the real journey of a writer
The real journey of a writer – or any creative – isn’t to publication, rewards, acclaim, but to your own voice.
When you find your voice, you connect to yourself, and then through yourself to the world. Your work resonates. As Thoreau once wrote in his journal, “The whole is in each man.” (And each woman.)
I’ve always felt that your voice is twofold: not just how you write, but what you write about. They inform and shape each other.
You need to read, look, listen, absorb. You need to take the world into you so you can reinvent it through your own point of view.
You need to tune out external voices that speak in the language of the shoulds – you should do this, you should do that – and move into the secret life of your intuition. This other life has its own mind. It will guide you to places that, because they are yours, remain – as yet — unknown and uncharted. For all the self-help and how-to that fills our culture, success is, in the end, as unique to you as a fingerprint. You can only make that path by walking it. It unfolds in front of you. Sometimes it carries you along.
So you need to write.
You need to write past the point of self-consciousness. You need to quit trying to write: to be clever, witty, pretty, poetic. (Perhaps your true voice is none of these things.) You need to fall through the words into something else entirely.
(Blogging can be exceptionally good for this.)
We start by imitating the styles of others. That kind of mimicry – conscious or not – is like a trapdoor opening beneath you.
It drops you into yourself.
It’s when you lose yourself that your true voice starts to come out of the dark. It might be raw and naked. Or howling and slightly mad. Your soul is stamped all the way through it.
Finding your voice – what to say, how to say it, how to speak up in the world – is about making your truth manifest. When you’re moving in the grooves of that soulprint, you know it. And so do others.
This is art.
Art happens wherever your soul’s on the line. click to tweet