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.

 

amberhaines
About me

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36 Comments

Linda
Reply August 27, 2012

You truly inspire me!

    Amber
    Reply August 27, 2012

    Well Linda. Thank you. Truth is that I need the inspiration. Is it bad to write about writing instead of just WRITING?

      Linda
      Reply August 28, 2012

      Ha, well if you can uncover truths in the art of writing and express it as beautifully as you do then write on... : )

      Mrs Loquacious
      Reply August 28, 2012

      Well, to write about writing is very "meta-" (as in metacognitive, which is to think about thinking). And there is nothing wrong with that, just as there is nothing wrong with finding your voice, so long as it is your true authentic voice and not something that you are attempting to "create" in the hopes of sounding different from everyone else. So often, I read people who try to write in a way that doesn't reflect how they speak "in real life" (key word = try) and I consider that flowery kind of language to be quite disingenuous and jarring to read.

      Your readership, and those who love your blog, will enjoy your words because it is an overflowing of your heart, and infused with the emotion and passion of your state of being at any given moment (be it angry, philosophical, elated, or what-have-you). And just as you change from moment to moment, day to day, so too will your voice to some extent. And that, I think, is lovely and sincere.

Elizabeth
Reply August 27, 2012

How many times can I read this without lurking too long here? Can't wait for the book!! The Southern in me hears the southern voice in you and its lovely. you wake me up and make me want to write. Wait, I already did that today. You make me long to write some more. Please keep writing about writing. Going to tweet so more can hear the sweet sweet cadence that is your voice.

Shelly Miller
Reply August 27, 2012

Amber, I'm so glad you wrote about this actually. I've been thinking about it since your Saturday post (which I love btw) and your comment about everyone sounding so daggum the same. I feel the same way but it made me take a long introspective look and pray a bit more. So thanks for making me think, you do that well.

Jennifer@GDWJ
Reply August 27, 2012

Writing that book! Pretty please? <------- Me, begging.

Jennifer
Reply August 27, 2012

I just loved this, Amber. Thank you. I have had a day full of discouragement -- and you turn me towards Him, towards the truth of how uniquely beautiful He made each of us, and that our voices bring Him delight . . . How can I doubt the goodness in me that He has made? Bless you. {And I pray you feel His arms around you, encouraging you on, with your beautiful words, with Him.}

Sarah
Reply August 27, 2012

Writing about writing... sometimes, it seems to be the best way to dig out our voice. Yours is beautiful, friend.

Courtney
Reply August 27, 2012

Please write a book. Pages and pages of your words would be a dream for so many of us aspiring writers. I learn so much from reading your words and you make me want to be better, to grow in my writing. They make me want to write, to not hold back. To keep reading and learning and soaking in it. I have been asking myself this lately...do I really step out there and say it all, go for it? Can I tell stories that matter, that move hearts and speak the gospel...you do that and I am so thankful.

r.elliott
Reply August 27, 2012

love this...I need this...I am a non-writer in a very gifted blog world...I am here in the blog winepress because He led me here...I struggle...my pride...I write so very different from others...the good thing is...I am not skilled enough to even try to copy another...so I stay with my unique style as people have described my “writing style” ...I try to take it as a complement...I am sure that is how they mean it:). thanks for reminding me...us of this..."Our unique voices all reflect, all rise like chorus conducted by Spirit"...may we all sing on...with one voice to the only ONE!!!

Airs
Reply August 27, 2012

The last paragraph took my breath away...

Diana Trautwein
Reply August 27, 2012

I love this, Amber. Every particularly-Amber-syllable of it. Thanks for being brave and wild - you inspire me to try that - even at my advanced age! Love to you all, prayers continue for your precious boy.

Kris
Reply August 27, 2012

You weave words of silken thread.... Breathtaking, and yes, write that book....

Anna
Reply August 28, 2012

That your truest 'voice' can't be found outside of God and with Him who can say what is possible. That's what you make me think today. So thank you! You do have a gift with your writing for making people want to write and live and to do it creative, brave and free. You propel me - I feel like a firm hand is on my back pushing me so I can't stay standing where I am.

Steph {HopeUnbroken}
Reply August 28, 2012

oh, i so, so, love this. just absorbing your words this day. taking them to heart. enjoying your expression.
thank you.
steph

Danelle
Reply August 28, 2012

This post was precisely, exactly what I needed to read today. Thank you Amber. I am clearing my throat as a writer, words sitting right there, I want to find my authentic voice in Him. Love this.

Lauren @ {{mercyINK}}
Reply August 28, 2012

Amber, I'm a first time visitor and believe this is exactly what I was supposed to read today. I've been praying about direction over my blog and writing... believe God's pointing my heart to His answers, and He's used your writing here as the arrows & guideposts. Thank you so much for the encouragement :)
blessings,
lauren

Sarah Bessey
Reply August 28, 2012

Oh, woman. Yes.

Katie Blackburn
Reply August 28, 2012

Amber, I have only been reading your words and visiting your blog for a few weeks, but I could not love it more. Following your honestly shared journey with Titus and your other kids, your thoughts on writing (this entry- WOW!), and just being inspired for your voice keeps me coming back. Thank you a thousand times for writing.

Katie @ KatieTevis.com
Reply August 28, 2012

I think finding your own voice in the midst of so many websites and blogs is what makes writing so fulfilling. It would be easy to try to copy what someone else does who is successful, but then you wouldn't have that feeling of God putting something on your heart and then being able to express it in your own way...in your own words. Great post.

kelli- AdventurezInChildRearing
Reply August 29, 2012

I love love the clay/ potter analogy - use it regularly (even just in my head) :) I too have some hidden words - waiting patiently for me to become brave - love this post! God bless- adding your feed to my google reader so I can follow more frequently

Darcy Wiley
Reply August 29, 2012

I love the part about the beeswax smell in the fiddle case. What I'm getting from this piece is that it's not so much about creating a voice, but simply opening the mouth and speaking/writing of the curiosities right in front of you. The way you happen to speak/write, that is your voice. P.S. I think writing about writing is the right thing to do when the writing is frustrating you. ;)

Michelle DeRusha
Reply August 30, 2012

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!}

Annie
Reply August 31, 2012

This has stuck with me all week, pressed me to attempt stringing words together again, just for the love. Thanks, Amber.

Megan Willome
Reply September 1, 2012

I think the key to voice is suffering. It sucks, but it gives you specificity and authenticity.

Jody Lee Collins
Reply September 2, 2012

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!)

Addie Zierman
Reply September 3, 2012

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.

Lolita Valle
Reply September 3, 2012

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.

Kristen@Chasing Blue Skies
Reply September 4, 2012

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!

Amber
Reply September 13, 2012

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.

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