On November 30th this year, I reached a milestone: my short story, “Clara,” appeared in the November issue of Electric Spec magazine. This is the first time that a short story of mine got published. I can’t explain what this means to me. It’s been a long road.
I took the decision to live my dream rather than dream my dream in the beginning of 2016. Before that, I had always wanted to but had never taken any real steps to live the life of a writer. But finally, two decades of wishful thinking culminated in me having had enough of dabbling. By Christmas that same year, I completed the rough draft of my fantasy trilogy, and in January 2017, I gave in my two-months resignation notice from my day job. This was not a spontaneous decision. In that faithful spring of 2016, a slow transformation began inside me, ending with me finally breaking through the thick wall of fear that had hitherto held me back.
Something else came out of that transformation: I finally began developing a voice in my writing. This is the advice we hear again and again at conferences and workshops: Find your voice. This seems the prerequisite for greatness. Well, I don’t know if I’ll ever be great, and this, frankly speaking, is irrelevant to whether I will keep writing or not, but what I have discovered is that finding my voice entailed more than writing a great deal.
I don’t dispute that practice, practice, practice is the mother of all crafts. However, I believe that there is another component: the creator’s outlook on life and, even more, their own life. Accepting that what I wanted to do was be a writer made my craft stronger. Perhaps, finding one’s voice has a lot to do with finding and living one’s own truth. The inhibitions and fears we have as creators would come out in our creations, wouldn’t they, masking who we really are? But beneath them is where the treasure lies. It’s about bringing that deep essence to the surface.