“There is nothing more meaningful than being true to yourself and finding your own voice. Follow your heart and don’t let anyone discourage you.” – Jane Fulton Alt
Did you ever think about your own voice? What do you sound like when you speak? Have you ever listened to yourself? What would you sound like if you were to write? Could you share yourself with others through words on a page? Are you able to believe in yourself enough to do just that? How do you figure out your own voice?
I’ve gotten a lot of advice about writing, but the best advice has been, ‘write, write often and edit even more’. Today, heaps of people try their hand at writing, but those who continue to hone their craft are the ones who forge ahead. No matter the genre, write. How do we know what to write, how to write and how to sound? How do you trust yourself to write in a way that others understand, and even more, want to read? How do you trust your own words?
“There is no one alive that is youer than you.” – Dr. Seuss
For those journalism or English majors out there, there was coursework galore. For those without those degrees interested in diving into this sea of data, it’s there too. Similar to finding the types of books you enjoy or television shows to watch, there’s informal research involved in finding your own voice. Remember the advice of your youth group advisors, coaches, mentors, teachers, and channel the best bits into your work. Think of your favorite on-screen characters who played writers and journalists and see if anything they did could work for you. Read and watch the works of others you admire and respect and even those you think are doing it in the completely different way you ever would – you never know from where you can learn something.
It’s true – it’s not always your voice that pays the bills where writing is concerned. There are many times that you silence yourself for that well-paying content marketing company, that ‘can you help me write my resume’ paying gig or the ‘I need a blog post about whatever’ request on the ‘find a job platform’. But finding your voice matters more than you think. Channeling who you are, what’s important to you, what your heart says, what you believe in and what you’d like to share with the world sets your writing apart from others. You can tell stories your own way. You can share your mind with the world and be sure others hear the way you see the world. Trust yourself. Be yourself. Put your words on paper and set them free.
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” – E.E. Cummings
It doesn’t happen overnight. Perhaps you try one way for a while and tweak it as you grow. Find quotes that peak your interest and use them as stepping-stones for new ideas. Change your environment, have new experiences, talk to people – use what you know and write. It may be only for you, your own blog, your journal, for poetry class or that soon to be published manuscript, but it’s yours and yours alone. Those same words your primary school teacher reminded you on that very first day of school are as important now as they were then…be yourself, no one else can be you.