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Finding a Voice

 

I have been writing for as long as I can remember, but it’s only recently that people have been telling me that they “love my voice.”  I took the compliments and felt honored by them, but didn’t really understand.  What was “my voice” and why was it only now coming through so strongly.  It wasn’t until I started to compare my work now to older work, and where and who I am now compared to times in the past, that I finally saw what people were talking about.  My writing has developed a personality all its own, a voice that yearns to tell the stories it hears kicking around in my head, and tell them in a way that highlights all of the things that I find significant.

 

Finding my voice as a writer was actually all about accepting who I am, all of who I am – the goofy, inappropriate, awkward, blunt, honest, atypical, exuberant, moody, defiant, stubborn, passionate whole – and giving myself permission to share that with the world.  I use the word permission very specifically because I had been taught from a young age; I think we are all taught, that we need to conform.  Don’t be so loud, don’t draw attention, don’t be weird . . . because heaven forbid someone should know that you’re an individual and have a personality.  Scary!

 

But this is what I was taught, so that is how I lived.  Being me was “wrong”.  Occasionally I would forget, but there was always someone there to shoosh me back into the box . . . where I was miserable.  I had no voice because I had no access to who I truly was, and with no voice I would get so frustrated that I couldn’t see straight.  I could see my inherent talents, and I could sense my inherent passions, but I was so focused on making sure that what I was doing was “right” that everything I did was wrong.  I knew it every second of every day, and knowing that I was wrong made me hesitant to use what voice I had because I was afraid of being rejected for the person that I didn’t want to be in the first place.

 

It wasn’t until I realized that I was spending all of my time and energy perfecting a person that I didn’t want to be that I finally started to reevaluate what exactly was so “wrong” with who I was.  I realized that there was nothing wrong with me.  What was wrong was that I had listened for so long to all of the people who insisted on pigeon holing me into what they perceived to be “right”.  It was then that I realized that I had no need for those people in my life.  I had no need for people who made me feel ashamed for living a life of passion and joy and risks.  There are people in this world who love me for living those ideals.  Those are the people that I needed in my life and it was with those people that I tested my real voice.  It was with those people that I learned to scream it to the rafters.  And when I was done, they weren’t cringing, embarrassed by my display.  They were smiling and laughing with me.

 

The next thing I knew, I was writing.  I was writing more than I ever had in my life, and I loved what I was writing.  I felt strong and courageous as I let my characters sweep me away in their story.  I bared my soul to them and they did the same in return.  They share with me their deepest, darkest desires and secrets and I try to honor them by being brave enough to put them down for all to read.  They live and breathe by my pen, and I live and breathe for them.  In creating them, I have found myself.  I have found my voice.

Beautiful Quote

  • Enjoy your new blog, Kat! 🙂

  • hightechgrammy

    Kat, I’m excited to read your blog When I was your teacher way back in fourth grade, you were quite the unique person, very smart, with such a fun sense of humor, and I could tell you were thinking deeply back then. I have always wondered what you were thinking, as a ten-year-old, about life. I was a deep thinking kid, myself. And, I’ve always wondered how having a mother, who was struggling so desperately with MS, influenced you then and the person you are today. Love you, Jan

    • Kat Michels

      I am fairly certain that both Jolene and I will remember the day that the turtle died for the rest of our lives! Lol!