My teachers used to tell me I had a “unique voice.” A writer’s voice. My words resonated with them in some way. I wasn’t much for singing and musical theater, but I harbored an interest in creative writing since I was young, which I think is to owe for my voice developing into what it is today. I remember reading Heat by Mike Lupica and the Maximum Ride series by James Patterson, the few books that held my attention enough to make it past the threshold that is the first few chapters. What I mean is, once I make it a certain way into a book, say 40-50 pages in, I have an obligation to finish it, regardless of if I like it or not, and I think that carries over from the books of my youth. I never finished the Harry Potter series, though; The Goblet of Fire is my one exception to the rule.
The point of all this is, I learned to expand my creative horizons thanks to forcing myself to read as a kid. My nerdy interests propelled me through more ambitious creative pursuits. I imagined and designed a set of trading cards with two of my sixth grade friends thanks to Yu-Gi-Oh and Pokemon. I created a fantasy book series, never finished, thanks to World of Warcraft and Dungeons & Dragons. I imagined a story about nano-machines, augmented bodies, and technologies of the future thanks to Deus Ex: Human Revolution. I adapted my undergrad newspaper’s origin story into an epic about civil disobedience, and I adapted my study abroad trip into an odyssey of discovering my identity while life at home as I knew it was disappearing around me. It’s thanks to these creative inspirations that I manage to call myself a writer.
This is my writer’s voice. Maybe you can hear me alright through the other side of this screen, despite us never meeting before. Maybe you’ve imagined a voice in your head for me (hopefully not too gruff). I don’t claim to have a better or worse voice than others, but I guess, according to my teachers, it’s unique enough to stand out. I owe it to so many people, and I am grateful to have been able to train my voice in this way.