Letter of the Day: V
V is for Voice. You’ve heard about it. I think just about every art form talks about finding your voice – that which makes you distinct within your craft. If I’m reading random comments on another blog, I might think hmmm, that sounds like Roxane, then I’ll look and sure enough, it’s her. I recognize her writing voice just as well as I’d recognize her speaking voice if she called me on the phone. I’d know JeMA‘s abstract, textured art anywhere. I know her style. I know which elements she likes to include and which colors fit her composition. Classical musicians can distinguish a Bach piece from a Beethoven, and classic rockers know their guitar heroes.
I found my voice through Her Voice magazine. I started writing for our local women’s magazine about six years ago, and I’ve been a regular contributor ever since. Meg Douglas, the editor, was the first person to call me an author, and I will always love her for those life-changing words. After I sent in my first article, she wrote, “I’d love to publish more of your articles.” I got busy writing. I’d been working on a novel, written some short pieces, done skits and dramas that existed as long as the event. Then, I started a blog. Now, I have a full-length play, and I have a voice. I write realistic fiction and non-fiction centered on relationships and real-life characters. I have a gentle touch, thoughtful, and pondering. I could describe my piano playing that way, too. Sprinkle in a flourish of blues and humor, and that’s me.
My latest article came out in Her Voice this week. It’s about my friend Georgia who has claimed her voice as an artist and a writer, and claimed space and time to work on it. She inspires me. Click on over if you’d like to read it. My story, or should I say Georgia’s story, starts on page 20.
The timing of the letters and themes during this A-Z challenge has been amazing.
Journaling Prompt: What would an ideal artist’s retreat look like for you? Can you describe your voice as an artist?
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This is so true!
As a writer, at times I can be ashamed of my individual voice.. I think a lot of writers go through this.
In claiming our voice as our own we gain confidence in our writing. Our unique voice is often what draws in our readers. 🙂
That’s awesome you write for Her Voice! I sometimes wonder if I have one that’s unique at all.
I used to have a voice as a photographer. “You are so good,” people would say. I was grateful for their comments, but back in those days I only did it for me (more than 15 years ago). Then I started doing it as a business and at some point I ended up doing what my clients wanted me to do so much that I think I lost my voice as a photographer!
One day I realized that.
I’m trying to recover my true self as a photographer and that is, like you said, taking the time to do it. Just for me, not for anyone else.
I think that is a big part of the creative journey, the effort to find our Voice. It’s such a definitive part of our crafts, no matter the genre. And it definitely gives our work a certain heart, too.
How great that you’ve found your voice.
Gentle and thoughtful, what a wonderful way to be. And admirable to have a strong voice that is also somewhat soft.
I think blogging settled me into my voice, as it is the only place where I am totally ME. A lot of my books are a lot darker than… you know… ME, but there is always an undertone… a rebel character, a certain sense of humor, a turn of phrase… I’m there. And my cozy mysteries are totally me.
Humor is just one thing I can’t escape from in my voice. Everyone knows it’s my voice when they’re laughing at something I’ve written. I’m getting used to it, though.
Thanks for sharing, and it’s a pleasure meeting you via the A-Z Challenge!
My writing tends to be concise because I started with picture book ideas but also because I wrote for the school paper and there is limited length for articles.
I notice when I write I include a lot of dialogue. Probably because I’m used to hearing plays.
My voice in my book writing tends to be very lighthearted. I’m finally embracing that. LOL
Mary–I just love to read about your journey with writing! Thanks for sharing the article on Georgia–very inspirational!
I am still trying to find my voice…
I would love to go to a writer’s retreat, but for now that would make my equation unequal. Thanks again!
It’s so neat to learn about your experience as a writer for Her Voice. That’s awesome!
I think I’ve found my voice through my heartfelt stories. What started as a blogging experiment is transitioning into my voice 🙂
Mary, what an awesome post. Georgia sounds like someone I would love to know personally. Thanks for sharing this excellent story with us. I’d never before heard of Her Voice. Will read it cover to cover now, though. 🙂
My voice has humor in it, I do know that. I used to think I’d never find it, but recently discovered I had…I think. *wink*
I’m back here catching up on some of the earlier A to Z posts. Nice job with the challenge.
As for a retreat, Northern Colorado Writers has a retreat for members at a nearby guest ranch. We have rooms in a big bunkhouse with a huge common room and kitchen, get some of our meals in the ranch dining room, and we write, write, write during big blocks of quiet time. Heavenly.