When I look back at the design of how I grew up, I realize I was destined to be a writer. When I was young, I read a lot. I would play my favorite character by tying my bath towel around my neck. I would jump from one chair to another playing that character. I would punch pillows sending them from one corner to another of my tiny yet seemingly limitless room. I would envision a LASER beam emitting from my eyes and when I thought no one was looking at me, I would nudge off action figures, who played the villains, and tiny cars off the shelf.
When I grew up into my adolescence, I began writing fiction; stories that were about how the hero within me, or the fictional characters I sketched, would go around the town helping those in need. When I grew a bit more, I began writing poetry. Though I knew that I was [really] bad at it – my poems, like someone would say, “sucked” – I continued attempting to write. In fact, some of those came up to be rather good. Two of those poems, out of my occasional attempts, are on this blog. But, down the age bracket, I realized that at heart I was more a writer than a poet. And, that impression has stayed. Until the end of the first half of my twenties, I had experienced a lot – got my masters, earned a job, and lost a job – but I was still firm that I would make a career in writing. That phase, now I realize, meant a lot.
When I look back at this little journey of my graduation from my liking for writing to becoming a published author, I realize that there is one thing that I have been doing, consistently, over the years. This post is about that thing. Back in the days when I was still figuring out my survival in this industry, I was busy reading. Writing, I knew, was like every other industry where the research leads to information, which leads to insights, which in turn leads to wisdom. And, my reading kept me with the “competition”, so to say. I kept reading so that I could continue to understand how the English language evolved over time, and how and what people wished to read (and hopefully know). While this all appeared to be good, I gradually realized that the more I read, the more I ended up losing who I was as a writer. That’s dangerous because the readers wish to read the writer within me. After all, how many of us know that we can write until the day we sit to write? Of the ones who sit to write, how many realize what’s their writing style? Of the ones who know what their writing style is, how many get to write what they wish to? That proportion drops ever so disproportionately.
Readers wish to know you by your writing style. Readers wish to read you by reading what you wrote. This one thing is imperative to the writing industry. But, the trouble with research – like I said in the previous paragraph – and reading is that gradually you begin to write like the ones who you often read. This is that one thing every writer fears: either of not finding their own writing style or of losing it in favor of those styles they think their writing resembles. I am happy that I have a style of my own; a style that only I can have. This writing style is unique to me – much like most of the good writers who I know in person. Each of those writers who I admire has a style of their own. Amongst the things that you should keep in mind if you wish to step into this industry, or are enjoying your stay in here, is – without a doubt – this one that I feel I would fear to lose.
I hope that this post helps you find the writer and their style within yourself. Happy writing.