How I Reclaimed My Voice After Years of Gray

Once upon a time I was a prolific writer. Released from the prison cells of High School, I rushed to my room and wrote for hours. Thousands of words a night and countless articles later, I had learned that words could not only create a business, but also a way of life.

It was the money, business success, the unchecked prestige of being a young and successful writer (who cares what young people have to say?) that brought me into the haze.

For years I confused success at an early age for the corruption of my mind, a standard I could never live up to and a peak already reached.

For years it was the world that was to blame for not better preparing me for just how slow time truly passes, and for how drastic change is in the real world compared to the “same shit different grade” days of school.

Call this ignorance the result of a sheltered life—I had what I needed from the outer world to retreat into my inner world but the truth is nobody wants to read from a down and about kid who abuses the pen with his grievances and expects to make a living.

Surely after a decade out of school and of life experiences consisting of achievements, travel, relationships, and higher knowledge at least an ember from the fiery voice of that young yet naive writer would return, but seeing the blank page was an unbearable confinement.

The answer to this must be more. More experiences, more relationships, more interests—these are the keys to being an interesting writer.

An interesting writer is fueled by coffee, drugs, and of course smokes a lot—all of the things a young Alex never needed that the wise Alex experienced himself into.

“Just write,” they say, but there is no “just” anything when you are stuck in the gray.

When your senses are shot from substances, your reason clouded by relativity, and your art traded for money, action becomes next to impossible due to the complexity of being nothing.

I am a writer, and my soul longs to be heard. Talk about a cliche, but at least now I am talking. If I were to compile my writings prior to that declaration, I’d find somebody too afraid to believe in something to say anything.

My senses—they are now lubricated by desire. My reason fine-tuned for truth, and my art free from the whim of others—this is the highest form of living I can know.

Whether it be journaling, writing actionable advice, or creating technical tutorials, my writing style has always been to lead by example; that if I can think I can write, and if I can pull something from within myself with conviction and show it to you, you can pull out what you need to get the same results.

The truth is I can’t tell you how to get out of the gray if that’s where you are. Only you can find your way out, and some gray is thicker than others.

I can tell you that it first starts with a desire to be out—do you remember what desire is like? From there it can take years to see in full color again, but so long as that time is going to pass anyway do you see any nobler achievement?

You are not wandering through the desert, but trekking through with a strong intention. I know it’s hard to go deep, but you just have to want it a little more than you did yesterday.

Milestones are great, but you know they won’t come consistently and that’s not ok. Sure, it is the best you can do but you should feel bad about that. That feeling is energy, and energy is what will propel you out of the gray.

Despite this post that highlights my rust as a writer and more bitching than I would have liked going into this, I have explored this idea more in two other pieces if you are interested: