At the end of each year, I find myself in the midst of a familiar introspection. I can’t help but evaluate my growth as a writer. There is an unquenchable desire within me to refine my craft, to make my words flow with more grace, and to articulate my thoughts with clarity and purpose. The rhythm and meter of prose have become like bodily functions, vital and essential. Yet, I still stumble upon the roadblocks of verbosity, my thoughts tangled in the weeds of overly elaborate sentences.
Despite whatever progress I’ve made over the previous fifty-two weeks, there’s always room for growth. My prose once was suffocated by an excessive number of words, but with considerable practice, ithas become more concise and efficiently expressed; still, I can always improve.
I tinker constantly to refine a writing style which resonates more like free verse poetry than the bland, stale tone of professional copy. I want my words to dance and sing with the vivacity of a Broadway musical,breathing life into the hearts and minds of my readers. Who, after all, wants to read yet another monotonous article or essay, written for calls-to-action and search engine algorithms?
This is why in the realms of my prose, I work to help my readers better understand the intricacies of language through the process of learning them myself. Like a Parkour Traceur, I must learn to glide between syllables, twirl around punctuation, and leap across paragraphs with grace and precision. Each sentence should flow effortlessly into the next, imbued with movement and energy in the cadence of its structured harmonies. Going to such extremes of artistic license is key to crafting prose which proves as captivating as it is contemplative or informative.
To achieve penning works of great interest, I must unshackle my writing from the constraints of convention. I scour the vast landscape of the English language, all the while challenging myself to experiment with novel forms and narrative structures. Marrying the unpredictable and unconventional with clever but approachable metaphors has allowed me to breathe new life into my prose, transforming it into a living, breathing offspring of my overactive mind. Instead of simply conveying information or mere opinion, my writing must inspire, provoke critical thought, and stir emotion; otherwise it’s not achieved its true purpose.
In this pursuit of infusing more elegance and eloquence into my prose, you may believe I’m always seeking inspiration from literary giants. Indeed I do study the works of literary masters, immersing myself in the artistry of their prose, and marveling at the beauty of their language.
While I do learn from their wisdom and aspire to follow in their footsteps, I refrain from absorbing their stylistic tendencies or techniques. It may seem unbelievable, but I learn more from the writing of fellow essayists and mass market books which happen upon some profound ideas, sometimes entirely by accident. Whether it’s courtesy of a famous author or someone I come across on a curated blog feed, each new discovery serves to fuel my passion and deepen my understanding of the subtle relationships between words and ideas.
As each year draws to a close, I reflect on the strides I have made with writing, and the hurdles that still lie ahead for me to leap over. With each new challenge, I grow stronger, more adept, and more attuned to the musicality of language. Most importantly, the more unique and varied experiences I encounter creates an improved synthesis between self and art. The older I get, the more determined I grow to breathe poetry into every sentence, and to craft prose that sings like the sweetest ballads.
Related: Words and Ideas