I’ve been writing for a while and each day I realize that there’s so much more I need to learn. I remember over a decade ago when my most favorite professor, Dr. Byrd told me that I had a unique writing voice. He pointed out to me that I needed to hold onto it, to finesse it, and to be true to it.
I felt conflicted. And a little confused. I also felt a great weight of fear. I didn’t know exactly what my writing voice was. It’s not uncommon to be so close to something and not fully see it. I was too close to the mirror and had to step away in order to reflect on sound and taste of My Voice.
I was also afraid that My Voice wasn’t good enough. I’m glad that he was my teacher because he inspired me to write more and criticize myself less. That period of time in my life was what I needed. My second oldest brother had died; I was a teen mom raising a little boy due to unfortunate circumstances. I needed nurturing soil to bloom. I needed sunshine.
The season of rain and pruning came later and I was able to find glory and beauty those bitter-sweet moments. The following quote encompasses the power of a writer’s voice and why it’s important that we find it, feed it, and cultivate it.
“A writer’s voice is not character alone, it is not style alone; it is far more. A writer’s voice like the stroke of an artist’s brush — is the thumbprint of her whole person — her idea, wit, humor, passions, rhythms.”
Patricia Lee Gauch