The word itself is an aesthetic, honestly. I instantly picture a nicely structured organization of colors, patterns, photos. The older I get, the more I appreciate people and their use of design to make something beautiful, unique, and interesting. I've always been envious of those who can create a nice set of images. Those instagrams that are all succulents and neon signs and simple phrases and, like, white? I'm so friggin' into those.
Feeling like I'm constantly in a tornado of chaos, I have never been able to master this art of design. I'm too messy, to begin with. I don't have the patience to think an image through. I have a very flighty personality, so I get obsessive over different things constantly. I'm too inconsistent to be so consistent. It kills me.
I think you can usually pull a kind of "aestheticism" out of a person's writing, too. Except in writing it's called your voice, and it isn't always so distinct as a visual form can be.
When you look at my room, you'll notice a mess of things, all of these more than likely spurred by some aesthetic that I tried to mirror and instantly failed--but that I've made my own. I have photos and a map of Paris. I have framed pictures of animals and trees. I have my shelf of books, with an assortment of doodads. Above my desk are a bunch of fangirl posters of Supernatural and The Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. I have dying succulents on my television stand. There are a ton of the same, like, three photos of my animals in a multitude of frames scattered about.
(This is my aesthetic. Coffee stuff and dog stuff, simplified.)
In my writing, depending on the project, you'll see my attempt at different voices, different ways of writing, inspired by that same need to mimic those I admire. Inadvertently, after reading a Maggie Stiefvater or Jandy Nelson book, my writing takes on a not-so-greatly executed form of poetics. Sometimes I focus on different aspects of a book, like how I try and fail to make beautiful settings a la Kirsten Hubbard or Lucy Christopher.
They all obviously turn out bad. They aren't me.
I'm a mess, but a simple mess. Despite my mismatched room, it all fits in a homey kind of way. Not too cluttered or I get overwhelmed. My writing, I think, it the same. When I haven't been trying to copy someone else's way of writing, I've been told by various people that my voice is distinct. I'm not good at flowery language. I can't move someone with a sentence, or make someone swoony with a setting. But I'm decent at simple humor. I can make someone feel comfortable with my characters.
I can't keep a succulent alive to save my life (which is so ridiculous! they're supposed to be easy!), I can't figure out how to make myself fashionable. But people generally feel comfortable when they enter my space. And my writing is easy going and at least vaguely entertaining, if only to myself.
I've never been able to accomplish the kind of organization and design that I admire from others. I can't pull off anything fancy or cool. But at least I'm myself in my mess, and that's all I can really hope for. It's taken a lot of practice and morphing of others' talents to get me where I am at this particular point.
I used to talk about a person's voice in their writing all the time on here, because I've always felt like voice is such a huge aspect in a novel. It's the voice someone is drawn to and sticks with. Even with different characters in different stories, you can always seem to pinpoint that sometimes unexplainable voice of the author hidden between the words.
I don't know what you would call mine. A dinner made out of previously delicious leftovers in the fridge?
Something like that, probably.
(Even now, thinking too hard about it, I'm becoming overly aware of how this post is even being written. Yikes.)
Do you have any tips for perfecting your writing voice? Or how to make my dumb plants stop wilting?