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What is a “Voice,” Really?

find-your-voice-blueSo, 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!

Feeling the Squeeze…

Lately I’ve been thinking a lot about pressure. In fact, it seems like everyone’s talking about pressure in some form or another. I read some interesting things about blood pressure recently. And on the Today Show yesterday morning they featured a documentary by a mom of teenagers who got very frustrated with all the pressure her kids were under at school.

And I guess what I’ve been pondering is more akin to that mom’s concerns about her kids being under too much pressure to perform (although there is some increased blood pressure involved…). Read the rest of this entry

Topic Tuesday – 10 Things I Want to Accomplish Before It’s Too Late

I’m starting another regular feature here on the Pursuit of God. One of the elements of my own pursuit has been this blog itself – simply forcing myself to put into words some things that I have been experiencing or pondering. In order to help facilitate that process, and to help my writing, I’m starting “Topic Tuesday” (the other #tt). In Topic Tuesday posts, I will take a randomly generated blog prompt and write a post based on it. The consistent practice of forcing myself to write a post on a given topic will hopefully help me become a better writer, which should make PoG more enjoyable for everyone.

Today’s topic: 10 Things I Want to Accomplish Before It’s Too Late.

In no particular order…

1) Skydiving – This has been on my “bucket list” since I was in elementary school. Airplanes (which I love)? Check. Element of crazy? Check. Exhilaration of facing down Death? Check.

2) Having kids – For me, “too late” for having kids doesn’t mean when my wife and I are no longer physically able to bear children, but rather when I’m no longer physically able to engage and play with them. I want to be the one who teaches my kids how to play baseball, football, etc. I want to be able to take them camping, hiking, white-water rafting, and stuff like that. I want to have those experiences with my family firsthand, to live a truly great adventure with them.

3) Breaking the sound barrier – Also on my bucket list since forever, this one became a little harder to reach since the put the Concorde out to pasture. It would have been pricey, but still way easier than catching a faster-than-sound ride in a military jet.

4) Getting a graduate degree – In total honesty, part of me just really wants the title “Master”… But the bigger part of me really just wants to be a lifelong learner. I know that there is so much more out there for me to learn in my current field, and I have at least a passing interest in about 10 other fields.

5) Seeing a baseball game in the remaining great old parks – In my lifetime, the greatest old ballparks in existence have been the old Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, and Wrigley Field. I missed out on the old Yankee Stadium, and there have been some discussions in recent years about closing Fenway. I really want to get at least 2 out of 3. The history and tradition of those places is incredible, and I just want to experience it once. Wearing my Atlanta Braves hat, of course…

6) Becoming a published author – I’ve always loved writing. It’s only been recently (within the last 5 years or so) that I’ve gotten interested in the process a little more. I know full-well that it’s sort of a long-shot dream, but it would be awesome to have a book published. For me, it would probably have to be a non-fiction book of some sort. I just don’t know if I have the “Great American Novel” in me.

7) Becoming completely debt-free – I mean completely, totally, unconditionally free from all financial debts to anyone.

8) Create something lasting and beautiful – Classic song? Enduring work of art? Idea that changes the world? I’m not sure it matters. I want to create something that is beautiful and will positively impact people well beyond my own personal contact with them.

9) Rock-solid, tight-knit family – This might end up being my “something lasting and beautiful” from #8. Between my actual family and friends who have become like family, I have experienced this in my own life, and I want to pass that on to my own kids. I want them to be able to take stock of the people in their life and feel as blessed as I do.

10) Pass on what I’ve learned to others – Not that I feel like I have any special knowledge or anything… I enjoy teaching and mentoring, and it would be awesome to know that something I said or modeled actually sunk in to a young mind and made a difference.

So that’s my list. What are some things you want to accomplish before it’s too late?


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