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  • Writer's pictureA.N. Tipton

The Journey Of A Writer - Part 4

The Voice of the Writer


Have you ever thought about your voice as a writer? How the words flow and come together as a unique extension of yourself? I would imagine that for some people, finding their voice comes easy, and for some, it takes some exploration. I will admit, for me, it takes some exploration. I say this in the present tense, because I feel like I am constantly evolving and growing as a writer.

Another milestone of my writing journey was learning the difference from who I wanted to be and who I was as a writer in terms of voice. Maybe, like me, each wordsmith comes to this realization at some point in their writing, probably sometimes repeatedly.

Years ago in my journey, I joined a critique group of fiction writers who all wrote in the same genre. We had to submit a chapter each time we met and then give each other feedback. This had been one of the most amazing experiences in my writing journey up to that point because I had remained a lonely, closet writer. It felt nerve-racking the first time I shared a piece of me. But I found that there is something to be said about collaborating and co-creating in a group, especially if each person is adding their own uniqueness. When we are in our head too long with a piece, what we think comes across and what people perceive can be completely different. Other’s perspectives, if given in honest, positive feedback can be invaluable.

There is magic that happens when receiving and acknowledging another’s work and at the same time being seen and heard with your own. When I joined this group, I had decided that I wanted to write like my favorite authors. I wanted to be a badass, and create worlds, characters and stories like them. I wanted to create fight scenes and create sarcastic and witty characters. I found out the hard way, it didn’t work like that.

At least, not for me.

What I found was that the words and voice that emerged from me was completely different than what I had thought. My style of writing worked better when I didn’t force the words into what I thought they should be. The truth was, I didn’t want to accept my own voice. The Inner Critic had so many things to say about how my voice wouldn’t be accepted, how it would be judged and ostracized. My Inner Critic whispered that I was fooling myself, that I didn’t have it in me to follow through and staying safe was the right thing to do. In hindsight, I think it was because I had to learn to be true to myself, accept all the parts of myself. I had to find and discover who I was through my words. The good parts and the not so good parts. I had to allow my words a voice, their most authentic voice. And I had to dig deep and find the courage and power inside to shove my Inner Critic off the metaphorical cliff (again).

I had to learn to own my words, to claim them, and claim the beauty that was, and is me. Sounds easy, right? Ha! I think anytime you step outside your comfort zone, growth follows. And growth can be good, but sometimes it’s painful and uncomfortable. Sometimes we have to let go of the old to make room for the new, or for what is buried deep down inside us. The secrets that we keep from ourselves and using words and having a conversation with yourself.

This is what I’ve discovered so far.

My voice is my own. My writing was an extension of me, still is, will always be. Sure, I could learn the craft and hone some skills here and there, but allowing my voice the freedom to fly, to be heard, that’s the real lesson. It took time, takes time. It’s playing with different types of writing, pushing outside the dreaded comfort zone. Sometimes I’m not happy with what comes of trying something new. Sometimes I’m completely shocked at what came through me in terms of words. Sometimes I share my words, and people like it. Go figure. So yeah, I think about my voice as a writer. I practice allowing the words to flow through me, instead of being pushed out. And there are times when I do push out the words. Giving them a little nudge, or the occasional shove to get the juices flowing. I’m still learning, exploring, playing, creating, seeing how I’m still on this journey of a writer.

The journey of the writer continues…


Previously published on August 2021 on Medium.com.


© 2021 A.N. Tipton


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