My Voice Will Find Me Eventually

“Keep writing. Don’t second guess your writing or your unique, personal style. Let the early stages of your blog be about not only discovering your voice, but getting comfortable in that voice, and owning it.” – Doniree Walker

I found this quote while reading a Brazen Careerist post about the best advice for starting a blog. It offered advice from many bloggers, including Doniree Walker. She is a 20-something year old blogger who writes about much of the same inspiring topics and I recommend checking out her latest post, How We Spend Our Days. Her advice in the quote above caught my attention because I feel I’m constantly searching for my voice in my writing. To feel authentic to my true beliefs and to express them is something I strive for. There are bloggers out there I admire for being true to their voice and expressing it loudly. Like the brilliant and brash, Ash Ambridge, who is one of my secret, but now not so secret, heros.

As for me, I’m getting there. I guess, just like in life, we sometimes still get lost, or confused while going down that road into our own. One reoccurring theme of my life, is this quest to find my voice. To be authentic and really, really truthful in what I say and how I say it. And it’s not about being truthful to what is around me, it’s being truthful to what is inside of me. Is it bold? Is it gentle? Is it humorous? I have no idea yet.

But we have to be truthful to the thoughts we have, the emotions we feel, and the words we say.

Maybe the reason I struggle is because I’m looking for a consistency that can define me. And, in all honestly, I’ve never been the consistent type. I’ve always been somewhere in the middle, but on whims that come and go as fast as the wind, I can hit the extremes of each side. This pretty much skews the results of an “average” me. Well then maybe it’s just a personality fault.

Who knows? I figure as long as I keep writing and stop searching for it, my voice will find me eventually.

However, during this search, I have become more aware of the process I am going through to find it. There have been happenings in my life that have come unexpectedly, leading me unknowingly toward finding my voice. This further has confirmed my belief that all questions will be answered when we stop searching for the answers and let them come to us.

Case in point, an English professor and writer. Out of curiosity, I started going to an English class with el Senor at the nearby Butte Community College. I’ve always been a learner and I thoroughly enjoyed going to classes that covered subjects I had an interest in. Journalism, marketing, business, and of course writing among others. I became efficient at soaking up as much information as I could in college. Now I have even more appreciation for learning from others who have done what I want to do. Going back, post degree, I can really appreciate a good teacher that much more because I see the value in what can be learned. Although, most of the class doesn’t see it that way and continues to be obnoxious.

This professor mesmerized me by his enthusiasm for writing and charismatic teachings, not just dictations, of how to use words in a clever way.

He also gave everyone in the class nicknames. They are appropriate. One is “dank”, another “pyro” and a whole slew of ridiculous nouns. Needless to say, the class is interesting not only because of what he teaches.

However, it is what this professor said to me, that will never escape my writer’s memory. After a brief first meeting with him, I handed him two samples of my writing from past blog posts. He emailed me the next day with a few significant comments. This is what he said:

I read the two pieces you gave me. I can see that you’re one of that breed of people compelled to write. I want to encourage you in every way I can because nurturing such a compulsion is what I do. I hope I’m not too presumptuous and/or discouraging when I say that it seems you need to relax a little, to trust yourself a little more, and to make your prose more direct, simple, and uncluttered. That was the first thing I noted, and it’s an easy fix for writers…

I don’t think you’ve found your voice yet. There’s still a barrier that keeps you from a style that is easier, for you, and for your reader. You’ll get there because this is something you want.

It’s a funny thing that he later admitted to hesitating when sending this because he didn’t want to discourage me. I thought it possibly couldn’t happen…I’m a retired cowgirl, I have thick skin. However, his reply was incredibly insightful, and truthful, and at the top of it all, inspiring! He put it perfectly into words, what I couldn’t. It’s what I’ve been struggling with and what I’ve been waiting to hear. And he feels compelled to help me best of all.

I’ve let out a large sigh since reading his comments. A sigh of hope, and a knowing that even though I may not be the world’s best writer (yet) or have found my voice, I am one of those who is compelled to write. And yes, I knew that about myself, but having another writer see that in me, just makes it that much sweeter.

Do you feel you have found your own voice yet?


2 comments on “My Voice Will Find Me Eventually”

  1. I LOVE your insight on this! “And it’s not about being truthful to what is around me, it’s being truthful to what is inside of me.”

    That’s really powerful. “TRUTH” was sort of a theme for me last year, and I agree with so much of what you’ve said here. I think “authenticity” takes that truth idea to the next level and it’s not just about what ‘is’ but what is pure. And I think it’s impossible not to discover and embrace that loud voice of yours when you’re your most authentic self.

    Love this – and thanks for sharing!

  2. Beautiful Alex….I feel your voice in my heart loud and clear:)

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