I believed as many young writers do that I already had my own voice and that it was a good, necessary voice. A voice that the world needed to hear because of the profound statements it was to make. Yet, I'm not sure my voice was or even is yet purely defined for me.
Granted, I've been able to touch on things that are dear to my heart: my family, authenticity, leadership and current culture but in many ways, even though I've been writing since 2006-2007 I am still very much a voice freshman, one who still needs to find what is it that only I can say?
I'm still young. I'm still not supremely experienced, but I can see some things in which I have a voice and a platform to speak to. I know what bothers me, I know what excites me and I know that in many ways some of the provoking things I say and will say have been said before...and have before been ignored.
As a writer, I've always thought that influence based on numbers of readers is what makes your voice needed in this world and to some degree this is true and I still hold to it. Yet, I've learned to that I write also for myself, I write because the thoughts bubbling within my conscience I fear will simply go away and I will not remember the profound thought, so I capture it on digital paper (or real paper). The sad reality is that if I fail to capture some thoughts this way, they do grow moldy and forgotten, so this exercise of writing has been super helpful for me.
Sadly, in the past, in an attempt to grow the readership, I wrote with a voice that was not my own. I wrote what I felt people waned to hear rather than simply write what I truly wanted to say. As any human, I fear rejection, I fear my words will go ignored, hated or worse yet, not even read. Sometimes, I find myself writing a Facebook post and checking back every 5 minutes or so to see if anyone has said anything about what I wrote. I let the cyber approval lead and guide my day...this I am realizing more and more is unhealthy and driven by pretty foul motives.
I am a thinker, a theologian (at least in my own mind), a reader, a pastor, a father, a husband, a child of the King, a writer and a practitioner. Yet, for years I've been trying to isolate one or the other of these hats, when I can write as all of them at once. I've stolen other's voices in order to sound more of one of these hats than I truly was and in that destroyed much of my credibility.
Granted much of this was unintended and arrogantly thought to be non-existant within my writing but alas, it has been there and continues to creep in. I hope to grow as a better writer, a better thinker and a better social interactant as I learn my own voice better and learn to grow into it. If what I say offends, it's what I truly think. If what I say inspires, thank the Lord I can spur someone on. If what I say causes readership to decline, so be it. If what I say causes readership to grow, maybe it's time a voice like mine was heard...a new voice a different voice, my voice.
You friend also have a voice. Maybe you're not a writer of blogs, but of poems. Share your poems with the world. Maybe your thoughts that rattle your brain need written down. Maybe it's time your voice is heard...even if mine isn't. Get out there and share your voice with the world!