Reflections: On Perspective & Voice…
“When you wake up every day, you have two choices. You can either be positive or negative; an optimist or a pessimist. I choose to be an optimist. It’s all a matter of perspective.” Harvey Mackay
Writing has laws of perspective, of light and shade just as painting does, or music. If you are born knowing them, fine. If not, learn them. Then rearrange the rules to suit yourself. Truman Capote
When I write, I escape the daily grind of the mundane world and enter a magical world far from my current conditions. Writing calms and focuses my mind to finish the task at hand, and each piece is a birthing of new life with its share of strengths and weaknesses. It connects me with others and to myself. EOF
If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced. Vincent Van Gogh
What Inspires Your Writing Process? Why do you write the way you do? About a year ago, I wrote a post on Writing As Medicine in which I shared that writing both calms and connects me with others and myself. It is a much cherished creative outlet that gives me a place and space to escape the monotony of daily life, and I find the process quite healing. I enjoy all forms of writing; be it a researched piece, a sponsored post, a haiku or an inspirational/motivational piece. But, what fuels my spirit are posts like this one that come tumbling out because of a picture, a prompt, or one of my favorite words …. SERENDIPITY. I woke up this morning, at 7:00am, with a feeling of steadiness and calm around me. I wake up anytime between 5:00 – 7:00 everyday and start my day with our family cat meowing at my feet begging to be fed. I pull myself together, look out the window with a prayer on my lip, and then I get up, gingerly, to start my daily chores. This is a fraction of my day and the world I inhabit and it is from this vantage point that I write and share my thoughts. It is not titillating, extreme, or cocky. Frankly, it is my version of unabashed and keeps me coming back.
You might wonder why I’m sharing this with you. Ha! Well, this morning as I clicked around the internet reading a post here, writing and responding to a few comments here and there, I stumbled across the Discover Challenges page and my gaze fell on the most recent challenge on Perspective. Fascinating topic, I thought… let’s tackle that. Now that’s an interesting topic because we all come to the process of writing with different intentions and motivations, and we write from different perspectives.
Why Do You Write the Way You Do? Great question. In our writing, we give voice to our perspective by creating posts, pictures and poetry that express our positions, our beliefs and our experiences. We write about subjects that pique our interest, that resonate deep inside of us and, hopefully, that make our readers stop and think; even if it’s for just a nanosecond. How we come to our writing is unique to each of us and the path we follow carries us through each day, as we craft a blog post or any other form of writing we do. They are all valid paths and, as long as we stay true to what gets us writing, all writing has value, a unique audience, and matters. If I merely wrote to get a charge out of people, sooner or later, I’d get bored or my audience would cotton on that I’m treating them like a Pavlovian dog and they’d head for the hills. Ugh! So, what I am trying to say in my typical long-winded way is … to thyself be true.
“Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.” Marcus Aurelius
Really good writing, from my perspective, runs a lot like a visual on the screen. You need to create that kind of detail and have credibility with the reader, so the reader knows that you were really there, that you really experienced it, that you know the details. That comes out of seeing. Ann Voskamp
We write about what we believe, feel, hope, desire, and even fear, and give voice to those emotions. Your perspective is yours to choose. How you express it is up to you. EOF
Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. Steve Jobs
How do You Use Your Voice? We use our voices in so many different ways and to achieve different results. Some of us are blunt and harsh with our voice, some use flattery or humor, while others find that diplomacy works best. We bring all of these varying and sometimes competing voices to our conversations with others and in our writings. The goal is to get our point across. Do we use just one approach? No. Just like a loving mother scolds or cautions her children when they misbehave, she also uses a sweet and supportive voice when the occasion calls for it; we shift gears and express ourselves as the conditions demand. It is entirely up to us and how we view what’s going on around us. Every day we make choices on what we write and how we communicate, and we commit our share of blunders. We change our minds on some issues and pick up new ones as we learn more but, we must stay true to who we say we are.
Shifting Our WorldView: One of my favorite Yoga masters always used to share this Kashmir Shaivism quote … “The world is how you see it.” We can view the world through a kaleidoscope of brilliant colors with endless opportunities for creative expression or we can view the world through a pinhole and see only limitations. I love the writing process and, even though I have had my share of blocked days, I come back to it again and again because it feeds me in so many ways. My friends tell me that I am very funny and should write the things I say to them that has them laughing. Honestly, I don’t prep what I say to them so my answer is when the moment fits the task, the muse will step forward and express it. For now, I follow the calling of the early morning birds as they search for grub, here and there, pecking away at worms and birdseed to keep their minds and bodies nourished. By the same token, I search for words and ideas, here and there, digging deep to keep body and mind inspired and equally nourished. Do come back later for more. Hey, you never know!
This post was inspired by two WordPress Prompts: 1. Discover Challenge: Perspective – We each inhabit a specific vantage point from which we blog. What’s yours? AND
2. Daily Word Prompt: Voice: Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. Not sure how to participate? Here are the steps to get started.Sometimes, you sit down to blog but your words and photos get stuck — prompts give them a push. We publish a new one every morning.
Positive Motivation Tip: We write about what we believe, feel, hope, desire, and even fear, and give voice to those emotions. Your perspective is yours to choose. How you express it is up to you. Go do it!