Authenticity Within Writer's Voice

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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50 Things to Do When You're Bored and Completely Alone


For people like me, spring break is a time where you come home and have absolutely nothing to do. You're parents work all day and you're either sibling-less or your siblings have already moved out. Most of your friends are on the semester system, so your breaks don't line up. You're bored and completely alone.

Although while being alone sounds boring, sometimes it's nice to just hang out with yourself. There is a plethora of unique and creative things you can do. Netflix marathon? That's overdone. Doing something productive or worthwhile? You do enough of that in school anyway. Whatever the reason is for you being alone, I have assembled a list of unique things to do to cure your boredom.

SEE ALSO: 50 Things To Do Instead of Finishing Your Homework

  1. Have a solo dance party.
  2. Teach yourself how to do an Australian accent (or any accent for that matter).
  3. Learn how to play harmonica (or any instrument for that matter).
  4. Buy an at home workout DVD.
  5. Bake a cake (and eat the whole thing for yourself).
  6. Take a rollaway chair and ride it down the driveway.
  7. Paint a self-portrait.
  8. Plant some flowers in your backyard.
  9. Become a master at air-guitar.
  10. Perform a concert (just for yourself).
  11. Write a novel.
  12. Become an expert on quantum mechanics.
  13. Give yourself a new hairdo.
  14. Knit a sweater (if you don't know how, learn).
  15. Make a bunch of origami paper cranes and decorate your house with them.
  16. Make homemade popsicles.
  17. Reorganize your entire closet.
  18. Put together a funky new outfit.
  19. Make a short film.
  20. Try to hold a handstand for as long as possible.
  21. Memorize the lyrics to all of your favorite songs.
  22. Create a website.
  23. Go on Club Penguin and troll a bunch of children.
  24. Become your favorite fictional character.
  25. Become your favorite animal.
  26. Practice your autograph for when you become famous.
  27. Create a magical potion.
  28. Learn a few spells.
  29. Learn how to become a Jedi.
  30. Put the TV on mute and overdub it with your own voice.
  31. Make paper hats with old newspapers.
  32. Become a master at jump roping tricks.
  33. Create music playlists based on random things, like colors.
  34. Find a chunk of wood and carve something out of it.
  35. Find something that doesn't have a Wikipedia page and create one for it.
  36. Create a full course meal based on whatever's in your kitchen.
  37. Teach your pet a new trick.
  38. Take a bunch of artsy photographs.
  39. Make a scrapbook.
  40. Learn a bunch of new words and incorporate them into your speech.
  41. Try to draw the most perfect circle without using a compass.
  42. Make your own board game.
  43. Memorize some poetry well enough so you can recite it.
  44. Build a fleet of sailboats and float them in your bathtub/pool.
  45. Write a song.
  46. Practice picking locks.
  47. Make a drum kit out of random household items and play it.
  48. Draw a tattoo on yourself.
  49. Give yourself a new piercing.
  50. Figure out the meaning of life.
Cover Image Credit: Josh

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I Learned Forensic Science In One Day For HOSA SLC 2019 And Still Placed Top Ten

We all have those days where we have to cram for an exam you know nothing about the night before, but have you tried to study for it the day of the exam? I never knew I would find myself in this situation until I went to HOSA SLC. With minimal study time, my partner, Kasey Park, and I were still able to place in the Top Ten in Georgia.

Joel Lee
Joel Lee

As a member of my school's chapter of HOSA (Health Occupations Students of America), I went to SLC (State Leadership Conference), where members all over the state of Georgia come to Atlanta to compete in a variety of competitions in the field of Science and Healthcare. All members can pick only one competition to participate in, and the guidelines and rules for each event are posted on the HOSA website.

The event I chose was Forensic Medicine, which requires a team of two people to take a written exam about Forensic Science (Round 1) and write a death report for a case study (Round 2). You must pass Round 1 to move on to Round 2. I worked with a good friend of mine, Kasey Park, for this event. HOSA recommended two textbooks to study for the event: Forensic Science: Fundamentals & Investigations 2nd Edition and Forensic Science: An Introduction to Scientific and Investigative Techniques, Fourth Edition.

Kasey and I both had the books, since Winter Break of our sophomore year (2018-2019), and we both agreed to start studying during winter break. Instead, we both completely forgot about it and when we returned to school after the break, we knew we still had time to study, since SLC was in March. We made a game plan of what chapters to read and when to read them, and we agreed to meet for reviewing the chapters we read. But, it didn't happen.

This procrastination continued about a day before we needed to leave for SLC, and we both realized we needed to study two thick textbooks in about 24 hours. We both knew at this point we just needed to cram as much information we could possibly fit into our brains.

The way we crammed was we both read the textbook as fast as possible and absorbing information as we go. Even though will not understand everything, we can still get a lot of information that can help us do well.

We studied on the way to SLC and before the Round 1 exam, so we can have the best chance possible when taking the test. My partner and I took the Round 1 exam during the afternoon, and we both we did alright, but not good, so we were worried about whether or not we made the second round. We got a notification in the evening that we made to Round 2. Kasey and I started to study all night and during the morning to cram as much information as we could. A little before noon, we took the Round 2 Case Study Test, and we thought it was a breeze.

Since we finished our event, we could finally hang out with friends from our school, as well as students from other schools. I meant so many new people at HOSA SLC. The next day, we went to the award ceremony, and my partner and I did not get in the Top 5, so we were not recognized. But later we were informed that we got 9th place, which we were happy with since we did not study very much for this exam.

From my experiences ar HOSA SLC, I have learned many things and met many new people. I would recommend that if you have a testing event, you should start to study prior to SLC to give yourself the most amount of time to study before the test. I feel that cramming last minute at SLC is ineffective and very stressful. I also think that you should try to meet new people since the conference is for members all over the state of Georgia.

If you are a middle or high schooler, I would recommend attending HOSA SLC, as it will be a memory you will never forget.

Joel Lee
Joel Lee

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