New Year, Same Me

A reflection on past articles

By Jini Seok

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I have a habit of writing something in one go as if I am mindlessly spitting out words, with little to no revisions, then rereading it a million times. I never jot down notes for self-improvement or edit my writing when I reread it; I just read it again and again and again. You know, I’m not sure why I do this considering there isn’t a clear purpose, and I don’t necessarily enjoy reading my own work either. However, one thing I have discovered while waist deep in this aimless pursuit is – regardless of the contents – I find myself thinking that everything I write sounds the same as the next. My previous articles, Escaping to Live, Glorifying the Grotesque, and Santa’s Gift, all sound the same to me.  

I thought to myself, maybe I have a specific method of organising my paragraphs that makes everything I write follow the same pattern, or maybe my pool of vocabulary is rather small and therefore repetitive. But I mostly think it all sounds the same. The tone of voice, or rather my tone of voice, sounds monotonous to me. No one has ever told me that’s the case, but when I read anything I write, it sounds plain and elementary, or on the flip side, like I’m trying too hard to be somebody else. This overthinking of my own writing most likely buds from the fact that I reread my work to an unproductive extent. I guess what’s really happening is, I’m getting sick of hearing my own voice. And so sometimes, like I’m sure everybody can relate to at some point throughout their life, I think –  she needs to stop (she as in me of course).  

This miniscule problem of mine nags at me more than you’d think. Everything I write, I hear in the voice I’ve incessantly heard since I was able to speak, making it seem boring or drab and therefore unsatisfactory to me. It’s a confining feeling that steals my confidence when I write and compels me to compare myself to others. Somehow, everybody else’s writing is always more interesting than my own.  

Developing my writing abilities and practising more would definitely help improve the quality of my work, but the core of the issue, as I see it, comes from within and therefore can only be fixed from within. Perhaps I just need to learn how to perceive myself and my writing from different angles, different perspectives, or with a new mindset. Maybe I should explore my old memories, relearn past lessons, and let myself dwell on experiences I forgot I had, in order to reignite my dormant passion. I don’t think I should force myself to change just because the sound of my own voice became boring over the years. 

 I want to relearn how it is to live like me, sound like me, and enjoy the world through eyes like mine. And through this new, fresh perspective of sameness, I hope I can learn to better capture and appreciate my voice that I always had through my writing. Maybe then, I won’t ever want her to stop.