Authenticity Within Writer's Voice
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Edits, Even Self Made Ones, Mar The Purest Form Of A Writer's Work

Everytime you decide against that specific phrasing, you're trading in your voice for conformist purposes.


This article will go through edits. Maybe even several rounds, before it is allowed to roam free on the plains of the Internet. It will be published with a title and a byline with my name attached to it, dubbing this work as my own, and no one else's. And although these minor details may hint otherwise, the idea that this piece was conceived using my authentic voice is false.

Think about it. Every error I pen, beyond spelling and in some cases grammatical, is authentically me. The stylistic choices I employ, from my colloquial tone to my oddly-fitting clauses, all represent the unique mindset in which I develop my ideas. However, the constraints of universal writing bind me to formatting my ideas into a concise and edited block.

While this block is incredibly digestible, it is not my writing, no matter how small the edits made. Differentiating between types of edits is important, too — those suggested, and those self-made. While I have separated them into two categories, they are intertwined to a point.

Suggested edits come directly from a reader, somebody on the outside looking in. While there is a spectrum to the severity of edits to be suggested, from complete idea reversals to simple clause reversals, the practice of editing still corrupts the purity of the original thoughts penned. And if these suggested edits are taken, the work is once again molded slightly to conform for the purpose of ease of access.

This is the most stark of corrupt practices within humanity. However, outside influences have the potential to slyly find their way into breaking down the purity of an author's work. When writing, we writers are often told to consider our audience. What words make sense? What topics are inappropriate? How can I break down this complex idea into simple sentences for you to understand?

When writers write for others, we automatically trade our voices for a more edited and conformed version. It is an automatic filter put up to control the free flow of ideas that should exist freely on a page.

When writers write for ourselves, we are able to communicate our ideas in the purest form, leaving thoughts up for interpretation. Compare a page out of "Diary of a Young Girl" to The Diary of Anne Frank (the play) Sure, both forms communicate the same basic idea. But adaptations are created for clarity or to teach lessons in an entertaining form. It's an extreme melding of the content to fit purposes other than basic communication.

With journal entries penned without intention of publishing, readers are able to more accurately gauge the thoughts communicated within the piece.

So this mainstream trend of idea communication that we have agreed upon has a habit of simplifying ideas. It is why we have AP style, why we have MLA format and why students are taught to write three body paragraphs all the time.

These conventions have their positives. They lay foundation for understanding so texts can be compared. They act as rulers for each other, measuring the legitimacy of ideas against the formatting in which they are presented. This practice is not necessarily evil, but it does allow for corruption of a writer's voice.

Corruption seems like a strong word, however, it is the most accurate. A person's writing style should be treated as a pure and untainted wavelength. While it often presents itself through spurts and trickles, the unique way in which we write should be regarded highly.

But if we all had our way, we would write in streams of consciousness. Note-taking in school is an excellent example of this — our teachers rarely collect our personal notes, so we find unique ways of taking them that suit our needs. My notes are the most effective when I use them, but if they were to be used by another student, they would waste their time decoding my abbreviations and figures.

This means that a balance needs to be found between the language of an individual's mind and the mainstream language accepted by general consumers. Not to say that these structures are incredibly rigid, but sometimes, fluidity becomes stifled by the constraints.

So in my pursuit to find the purest yet most acceptable form of my writing style, I've set out on a mission. It wouldn't be realistic to write all the time in a stream of consciousness. Nobody would understand, so the legitimacy of the ideas would be null. It's by writing constantly for myself that I aim to meld my stream of consciousness style with a concise and understandable flow and perhaps, adopt a few techniques from the mainstream styles to fit my own.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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