Thursday, November 20, 2014


Having to read students' essay is a big part of my job. Weekly (or daily even), I need to somehow rate all the elements that supposedly contribute to this thing that we inevitably, subjectively and yet objectively call a great writing. There are the usual, the normal, the obligatory and expected aspects such as conventions,text structure, use of connectors, sentence variation, etc. As boring as they sound, they are the fundamentals, the elementary yet significant; the primitive yet indispensable; the meat and potatoes of one's writing. These things are all introduced to the students gradually from young age with hopes that by the time they have the drive, the ideas and curiosity to write, all the tools would be at their disposal to use.

The next step would be to find one's 'voice'. This should always be pursued only after one has mastered all the basics. Only run once you know how to walk (I can't remember who said this, but credit goes to that person). Being the most difficult and problematic aspect of one's writing to master, more often that not, the process of finding one's voice gets neglected. What makes it so hard? Are the rules too demanding and toilsome? Nope. It's simply because there are no rules when it comes to finding your 'voice'.

Finding your 'voice' requires awareness; awareness of your surrounding and the world, and most importantly, awareness of your really true self. It is about looking
into the deepest part of your soul and ask yourself "What do i desire? Who do i want to be? Why am i aspired to be that person? Where do i fit?" More often than not, you might not like the answers. The answers will not reveal anything you haven't known before but they will reveal things you didn't want to admit of feeling.

Just like everyone else, we need the belief -some people call it delusion, and others call it hope- that there's at least a glimpse of us that is totally unique. That there's something inside of us that we can call it our own. That a possibility of being an individual is not totally out of the window. And at the end of the day, we simply do not have any guarantee. None of us does. Your 'success' and 'passion' have nothing to do with this. Uncertainties is what makes us human. 

If that's the case, how does one find his/her own voice?

I don't know. Like i said, there's no guarantee.What makes you think everybody gets to find his/her own voice at all?

In the big scheme of the universe, we are nothing but a speck of dust; a dot among all the patterns; a drop of water during the endless rain. Our lives are small, and perhaps disposable. As depressing as this all may sounds, accepting one's limitation is the first step to find the voice. Don't forget that those ideas that flows from your brain towards your fingers, resulting in a seemingly random, and yet eloquent moves of the pen is the consequence of you. The paper is you. The pen is you. And what matters the most, the words are you. And most of the time, that's all we need.

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