Finding My Voice : Brook Easton

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The first piece I ever wrote was in high school.

It was a short children’s story about Chester the Chipmunk and his perilous journey from a pine tree to a Christmas tree. As reenacted years later in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation…I’m still waiting for my royalty check.

At the time my writing voice was puny, a mere whisper among school assignments and family Christmas letters.

When I entered college I found my voice {or so I thought}. As an English major, I composed paper after paper, after paper, after…

I tried using MY voice, but I soon learned the hard way that professors liked to hear their voices more than mine. So, I quickly adapted my writing to the voice they preferred, and my grades improved. It broke my heart, but deep down I knew I had to change. It was for survival; I would never graduate if I didn’t adapt and conform.

At this point the only creative voice I had was in my journal. The place where moody college girls go to cry, and it became less of a creative outlet and more of a whine fest. This is was NOT the voice I wanted either, so I stopped.

The writing whispers that could once be heard were growing less and less.

And once the corporate world grabbed me, they were gone.

My voice soon became that of the CEO I was writing for, or salesman verbiage that made me cringe. Even the Christmas letters I loved to write turned into blase year end lists.

Over the years my writing turned sterile and blank like a painting with only one color. It turned white, shallow and meaningless, trying to inform in the most simplest of terms becoming a voice I barely recognized.

In the working world, the slightest nuance of flowery prose immediately warranted a reprimand from my boss: “just the facts,” or “you’re too wordy.” My voice that was once ready to bloom quickly withered and died.

“Why can’t you just write like everyone else?” my boss demanded.

“Because I’m NOT like everyone else,” I shouted in my head.

As you’ll see I don’t worry about punctuation, grammar, or the way my paragraphs break. I just write without boundaries, letting the words flow and lead me where they would like to go.

I care about the STORY.

To me you can write with perfectly coiffed paragraphs, but if there’s no story, there’s no life, and all you’re left with are boring words on a page.

So, after the bazillionth time of being reprimanded for my writing I QUIT!

I gave that job the big fat middle finger and walked right out the door.

Relief filled my heart.

But the damage was done. My passion for writing, what little there was, had died.

There was no life or light. My voice had gone mute, silenced by negativity and harsh words.

Three months later I found a great job, one that actually let me have a life and voice.

I was able to be a mom, a wife, an athlete and a writer.

And the flowery prose bloomed once again. The details grew vivid in my mind like a painter’s palette filled with all the colors of the rainbow. And the stories and tales started to flow.

A year after I started my new job the blog was born. I wasn’t sure what to say, how to say it or where it was going. But I liked it, and people actually read it.

Looking back at old posts I can see vividly how my voice evolved. It came out slowly documenting life’s little moments. Then bit by bit it started telling stories, and now it’s sharing opinions and even a smidge of fiction.

Ironically, the pen still needs to meet the soft comfort of a notebook before the prose will flow, but once it does the transition to a clacking keyboard is seamless and true.

Now I’m writing here, and being published on mommy websites and writing a piece for Listen to Your Mother. Something I NEVER would have done three years ago.

Because I’m a writer.

I’m a WRITER.

I’M A WRITER!!!!

With a voice ready to be heard.

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Brook {without the “e”} is a spunky faux redhead who resides in Hawkeye country among the sweet fields of corn. She met her true love on the internet, and spends her days playing superheroes with her two boys. She also works full-time as a marketing consultant, competes in triathlons and writes heart out on her blog Redhead Reverie. She believes life is a journey not a destination.

Follow her on Facebook HERE

Stalk her on Twitter HERE

Copy her Pinterest style HERE

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  • My Inner Chick

    Brilliant.
    Keep Writing “YOUR WAY,” Mama! <3

    • http://www.redheadreverie.blogspot.com Redhead Reverie

      You bet! Thanks for the ecouragement.

  • http://twitter.com/universalgrit Denise Ullem

    I loved reading about your journey away from and back to your voice. I loved your painter’s palette imagery–so vivid and true.

    • http://www.redheadreverie.blogspot.com Redhead Reverie

      Awww…thanks so much. Once I found my voice that’s EXACTLY what it felt like.

  • Kimberly Rues

    I am ever so glad that you decided to use your voice to share your words. Your cadence, your style, your story. No one sounds just like you. Xoxo

  • Mary @ A Teachable Mom

    Just what I needed to read today – thank you! Here’s to using our voices and letting go of the old messages. Love your style! Congrats!

  • IASoupMama

    Yep, yep, yep! So glad you’ve found your voice and my friendship!