A Writer’s Voice

Not long ago (2/9/16 to be exact), I heard a story on NPR about a writer who has been quite successful in her writing career (she’s a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist), but had decided to make a change by writing only in Italian. Her name is Jhumpa Lahiri. You can read about her at randomhouse.com.

What attracted me to her story was something she said in her interview with NPR. Here is a brief quote:

“Well, I’ve always been searching to arrive at a certain voice that will probably elude me forever; in fact, it will. So it’s the search for that voice, that for me, drives the whole thing forward. I wrote my first book and I thought, ‘Well, OK, how can I express myself more clearly in a way that’s more true and more satisfying?’ So then I write another, and then I write another, and then I write another, and I don’t feel any satisfaction in the end.”

Though this may seem as though she is defeated, she is, in fact, trying something new. Her memoir called “In Other Words” is written completely in Italian. Now, mind you, she already spoke Italian, as well as English and Bengali, but began writing her journal in Italian after moving to Rome with her husband. Check out her story there for more on this journey of hers.

I write about this here, because I find that I’m always searching for a better, more natural, way to communicate. I’m attracted to the written word, as well as the drawn image, which has led me to be interested in writing prose as well as drawing. My desire to communicate complex ideas visually, has led me to incorporate MindMaps in every kind of complex thinking application I can.

In the back of my mind, I keep asking myself: “How can I understand this [insert concept] better?” Or, how can I explain this [insert concept] to others, better?” The search continues for me almost daily. I have a need to express myself, but I often feel dissatisfied with the result, usually because although I understand what I’m saying, other’s don’t get the significance because I have not expressed it in a way that helps them understand it.

I’ve written posts before about MindMaps (Organizing My Mind, Parts 1 and 2) and how they help me to express myself. I treasure learning that skill, because it has helped me express myself.

Coming up in a future post, I’ll be asking the question: “Why d0 I feel the need to express myself?”




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