Finding my voice

“Writing makes a map, and there is something about a journey that begs to have its passage marked.” ~ Christina Baldwin

Tomorrow’s blog post will be my 500th post that I’ve published here on this blog. Because I’ve taken some longish sabbaticals at times from blog writing, it’s taken me almost three years to get this far.

This blog began as a safe space to record my journey. It continues to be that space for me, but over time, it’s also become the map showing where I’ve been. It’s the record of what I’ve learned and how I’ve grown through the experiences I’ve encountered along the way.

That map is precious because it serves to remind me of lessons that I hope not to have to repeat. It encourages me when I see how far I still need to go by showing me just how far I’ve already come. It is a testament to fact that I have persevered—and even found ways to thrive—in some very dark and uncertain times. I’m tougher and more resilient than I often give myself credit for.

It’s so amazing to go back and remember where I was when this blog started and to see all that’s changed since then. It’s also interesting to see how my writing has changed during the same time, both in style and in the themes that I crop up.

This ability to see my writing voice begin to emerge may be the most precious gift that I’ve received from these first 500 posts. My other public writing—on other blogs, for coursework, for publication—has all come with certain constraints that shape the way I must write. This is the only opportunity I’ve had for public writing that gives me the freedom to experiment and see what styles, topics, and voices appear and what those things sound like.

I’m learning a lot about what comes naturally for me in my writing and what does not. I’m also finally learning to embrace my style for what it is and let go of what I wish it was. (Some of the feedback I’ve gotten from my readers has been a big help with this. Thank you!)

There’s something very powerful about this process of finding my voice as a writer because it’s intertwined with finding my voice as a person. It’s as much about learning who I am and what I am about as it is about learning how I express it. The two processes have been inseparable ones here. Perhaps they always are for writers.

Assuming I don’t take anymore long sabbaticals, I’ll hit my next 500 posts in May 2014. It’ll be interesting to see what I learn during that time about myself, my writing, and life.

A Note on Comments: A chrysalis is by nature a fragile and vulnerable place to be, so I am committed to keeping this a safe place for me and for my readers. Comments sharing your own journey, even if your experience is different from mine, are always welcome and encouraged. Expressions of support or encouragement are also welcome. Comments that criticize, disparage, correct, or in any way attempt to undermine the validity of another person’s experience or personal insight are not welcome here and will be deleted.

10 thoughts on “Finding my voice

  1. Congratulations. I just made it past 200 by a few for my main blog. The other one I started at the same time has under 100! WP is great 🙂 Thanks for sharing your blogging achievement with us! 😀

  2. I happen to see your post just as I am writing one about finding my own voice. Can you describe what your voice is, or is it just something that comes naturally? Great to have others talking about his topic.

    • That’s a really great question. I’m not sure that I can entirely describe it, but it’s becoming one of those “I know it when I see it” kind of things. It is very much what comes naturally for me when I get out of my own way and stop worrying about how I think I “should” sound. But if I were to try to describe my voice, it’s one that sounds a lot like my speaking voice in many ways (not very formal or scholarly in tone). I tend to use personal stories a lot from my own life to explore topics, but I often do so with most of the details stripped out to invite others into the story with their own experiences. I also tend to use a lot of nature images in my writing, and very often use pairings of three in descriptions or examples. And I am constantly coming back to explore the same range of topics in ways that focus more on the questions than finding “the answer.” These topics include spirituality, faith, personality, relationships, creativity, writing, solitude, authenticity, and identity.

      I don’t know if any of that helps, but that’s the best I’m able to do at this point. Good luck with finding your own voice! I think it comes with the doing over time (or at least that’s my experience).

  3. Pingback: Have I Found My Voice? « Gift of RA

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