This may become tedious.
Forcing myself to blog and write a short story every single day is a challenge all right—-to me and my readers. Okay, maybe not my readers. You aren’t obligated to do anything.
But what is all this writing for?
I still remember the moment in 1995 when in the middle of another Vanity Fair article I stopped to check the author’s name. The name Christopher Hitchens didn’t mean anything to me at the time, but took note. A few months later reading another article, I stopped and thought, “Hmm. This sounds like that guy.” And indeed it was.
I’ve been reading his essays ever since.
Sometimes he has made me brilliantly angry. “Damn you, Christopher Hitchens!” He’s also made me laugh and made me think. Some of his arguments I want to print out and hand to people because I could never make the point so well. Other times I think I shall never have anything to do with him ever again.
How many writers have a voice you recognize and respond to? How many writers put their voice on the page?
Hitchen’s essay this time around is about the writer’s voice. Cancer is destroying his ability to speak, and he is coming to terms with the loss. In the article he writes about how he would tell his writing class, “anybody who could talk could also write. Having cheered them up with this easy-to-grasp ladder, I then replaced it with a huge and loathsome snake: ‘How many people in this class, would you say, can talk? I mean really talk?’ That had its duly woeful effect. … So, this above all: Find your own voice.”
How do you know?
Have I found mine? Maybe. I’d like to think so.