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Saved from Fire with Vocal

No More Burning to Be Vocal

By Angela GroutPublished 6 months ago 5 min read

Being vocal on a page is where my voice finds its wings. Penning stories which have bound themselves within my body, mind, and spirit. These stories need to get out of me. Writing is the escape route to releasing them.

Determining when to publish, burn or file those drafted stories is something I determine after I type my handwritten prose and edit it. (And yes, I have burned a few things, and some I did regret.)

As a fictional writer, I remind myself of my own environment daily so that I don’t get too caught up in the worlds that I create within the stories I write. I have written memoir pieces like this one, and though I am inspired by reality, most of my published work becomes an imaginary scenario implanted within me, thus a fictional tale.

I believe all fictional tales weave stories which the writer experienced in one way or another. I like the way Margaret Atwood answered the question regarding if parts of her novels are her own truths. Her answer was “Everything in my books have happened somewhere in the world, not necessarily in my world.” I totally agree with that.

When I write, I want the actions of my characters to be believable. Perhaps if I wrote sci-fi or fantasy, then maybe I’d write that a kitten gave birth to a half cow, half bird. I don’t write that kind of stuff. I like reality. I also enjoy pondering scenarios for things that I’ve questioned. Faith, unsolved murders, suicides, accidents, and simply asking the question ‘why’ certain things occur in life (and even the how question). My goal in writing is to bring answers which I can find acceptable to these dilemmas, and hope readers will also.

Joining the online platform in Vocal has allowed me to share my work to discover if what I wrote is interesting, believable, and most importantly enjoyable to read. I appreciate reading comments left by other writers who appreciate what I dared to share.

There always is some anxiety regarding sharing what I’ve written. Hitting the submit button should feel like an orgasmic release, but often self-doubt appears and questions if it was good enough, or too personal, or not properly formatted or edited. What if I misspelled something and overlooked it? What if I used a word in the wrong context? What if a reader thinks I’m crazy? The what ifs get silenced by my inner strength that reminds me that I did my best. I write from the heart, I listen to my gut, and I trust my faith that whatever I’ve released is what was meant to be at that time.

As a deep thinker with a creative mind, I connect myself with my faith every day to keep my personal life in balance. Each morning, I begin with grateful prayers and write in my gratitude journal (except the days I hit snooze and must dash to get my daughter to school on time- not often, but it happens!)

The practice of communicating with God, praying, and being grateful allows me to honor my spiritual being as well as my physical being. The world has so much to offer, and I am so grateful for my pieces in the journey of life. Writing three things I am grateful for hardly takes much time, but it begins my day with a feeling of joy.

As I tuck myself in to sleep at night, I journalize moments of the day, as well as make “to-do” lists for the next day. Often double checking if my “to-do” list from today has been accomplished. This kind of writing is right just for me, but the writing I share is what I do during my dedicated hours at writing classes, with my coach, and in my writing room.

Typing the words “writing class” or “book meeting” in my calendar has more weight than just wishing and wanting to make time to write. It commits me to an allocated appointment time to actually sit down and get it down. It also gives my muse notice and allows my brain to focus and slow down to receive the flow of the story.

Fortunately, I am a motivated writer. When I sit to write, my right hand does its job. If ever I am in a frozen moment, I force myself to write silly things like “I need to write, I need to write, I want to write…” and normally it will evolve into what I want to write and next thing I know, I wrote what I needed and wanted to write.

There have been times I have logged into the website Vocal.com to find a contest to enter and realize I have already written something which could be tweaked to be submitted. That’s the best part of having material written and filed away. Even when you think it’s not good, there comes a day when it becomes the best thing to begin again.

I really like Vocal.com and want to be more active within the Vocal community. Especially because Vocal gives writers so many opportunities to get feedback and win money. Contests are offered daily, each with optional prompts and specific requirements. One of the requirements is easy, you just have to have an account on Vocal. Setting up an account is easy and free. The more challenging requirement is that as a writer, the piece you write to submit must follow the specific guided prompts and stay within the word count of the contest requirements. Judges select winners and other writers get to read the material submitted.

I enjoy reading pieces written by other writers. It builds my own courage to share and allows me permission to accept myself as an equal to other writers. There are so many stories in the air, knowing others also catch and release some makes me eager to do the same. The stories I read on Vocal serve a dual purpose for me; they entertain me and educate me in the art of writing.

The works of the writers in the vocal community each have unique styles, formats, genres, and successes. Maintaining the prompt and word count is something I enjoy. When I begin letting the ink flow, my own prose glides almost automatically. Authentically and organically creating a story or perhaps sharing a memoir to submit.

Regardless of what I’ve submitted or not, I’ve written and for that I am grateful. Writing and reading submissions on Vocal has become a collaborative partner for my future evolution to write better.

I'm anxious to finish my fourth novel and share excerpts of those chapters as well as my own memoirs. 2024 is a year for the stories bound within me to become bound to a community, a book, a stage, a screen, or whatever they are destined for…. just not a firepit anymore!

Yes, I have big dreams, novels, books, musicals, oh my! But isn't that what our imagination is supposed to give us? Reach for the unreachable and then reach for the feasible. It’s been said that if you can imagine it, you can achieve it, so I plan to imagine it and create it writing one line at a time.

PublishingWriting ExerciseWriter's BlockVocalStream of ConsciousnessPromptsProcessLifeInspirationCommunityAdvice

About the Creator

Angela Grout

Producer & Host of yWrite, Angela is enthusiastic to learn from other writers. Her podcast guests include writers across all genres. Among 4 of her books are the hilarious Dear Baby, Get Out! and APRIL RAiN which is in script development!

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    Angela GroutWritten by Angela Grout

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