Where to Find Your Voice

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.

 

Comments

  1. I struggle with voice. Sometimes I think I’ve found it…other times I think I never will. I worry that I’ll say “the wrong thing.” I worry that I won’t be liked. Or that I’ll lose readers. I do better when it’s just me and God and my computer screen. The less I travel around, reading others’ voices, the better I’m able to find my own.

    {write that book, girl!}
    Michelle DeRusha recently posted..The Man in the Basement

  2. This has stuck with me all week, pressed me to attempt stringing words together again, just for the love. Thanks, Amber.
    Annie recently posted..Summer’s End

  3. I think the key to voice is suffering. It sucks, but it gives you specificity and authenticity.
    Megan Willome recently posted..The Artist Dates: Solar Nails

  4. Amber–the joy of blogging (I’m 8 months into this) is that there is so much amazing, inspiring, one of a kind beauty out there in the digital words on a page world.
    The awful thing about blogging is well……the same thing. Compare, compare–how silly are we?
    I’m so glad I have been reminded today that there is only one me–the oldest of 5 children who got to pick green beans at the age of 15 and find Jesus at Calvary Chapel in a tent when just a teenager and well, many other only-me things (hey, I just got some ideas!)
    I should write in my own voice.
    Thank you for this and may
    God continue to bless you and your family (your baby boy Titus is in my prayers–thankful to God for answers to what was ailing him!)
    Jody Lee Collins recently posted..Trees

  5. So beautiful. I come back here because of the originality and beauty of your voice, Amber. Thanks for reminding me to write in “awakened originality and fearlessness.” Perfect.
    Addie Zierman recently posted..For the One Attending a Christian College [repost]

  6. I love that I have my own blueprint even if I maybe a product of seeps in and infusions from others whose words have impacted me, and whose styles I come back ever so often…… perhaps(again)….we are in the same wavelength, the same cadence-we attract even if we are not unlike poles.

    Thanks for this….. so good to read about.
    Lolita Valle recently posted..Let God {Five Minute Friday: Change}

  7. This is the most inspiring piece I’ve read in a long time. Thank YOU, beautiful you!

    Also? I want to be just like you when I grow up. Even though I’m a little older than you!
    Kristen@Chasing Blue Skies recently posted..What Your Difficult Today Really Means :: at (in)courage

  8. What I love the most about this post are all the comments. Every one has been a blessing to me. I so needed to hear all of this–your post, these comments, everyone’s hearts. I have always written, but have only been blogging for a few months. I am so discouraged with it that I’m ready to quit. Like so many have already said, I need to quit reading so much and just write, just to God. He is needs to be my audience. Thank you for this–leaving here very blessed, as usual.
    Amber recently posted..That One Day

Trackbacks

  1. […] of my favorite writers often shares her thoughts on writing and the always present tension of creating something.  For her and a hundred other brave artists, […]

  2. […] talking (mostly behind closed doors) about writer’s voice and this internet space. In “Where to Find Your Voice,” she writes: “let  [your] writing not be afraid to fall apart from the […]

  3. […] treasure…the things you hoard, even. You know…those accidental collages. And do what Amber Haines says, “Write what you see with your brave eyes, the objects your grandmother passed down to only […]

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