- Jessica Ashley Gill
Some Awful Writing
Updated: May 16, 2019
And other late night ramblings.
I suppose this is my first official entry. The actual first entry got the business side out of they way. The brief background and the why's of this website, this brand or at least what I hope for it currently. Now we can get into the inner ramblings of my mind, which is what got us here in the first place.
I should preface that as I am writing this while my lovely boyfriend sits a few feet away hard at work with a cold. And his stuffed up schnoz is making the most magnificently distracting sounds as he attempts to breathe. I am usually not one to be bothered with some small noise pollution while working but in this moment, my thoughts escape me with every wheezing exhale. So I apologize if my thoughts become disjointed.
I don't plan on editing this piece, not really anyways. I find it more magical that way. The rough and sloppy streams of consciousness are typically where I find my best work. It is where I find this thing they call "your voice".
For anyone not familiar with writing, one of the key things when beginning to find work as a writer is discovering this allusive, ineffable thing called "your voice". I put it in quotes once more because the idea that you need to FIND your VOICE to me is comical. I've been blurting out words to anyone who will listen since the womb. This doesn't include the various conversations I silently have in my head in any given moment. So the concept of needing to find said voice amuses me.
But when I started to take writing more seriously, more professionally, it seemed I could find everyone else's voice but my own. I assumed I had a voice but when I would go to write it sounded, well awful. Uninspiring, flat and boring. So I began to reading everything by authors I felt spoke to me in some profound way. Authors that had a clear voice. Authors like Anne Lamott, Mark Manson, and David Foster Wallace. Then I began writing in their voices, and since I don't have a pinkies worth of their skill level, it again sounded, well awful.
Humans tend to complicate things. After much trial and error I realized when I sat down with great intention to write the most profound piece on the planet, I would end up with some pretentious over thesaurused heap of words that sounded so doldrum I could hardly re-read it. BUT if I stopped trying to control what came out and just allowed my brain to start speaking to itself, I began to get somewhere. Sure, sure maybe the first few paragraphs would be non-sense but eventually things would take a turn to something decent and they would usually wrap themselves up in a nice bow at the end too.
I've found my brain tends to speak to itself in some manner of eloquence during the late hours of the night. Right as I lay on my pillow an entire TED talks plops into my head and I can't sleep fearing I was gifted this beautiful speech and if I don't write it down it will be lost forever. This usually results in grammatically incorrect and misspelled novels in the notes section on my phone. But if the idea is so great, SO profound, and gets me giddy inside I'll arise from my almost sleep, pull out my laptop, open OM writer, as to not distract my brain, and pour out whatever is trying to escape.
I intend on sharing those writings here. Sometimes they are useful, life lessons and observations. Sometimes they are nonsensical, but the nonsense ones are the most beautiful in my opinion. Disturbed and imperfect, just like us. Hiding somewhere between the shadows and the light, the chaos and control. That is the theme behind the logo, the shadows and the light. Both aspects vital and inform our being. Both worth exploring. Reminiscent of the phases of the moon. The balance.
Striking that balance is how I started to find my voice. I'm not sure if it's fully there yet or maybe it grows and refines with time. But I can say for certain my writing is definitely a little less awful.