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Then and Now

A Vocal Journey

By Calista Marchand-NazzaroPublished 9 months ago 3 min read
Then and Now
Photo by Alexis Fauvet on Unsplash

The first ever piece that I published here on Vocal is “What a Glass of Merlot Can Hold: Seeing Past the Now.” As I am writing this, I see the irony in that subtitle; perhaps deep down I knew I would be referencing it someday in the future. Reading that piece two years after writing it, I still think it’s a solid short story. However, I also noticed quite a few things I would like to edit and improve upon. I didn’t remember every detail that I chose to include so, in a way, it was like reading something new to me, yet so familiar.

I wrote my first Vocal piece specifically for a challenge (as I do with many of the pieces I publish here). I find the challenges to be a great way to exercise my creativity through different topics and writing styles than I would naturally explore. Sometimes the prompts can lead to a plethora of ideas for me to write that I would not have had the inclination to write prior to reading the challenge details. In general, I tend to thrive writing nonfiction prose and poetry based on my personal feelings and experiences. Through the challenges, I've been able to broaden my writing adventures to include a large amount of fiction pieces, specifically short stories, which I otherwise would not have spent nearly as much time exploring. My first ever piece on Vocal is an example of just that. For that challenge, as with many of those at the beginning of this Vocal chapter, I treated the challenge as an assignment. I made sure that I met the requirements fully and completely, I wrote the piece that I felt best fit the prompt - making sure to read it over many times and edit out any errors, and I, for sure, had to have it done before the due date. Over time, I began treating the challenges as inspiration for new pieces, rather than rules to follow for something I had to submit. I no longer worry about getting the wording exactly right to fit the prompt. I have come to realize the guidelines are not that strict and I loosened the reins on myself. Instead of sitting down to write a piece all at one time, I have been writing a bit at a time - whenever the mood strikes me (or when the words strike me). Sometimes I will write the piece far ahead of the due date, sometimes the day it’s due, and sometimes I’ll start it early and finish it at the last second. I’m still learning the balance of going with the flow and encouraging the flow to go with me.

For me, there's not one specific thing that I notice as glaringly different between my first Vocal story and my current writing style; it's really a combination of several subtle changes. I think that's how it goes sometimes though. As we evolve, our writing evolves. The speed at which it changes isn't always the same and sometimes it might be so gradual that you don't really notice exactly what has changed for quite some time. And that’s okay. If I were doing this challenge two years ago, I would probably think that that isn’t a sufficient answer to the question, but in this current form of myself, I have evolved enough to recognize that evolution of the self (and therefore of the thoughts and writing) can be seen through the processes and not just the results. There's a certain beauty to knowing that someday that piece (and this one too) will likely seem substantially different from my writing of the time, but they’re all still forms of me.


About the Creator

Calista Marchand-Nazzaro

Always learning and always evolving. I’m a creative, an idea person, a thinker, a dreamer, and working on being a doer. Many interests. Varied content. Food. Sustainability. Comedy. Poetry. Music.

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    Calista Marchand-NazzaroWritten by Calista Marchand-Nazzaro

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