A Disappearing Act


I was in ninth grade when I lost my voice. I wish I could tell you that there was a battle involved, that I lost my voice screaming at the top of my lungs at a Beyoncé concert, but those would be all lies. I woke up one morning and it was gone. And what was the worst part? My voice disappeared for three months.

With no warning, no explanation, no known medical cause, my voice just slipped away and took a nice long vacation.

I was a singer. I was notoriously the loudest person in my family. I was a talker, a big one at that, and was occasionally sent outside of my classroom in school for my ceaseless conversations. And then, in one nights sleep, I fell silent.

One truly doesn’t know the power of words, the power of expressing ones thoughts and feelings, until their beautiful ability no longer exists.

It was when no one could hear what I had to say, what I wanted to say, that I began to write. I wrote everything; what I wanted for dinner, what I thought of different stories we would read in class, whether or not I wanted to go to the movies.  I wrote because I had to.

Having no idea whether or not my voice was every coming back, I wrote down all of my feelings which turned out to be pages and pages of fear. When my voice finally came back and I looked back at all I had written over those long and quiet three months, I realized my greatest fear was not being heard. I lived in fear that my words would be forgotten because no one could hear what I had to say, and then it hit me. To write is to speak and though it may not stir up immediate attention, if I write, then my thoughts, my ideas, my words, could never be lost.

When my voice came back, I kept on writing. I kept on writing, and I still haven’t stopped. I write because I can, because it’s an incredible outlet. My writing matters, if to no one but myself, my words mean something, and it is sad that I had to lose my voice in order to realize that.

3 thoughts to “A Disappearing Act”

  1. They say that necessity is the mother of invention and I think this is the perfect example of that! Invention being the invention of phrases and sentences, I think. I absolutely love this story- it hooks the reader from the beginning. It’s also really puzzling. I found myself wondering how you lost your voice and I think it’s a really unique situation that deserves to be focused on. Also, it’s not sad that you had to lose your voice to realize how important writing is. Embracing the fact that you were brought to such a realization may give the end of your paper a more uplifting tone!

  2. Very interesting way to find writing. I like the way you split up the paragraphs at the beginning, it made it more suspenseful because I could just look at one sentence by itself like the “With no warning…” sentence which is blunt and to the point and stands alone.

  3. This sounds like an episode of House or something much cooler. Such an interesting story! I think if you could include a brief excerpt from a journal you wrote at that time in your final essay, that would really add to it. Fantastic job!

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