I have been an editor for around two years. First as an editor for a chapter of a national publication at my university and then as a national editor for that publication. But before that, I was a contributor to my chapter and a national contributor to the publication.
When I was a contributor, I would put all of myself into writing compelling and engaging pieces that readers would connect with and learn from (especially since I was often writing news- and political-related articles). And then my editor would go through, as they are supposed to and edit my article. But, in some instances, I would find that my work was altered in a way that no longer felt like it was mine, or certain statements within the article were shifted. I remember feeling saddened by the fact that the piece I had poured my heart and soul into no longer was my piece. It didn’t feel like mine. It didn’t sound like my voice.
So, when I became an editor, I vowed to edit articles in a way that would strengthen them and give them greater impact, all while still maintaining the author’s voice.
When I first started out as an editor for the chapter at my university, I took pride in working closely with my writers, giving them detailed notes as to why I made the changes I did. But overall, I made it my mission to ensure that any and all changes were consistent with the writer’s language and tone throughout the article. And as a national editor, any time I edited someone’s work, I made sure to preserve the language and tone of the article, so after they reviewed their edited work, they still felt that the piece was theirs.
Through my time as an editor and working to preserve the language of the articles I edited so their authors’ would feel proud of the work, I learned a valuable lesson of having and using your voice.
Our voice is our power. Our voice can be poisonous or medicinal; it can severely damage people, but when used for good, it can uplift them. Thus, it’s important to use your voice to elevate others, inspire, and motivate.
It is important to use your voice to tell your story. We all have unique stories; not everyone has walked the same path as you. By sharing our stories, we share that experience with others. Those that have experienced similar situations will know they are not alone, and those that have not will get a new outlook. Though our stories will impact each person who hears them differently, our stories will have an impact regardless.
Much like what some of us writers do here at Project Wednesday, our voices can be used to spread awareness, like mental health awareness and how to break the stigma surrounding mental health and disability. Sometimes others are ignorant about certain issues, and we can use our voices to educate them. More importantly, those of us that are fortunate enough to be able to use our voice more easily than others can use our voices to stand up for and speak on the behalf of those that can’t.
Most importantly, we can use our voices to share our opinions. And remember, your opinion is never wrong or right; it’s your opinion. But use your voice for a purpose. So share your opinion, whatever it may be, and put some power behind it. Have an opinion on how to change the world or help others? Share it and use your voice.
Our voices can be used to bring people together. It can be used to change the world. Whether you use your voice through writing like myself and my fellow writers, or through spoken word or another medium, use your voice. Use your voice in a way that brings purpose and meaning to you.
Use your voice even if you are scared. Don’t stay quiet and let others speak for you, much like how I don’t want to speak for the writers I edit for; doing so would only mean that you lose a piece of who you are. Your voice is unique and special and can have a profound impact.
So use your voice without hesitance. Speak loud for all to hear. With your voice, you could conquer the world.