Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Nuestras Voces, Our Voices: Emerging Latina writers talk about their work - Elianne Ramos

Editor's note: this is the third in monthly series of guest blog posts in which emerging Latina writers talk about their work, their process and what inspires them.

Elianne Ramos is principal and founder of Speak Hispanic, a marketing and PR consultancy focused on non-profits. She is the winner of the 2012 Game Changers Award from Politic365, and was recently nominated to the 2012 Yahoo Women Who Shine. She's also a columnist at Huffington Post, NBC Latino and Mamiverse. Her website is You can follow her on Twitter @ergeekgoddess.

Writing: Your heart on display

If I were to give it some thought, I’d say there must be something really wrong with all of us who decide to write for a living. Why else would you decide to put your heart and innermost thoughts on public display? And yet, we continue plodding on, one word at a time, in the hopes that transcribing the crazy thoughts swirling in our head can somehow orient us, help us find meaning, validate us.

The act of writing, in my case, serves many purposes. It’s a chance to understand life. To reimagine. To reminisce. To calm down or get fired up. To battle on. To BE. Inspiration, capricious goddess that it is, tends to show up unannounced, at odd times, always unwilling to give in to humanly-imposed timelines or expectations. Many a times, she’s triggered by completely random things: A phone call. A line from a forgotten poem. A tweet. My daughter’s laughter. A starry night. Trova music. Mandelbrot fractals. Justice.

Yet in my experience, she’s always willing to come along with me while interacting with people. Which is ironic, to say the least, coming from someone who grew up as a geeky, awkward girl with her nose in a book. I was never what you would call a social butterfly. Yet somehow, immersing myself in the fictional worlds of Allende and Marquez and Benedetti awakened my curiosity for the gazillion stories that surround us, everyday, everywhere, in every person we meet. Stories of challenges met, of travails overcome, of hopes crushed and regained…

There is something I find absolutely fascinating about the kaleidoscopic and relentless nature of the human spirit: People who aren’t afraid to claim their birthright to be awesome, magnificent, creative; who don’t wait for life circumstances to be perfect; who dare to rewrite their own roles and become the heroes in their own life.

As we step into the private chambers of someone’s story, we are given permission to flip through the pages of their life, to become a character in their stories of escapism, of turmoil, of redemption. We get a glimpse at the core of their very self. And at that magical moment, our souls recognize and embrace each other, like friends reuniting at long last. It is then that we realize that all our stories are really but one story: the story of humankind. And that glorious realization, to a writer, is what makes it all worthwhile.

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