Tag Archives: writer’s voice

What I Know For Sure About Writing

When I attended retirement planning seminars over the course of my career, the psychologists who provided guidance on how to mentally prepare for the transition always seemed to ask the same question: What do you want to do in retirement?

To me, the answer has always been a no-brainer: writing.

My first glimmers of self-awareness about writing came in high school and university. Of all of the assignments in a students’ life, I enjoyed writing essays and compositions the most – and the longer the better – despite the groans from my fellow classmates.

When I stepped into the career world, by some strange stroke of luck, I often ended up in work teams where my colleagues were more than happy to let me raise my hand and volunteer to write lengthy reports, business cases, user manuals and web content while others would probably rather raise their hand and volunteer for root canals.

Writing tasks made me so happy because they presented learning opportunities in an area for which I held a keen interest in becoming better and better.

I enjoyed writing for my managers and executives, as it presented a unique learning opportunity to learn and adapt to their respective writing styles. With the knowledge that I wasn’t writing for me, I was writing for them, I never took personally any comments about what I produced. In fact, after working on a few memos, I truly relished getting to a point where I could receive a request, get a few key points about what is intended in the message, and go back to my desk to draft, edit and return a product that was exactly what they wanted and in their own voice. There was no greater compliment to me than when they said “André, this is like I wrote it myself!” Continue reading

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Filed under 50+, Writing

Can a Writer’s Voice Get Sick Too?

TissuesLast week, I was home with a cold. It wasn’t anything major, just a head cold that knocked me off my feet, gave me a pounding headache, kept me under the covers, and had me breathing through half of one nostril.

Even when my first priority is to get better, I can’t help but think that with the extra free time on my hands, it would be a great time to write. But I can’t. When I am feeling under the weather, words just don’t come.

Maybe it’s related to the fact that my oxygen supply is not at full capacity, or that my ears are affected and that I could potentially throw up at any given moment… it’s a little distracting.

But over the last 3 years of writing the blog, I have noticed that if I want to keep to a posting schedule of at least one or two works per week, I need to keep a few drafts in my back pocket for times like this.

The worst was when I was out with shingles for several weeks. I remember trying desperately to commit words to paper, but everything I wrote was disjointed, disconnected and frankly wasn’t up to my usual style or standards. Continue reading


Filed under Humour, Inspiring, Writing

I Found It!!

A close up shot of a computer keyboardThere have been occasions when I have been visiting friends and I would look up at a wall and announce with gleeful enthusiasm “Oh my God! What amazing artwork! It’s gorgeous! Did you just get it?” to which my friends would reply “Uhhh…Andre, it’s been up for 3 years, haven’t you noticed it before? Uhmmm… I’m glad you like it.” Admittedly, I do not always have a great sense of observation for things like that.

The interesting part is that when I was a kid, I totally rocked at Sesame Street’s “One of these things is not like the others”. And today, I have a strange talent when proofreading large bilingual documents (large, as in hundreds of pages) of being able to recall that a certain word was translated one way 150 pages ago, and is translated differently on the page in front of me.

How and why my sense of observation is radically sharper in this case, I will never know. For others, it may the exact opposite. Isn’t it wondrous how our brains all work differently and we all notice and see things in different ways?

At one time or another, I am certain you have been in a situation where two people explained to you how an event unfolded, an event they both witnessed, yet it sounds like two completely different stories. We all perceive and react to situations differently based on our moods, our feelings, our respective points of reference and all the factors in our history that make us who we are. Not only does our unique sense of observation impact how we react to situations, but it also impacts how we convey them to others. Continue reading

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Filed under Humour, Writing