As I think about one day taking the time to write a book (oh no. I said that out loud), my wheels spin on what it means to be a writer, to really be brave, especially in this blog world where so many want to inspire and make readers want to come back for more. So many of us want to write out our faith experiences, and we want to do it with authentic voice and story. After all, shouldn’t we be equipped to do that? Don’t we have the mind of Christ? Are we not at least created in image of the Trinity?
What with creator at the ears of our hearts, maybe the standard should be one of awakened originality and fearlessness. I say this to myself as I wonder what works well for other writers. I’m learning that there’s no need to borrow another’s turn of phrase if God is great enough for us all to express in endless direction. Our unique voices all reflect, all rise like chorus conducted by Spirit. She who has an ear let her hear; let her have reckonings; let her writing not be afraid to fall apart from the norm, clay in original artist hands. We writers walk with our own special limp.
What does it mean to find your voice? Our words aren’t simply black on white robotics for transferring ideas. They are space, time (cadence, the music), and matter combined to make meaning.
We learn so much from other writers, read them so much that they seep in. Words are powerful because they infuse. I first heard my own voice in college while copying someone else at the instruction of a professor. It’s true. It was that one first moment I felt wild and brave, stepping into my own music. I’m still listening for my voice, but I know that the blueprint doesn’t lie with any New York Times Best Seller. There’s no paint by numbers, no formula to jot down. Write what you see with your brave eyes, the objects your grandmother passed down to only you, the way you felt when all the clocks in the living room clicked at different times, that beeswax smell in the felt of your daddy’s fiddle case, the strings on the smooth bow.
The blueprint to finding your voice is nowhere else but in the week of Eden-making, in galaxies, and in the fine lines of mica pearling your granite countertops. The blueprint is in the storm and your own originally navy-blue iris, when your eyes first opened to the light shining through your mother’s paper-stretched skin.