Writing as a business and for a living has been with me for the last 11 years and what I have realized is, that I write best when it is personal. This kind of writing has a ‘soul’. This kind of writing allows my unique voice to shine through – share my experiences, tell my story, bare my vulnerability and humanness, and enable readers to ‘bond’ with me. I must add though, that writing with soul is not always about one’s personal life. It is the kind of words that sparkle with vivacity and brio – a sparkle that is transferable. I often find myself telling myself to stop using my head and hand over the ‘pen’ to my heart. And it works.
The most important thing for me while writing is to never wear a mask. The mask of pseudo perfectionism or being a crackerjack – these personas are easily shattered. I have and will continue to share my susceptibility, my errors, and my doubts.
Even as a solo-flyer, there is a truckload of competition but my rule has been simple. Rather than ‘fighting’ the competition, I choose the path of differentiating myself – allowing ‘me’ to shine through, while still engaging in a conversation with my readers. This is true for any work/profession – sharing yourself and your experiences gives the persons listening to you, the freedom to do so too. In the words of Leonard Cohen: Ring the bells that still can ring, Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.
Perfection is boring – it lacks sparkle and the ability to go beyond. As humans – we all are imperfect, quirky, idiosyncratic, and flawed – and it would be unwise to try and hide these inadequacies. I feel more at peace by embracing my quirks and flaws – it is comforting and not just for me. Think about it – do you prefer being around that ‘oh so perfect person’ or that ‘crazy and eccentric’ friend who allows you to be you?
I have always wanted my writing to comfort – allow those reading it, to argue with their inner critic and know that they are great despite the self-doubt. My writing is about the portrayal of a real human being. When writing, I prefer to ‘close the door’ – on the world and on the inner critic – and work on the first cut, uninhibited and without focusing on sharing it or possible praise or brickbats. The aim is to write with soul!
There is enough ‘writing’ out there that is loaded with falsity, ennui, aimed at ‘shocking’ for the sake of it. Why add to it? I would rather continue writing to build a ‘real’ human connection – and that means writing from the heart. I don’t have a humongous marketing or branding budget – I would rather write in a way that gets readers to like my work and know me and remain in anticipation to read my next piece. It is about being relatable and daring to be different – about putting ME into every piece. So, why do YOU write?