Finding Your Voice – Instructions for Living a Life​

Writing - Finding Your Voice

Your unique voice is the way you move through the world, the way you express yourself, the worlds you create. Finding your own voice and feeling at home with it gives you confidence and power.

Writing can help us find our own voice, which in turn allows us to create new ways of interacting, new beliefs, and even new experiences! Finding your own voice is the freedom to be yourself, to say what you came here to say.

Finding your own voice helps improve your public speaking, your written stories or blogs, and your conversations with others.  It can even lend clarity to your internal world, and its constant flow of thoughts.

How can we each find our own voice?  It’s a lifetime process, so it’s time to get started.  

Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.

― Mary Oliver

The title of this tiny gem from Mary Oliver, one of the most universally beloved writers of our time, is “Instructions for living a life”.  It could just as well be “Instructions for finding your own voice”.  Perhaps those two concepts are one and the same!  Let’s look more closely at the three instructions from this great poet:

Pay attention.

Part of finding your own voice is the ability to hear, see and deeply experience whatever is around you. None of us is separate from the individual moments of our lives, but instead each of us is a culmination, an interweaving of those moments. Paying attention to even the smallest activity of the day may unearth some of the most important things you want to say!

If you get caught in a sudden summer rain, for example, you might try staying with the experience, rather than running for shelter.  Later you might even write about it.  “It only rained for five minutes, but I felt each drop.”  How did you feel each drop?  As a warning?  An assurance?  A reminder?  A respite from the heat?  A shivery pleasure? This brief five-minute slice of your daily life might lead to new realizations about yourself and even a new story or two!

Being receptive to your own life is an important step toward finding your voice.  Writing down your reactions to the small things of the day might be a good practice.  At the end of the day you can sort through your notes, and perhaps start to see a pattern.  Your unique voice may start to take shape, simply by you paying more attention!

Be astonished.

Finding your own voice means allowing yourself to feel astonishment!  If you take large parts of your world for granted, you may also take yourself for granted, and never discover the unique viewpoint and fresh approach that is truly You.

Not everything will astonish you, no matter how open you are.  Pay special attention to those people or events or situations that truly excite you.  Do you love early morning bird song? Perhaps your voice embraces nature.  Is the cacaphony of rush-hour traffic more to your liking?  Perhaps yours is a city voice. 

Tell about it.

Don’t worry about how you’re saying it, just say it.  Write something, read it aloud, write more, read it aloud. Shout it. Whisper it. It doesn’t have to be perfect.  It doesn’t even have to be good. Just write what you see, what you love, what has astonished you, over and over.  Your voice, unique and precious, will slowly arise, make itself known, build you a strong creative home, help you fine-tune your words until they are just what you want them to be, in your own unique and special voice.

Start now. A new life of adventure lies ahead.

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Most Voted Comments

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8

Bait

It takes a real talent to tell a story in so few words. What was…


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6

Endure and Sing

Inspirational piece. Am glad you picked the rat to be the protagonist in your story,…


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6

Endure and Sing

Such a sweet tale - and with a good moral to the story. I thought…


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5

Endure and Sing

Wow! This is a good story! Really good to read to little kids, the moral…


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4

Endure and Sing

Hi Katy, it really does add an extra dimension to hear your story read aloud…


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4

Endure and Sing

In my neighboring country Denmark, we have the classical storyteller Hans-Christian Andersen. Your sweet story…


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4

Endure and Sing

A really nice one with a wonderful story line. I can see why this was…


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4

Endure and Sing

A beautiful story! I was reminded of seeing Paul Potts and Susan Boyle on Britain's…


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4

Endure and Sing

Your story inspired me to keep going no matter how discouraging it gets. At times…


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4

Endure and Sing

Thank you so much for the feedback! I pray that the young readers will be…


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4

Endure and Sing

Thank you for taking the time to comment and convey your thoughts on the story.…


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4

Endure and Sing

Hi Katy, don't we all feel like the rat in your story at times! We…


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4

Vows

I must admit it was the picture of the church, with its grave yard, under…


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3

Between Belonging and Dying

A very powerful story, Daniel. Your writing makes it easy to feel the reality of…


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3

Between Belonging and Dying

Oh my gosh, Daniel. Your story really defines the word superb. You make me experience…


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3

Between Belonging and Dying

A horrendous situation, more so because so many people find themselves going through it. A…


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3

Between Belonging and Dying

What an extremely powerful story Daniel, really well written and with an ending that had…


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3

Between Belonging and Dying

Daniel, this story is one of the best flash fiction stories I've ever read. You…


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3

In Memoriam

It's terrible to lose someone you love and accept that he is not a part…


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The Problem with Women

I think Carrie has said it all. We rest our collective case.  ? 


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