The Little Mermaid Syndrome

Writing can be hard, and I am definitely not the first one to admit this. You have to come up with an idea and then actually write. It’s the latter part that got me for the longest time. I have so many ideas that I could write about (not that I want to share any of them, lest they be stolen by any Idea-Goblins. They’re like the ones that always take the left sock, but instead, they only take the good ideas). The difficulty lies within the actual writing. For some people, it is in the actual writing process; laziness tends to best them in the field of combat and their pen is not quite sharper than the sword. For others, though, it is finding their voice. A lot of writers, especially students, tend to have this fantasy that, in order to write a well-developed paper, one has to sound super scholarly or have the most extraneous utterances known to the writing academia. Some have trouble finding their voice outside of writing academically. Sometimes you look at the blog post you’ve written and think that is sounds nothing like you.

Well, I happen to have the perfect medicine for this problem! Don’t worry; it’s not cherry-flavored. That stuff is nasty.

The medicine is actually prescribed by God himself and works pretty well! It’s in short supply and only you have it. It’s called Being Yourself. Take 550 mg a day and feel free to take as many times a day as needed (Trust me; I want to get a Ph.D. some day. I know what I’m talking about).

You are the special.

You are the special.

A lot of people tend to lose their voice when writing. I call it The Little Mermaid Syndrome (patent pending). Writers tend to sell their voices short, and in most cases, lose them amongst the sea of words that float menacingly on the page. When I first started writing, it took me a while to sound like me. I wanted to sound like some of my favorite writers because obviously it worked for them. However, what works for George Orwell is different than what works for Ernest Cline. Each of their respective voices shines through in some way in their writing. In the same way that every voice sounds different audibly, so to do voices on pages sound different. Don’t try to impersonate someone else. Instead, let you be you.

As I have written previously, I have a problem with letting people read my work. It’s always been a difficult thing to let my work out into the world. But like Noah let the dove out to find land, I must let out my own dove to help you find land (You’re welcome. I work for tips). Writers oftentimes lose their way amongst the crowd. They want to stand out and impress people, so they try to be someone that they are not. They try to create this alternate person that they think everyone will like to read. However, people have this sixth sense about them.

They can sense when someone is being false.

I see fake people.

I see fake people.

So in all of this mess, Ariel (you) ends up losing her voice because she traded it to an evil sea witch (tried to be someone you’re not). She calls out to Prince Eric (the audience), but he does not hear her because she has no voice. Yeah, you’re The Little Mermaid. Feet aren’t all that great when the person you’re chasing can’t hear you. We flounder in our writing because we gave our voice away in exchange for something we thought was better. In reality, no one wants to listen to the same copy-and-pasted voice over and over again (unless that voice is Morgan Freeman. Then this entire blog is void). Instead, they want to hear something unique. They want to hear something special. Don’t get so caught up in refining your writing that you forget that you are the person writing it.


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