The thing is, it sometimes takes a little time. This week’s been pretty good for that, between finding voices in D&D, singing with the band, and most importantly, finding my voice in writing and action. It’s been a bit of a week, but things are looking pretty interesting. This isn’t about my itinerary, though. This is about finding your voice.
Sometimes it takes me a bit to find mine. It happens when I’m singing, usually. I sing like other people, because that’s how I learn the songs. I hear them, learn the way they sound, and make those sounds. But sometimes, things go totally off the rails and the song comes out different. And I like it. I think, “that’s me.” That’s not some major label, some singer/songwriter, it’s me. My sound. I can’t say it’s always good, but it feels like me, and that feels good. Besides, the only way to improve it is to find it, otherwise I’m just improving an impersonation.
Sometimes I don’t like my voice. It says things I’m not a fan of. “I’ll do it later.” or “What if I look stupid?” Those kinds of things. Excuses for not doing things that are really worth doing. When I hear them, when I say them, it makes me wish for a different voice. I find models, if only I were like them, if only I could write like that, sing like that, do those kinds of things. Sometimes it distracts from the things I am doing, and the things I want to do. Gimme Your Best, a local event I was at this week, brought a lot of that into perspective. The talks there left me with a lot of hard questions, hard questions I came home and did my best to answer. Not just about what I want, but about what I have to say. About how to find my voice.
Your voice shouldn’t be something that surprises you. It shouldn’t be something that creeps out when you’re not looking, or surges forward in moments of passion. It needs to be all the time. So that’s what I’m going to work on. My voice. My story. In writing, in song, and in conversation.
The funny thing about it is, I’m always speaking with my voice. It just doesn’t feel like my voice a lot of the time. I don’t own it, it owns me. What matters is that feeling, because if you don’t feel like you’re speaking your own words, you’re just an echo of someone else’s.