What is a “Voice,” Really?
Posted by Joseph
So, as an author or blogger or artist of any type, really, you’re constantly encouraged to find your “voice.” Your “voice” is supposed to be the slant or angle or worldview or lens that makes the work uniquely you and no one else. And I get it, to some degree at least – what value does a piece of music or some words on a page have if they don’t express anything new?
But the challenge I’m feeling right now is on a little deeper level, I think. See, I could write a piece on this year’s political situation, for instance, and make it scathing, or hopeful, or analytical, or anything else I want. I could make that political piece sound like a variety of sources from all over the political spectrum. And I could probably do any of those options pretty convincingly.
No, the challenge I’m facing right now is not learning how to express things using my unique “voice” – it’s discovering what that “voice” is in the first place.
Which leads me to another question – what in the world is a “voice?” If it’s my unique, personal worldview and lens on things, then shouldn’t it be the most natural thing in the world to speak with? Or if it’s a motif that I just try on for size and end up liking, then is it really my own “voice,” or just a voice that I like to speak with?
Like, for real, I feel like the fact that I struggle to define what my own “voice” is might be evidence that the idea doesn’t really exist…? Or that I just don’t have a “voice…?”
I don’t know. I DO know that I’ve started blogging again for several not-necessarily-related reasons. I like the structured exercise of creativity (if you want to call it that). I like the person that I was when I was blogging regularly. (Not that I don’t like who I am now… I just like who I was then.) I like the relationships I had developed with teacher/mentor types, and fellow blogger/friend types when I was posting on a regular basis.
Maybe I’ll keep blogging. Maybe I’ll decide that a “voice” is a really real thing. Maybe I’ll find mine.
Until then, peace!