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The fear of finding your voice

Over the past week or so I’ve appreciated reading several great posts by some of my fellow bloggers, all centred around or touching on the theme of finding, accepting, not second-guessing, and developing our own individual voice as expressed through our writing.

Some examples of these fine posts:

I agree with the points raised by these writers, who expressed and explored several of the feelings and struggles I’ve been processing as I work towards finding and developing my own voice, particularly this year as I’ve been making a practice of writing daily.

But always there are fears that lurk at the back of my mind (and, I confess, sometimes right out front), distracting me from digging deeper, exploring further, and taking risks.

What if I find my voice, but discover that it’s really nothing special?

What if I find my voice, but discover that it’s actually hurtful or offensive to someone?

What if I find my voice, but discover that no one actually wants to hear it?

Do you ever deal with these fears? How do you come to terms with them? What strategies do you employ to keep them firmly at the back of your mind rather than at the forefront, or, preferably, get rid of them altogether?

Please share your thoughts.

Laurel Storey, CZT – Certified Zentangle Teacher. Writer, reader, tangler, iPhoneographer, cat herder, learner of French and Italian, crocheter, needle felter, on-and-off politics junkie, 80s music trivia freak, ongoing work in progress.

{ 11 comments… add one }
  • Sabrina April 22, 2012

    What’s interesting is I was working on a post that’s inline with your questions. This is the perfect example of ‘voice’. By simply sharing what’s true for you, you’ve confirmed what’s also true for me. Every now and then it might come out as a rant but those moments are few and considered human. Being afraid of not fitting in any particular niche kept me from writing for a while but, the more I write, the more I see something taking shape. All of your questions are valid and I think about them often but no matter how much we try, our DNA leaks on the page. We already see parts of you and, based on what we’ve seen, we’ll stick around for the rest.

    I really cannot believe what you’ve written, it’s so inline with my thoughts earlier this day. It’s in the air. Thanks for including me the line up, again, confirmation. 🙂
    Sabrina recently posted… Law of Matched MomentumMy Profile

  • Molly Jo April 23, 2012

    I’ve discovered that I’m better to myself when writing; so I don’t care if others “get me” or not. Of course, it’s always a bonus when someone subscribes to my blog or buys my book; but that’s just icing on the cake. As long as I’m writing, I know I’m doing to right thing in my life.
    Molly Jo recently posted… What’s Your Writing Style? Creatively Overcoming Writer’s BlockMy Profile

  • Brendan April 23, 2012

    I find that if you write with someone else in mind, your work will suffer. If something I write appeals to me, and if it makes me laugh, or think, or both, then I know I’ve done a good job. If, on the other hand, I’m always stopping myself and questioning whether or not people will “get it” then my work suffers.

    For me, putting the blinders on and just going for it results in my best work.

  • Masked Mom April 26, 2012

    Thanks for the link, Dawn. I like your questions–and I think that they are something many creative people struggle with. I think the answer to all of them, at least for me, is that ultimately I would rather be authentically boring, or offensive, or nothing special than to be inauthentically great. (Of course, it’s unlikely that an inauthentic voice would not immediately be recognized as such by most readers, anyway, but you get my point.) Basically, the only thing each of us can really bring to the table that no one else can is ourselves. If our work is not a true expression of ourselves, I think it is so much less meaningful.

    I’ve definitely found no strategy to get rid of those questions/voices altogether, but I’ve learned to work around them. Let those insecurities sit in the corner and pout all they want, my attention can be better spent elsewhere.
    Masked Mom recently posted… Welcome Back, Karo*My Profile

  • Jenn April 27, 2012

    You pose great questions–though I don’t ever worry about that sort of thing. I’ve always had just one rule when it came to writing. I write for me. Eventually, I think, I will attract an audience that gets “me” and wants to continue to follow me, for who I am…quirks and all.

    Cheers, Jenn
    Jenn recently posted… WelcomeMy Profile


  • It’s in the Air April 25, 2012, 10:07 am

    […] As a result, I’d only had the concept down when I read her post. If you’ll read “The fear in finding your voice”, you’ll see she shares how myself and several other bloggers covered similar topics within a […]

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