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Emotions I had at 20 by Adele Voss

Adele Voss

Writer and Singer


What has been the most significant change for you?

I moved out of my parents home. I had been waiting for this for so long and I feel very comfortable on my own.

How do men look at a 20-year-old?

Depends on the men. But the older the men are, the more intense they look at me. Maybe because they practiced all life long. Or maybe younger men don’t dare to risk a look, since they are too afraid of the reaction. But I believe this dynamic has exacerbated over the last decades.

Which author has made an impression on you?

Alice Munro’s short stories have tremendously affected my perspective on storytelling. How she is able to elicit emotion within only thirty pages, made me reconsider the importance of each component of writing. With stories full of atmosphere and slowly evolving tension she proves how intelligent effortlessness can be.

What is the most difficult part for you about writing a story?

Creating conflict. I realized during the last year,that I spend a lot of time with the characters inner journeys and psychology. But each time I wrote the first turning point in a script, I used to feel too frightened to allow a shift in the story and I ended up protecting my characters and therefore also the reader. Two months ago for the first time I had a story in mind, which was mainly built around an intense conflict and I felt very relieved.

What is a writing tool you use?

I have synesthesia so each letter has a unique color. I sometimes automatically choose a certain word only because of its shade and use it because it matches the rest. Who knows if that makes sense tho.

Did your writing evolve in the past year?

Practice is so important. It is a factor I underestimated for too long. My ability to redact my own writing has developed significantly.

You were born in 2000. What is that like?

Your loneliness is not about being alone. It is the feeling of being surrounded by billions of people you don’t know.

Tell me about a misapprehension?

That being an artist is about displaying the devastating sides of life. You can’t measure the quality of art by the level of depression. A sad story should not exclusively be sad. A break-up song can contain good times. A photo can show a horrifying scene shot from a beautiful angle.

Do you have feelings of guilt?

You know it is always the same. We all feel guilt towards our parents, and they tell us we don’t have to have these feelings but in the end we feel guilty. The strange part about this is that a lot of the time I don’t even know why I feel the way I feel. As we get older we start to make our own decisions and develop our own sense of right and wrong, but the value system we inherited as children will always resonate with us no matter how far we come. However our own moralities might not always meet our parents demands and that can cause confusion in terms of your identity And self-perception. So I think guilt is a challenging emotion to deal with, and it definitely has been a huge issue for me during the last year.

What is something you have not accomplished at 20?

Uploading my album to Spotify. And I won’t until I feel like it makes sense as an album. I want the lyrics to be read such as a book full of stories. It is a difficult process.

What is something you’ve have finished at 20?

I am about to finish my first script. And I wrote a few poems in German.

How do you think about social media after using it for the past year?

Back in the pre-social media era people captured situations with their cameras. Now they re-enact situations to convey emotions. The photo is not taken because they laugh, they laugh because a photo is being taken. This online world can seem overwhelming. But it also is a great place for smaller

artist to get acknowledged, and you can find such talented and inspiring people. I just think the algorithm makes a healthy use difficult.

What is something you thought about lately?

Aging. Which is ironic, because I am 20. But most faces shown in the media of women over forty are those without wrinkles, without expression, and it makes me wonder how this phenomenon impacts young women’s perspective on age. Who decides what is considered old? I miss realistic faces. I think women with wrinkles are beautiful and this idea to take away their expressions reminds me of the 50s.

Do you like being 20?

Yes. A lot.

A random sentence you wrote at 20?

“It is as hard as realizing death, that time won’t return.”

What has not changed for you?

I still keep a lot of my emotions to myself.

What is something you are missing?

I’ve needed glasses for over two years now. Growing old and being able to take care of yourself is a long process…


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