. Thank you!