Finding My Voice

Why I Write

I have within me words working desperately to get out.  They bubble up inside me looking for a home.  From time to time I leave them here on The Average Girl or on my ThinkingTen profile (http://thinkingten.ning.com/profile/DBDean) in little posts and flashes.  I seem to always be working little phrases around in my head like a young girl would twist a lock of hair around her finger.

Writing is relaxing and fun.  I have so many stories to tell.  Ideas swimming around in my head like an exotic fish tank. 

These stories begin as a distraction when I am doing less interesting things, but can not read a book.  I imagine a story line while I am doing the dishes or folding clothes to keep my head busy.  I have mentally told myself a story for as long as I can remember.  It wasn’t until a few years ago when an author named Tom Schreck (tomschreck.wordpress.com) suggested I write them down.  My immediate response was, “I am not a writer, I am an assistant and a wife and mother.”  His response was, “I was a social worker until I started being a writer.  All writers were something else first.”  With that in mind I started blogging.  First on MySpace and then on Facebook.  About two years ago I set up this blog.  From time to time I would put down stories, rants and raves but not with any real consistency.  It wasnt until another writer (B.R. Stateham) introduced me to ThinkingTen that I started to write daily.  The interaction with other writers and truthfully the daily activity of putting words on paper (err screen) has been an amazing rush I would never have expected.  I am becoming more comfortable with the idea of being a writer.

Now that I am writing, how do I know what to write.  Do I write anything that pops up in my non linear brain?  I am often told to write what I know.   This begs the question, what do I know?

Write What I Know

How do you know what to write?  How do you define “what you know”.  Is it required that one have an advanced degree in the subject to write about it?  Should I stick to writing about coffee and child rearing with occasional forays into Outlook Calendar and executive herding? 

Or do I allow my mind to take flight into imagined realms of magic and power.   Do I play with stories of assassins and killers, heros and villains?  Do I spin a tale of despair and depression overcome and happiness found?  Who am I as a writer, what is my voice.

Finding My Voice

I am finding that the more I read and write, the more voices I want to try out.  Like a girl playing dress up, I take out each persona and try it on to see how it fits.  I am surprising myself daily.  Dark and bloody tales of things that go bump in the night leave me excited.  I don’t know if my reader is as thrilled to read them as I am to write them, but I now know where the expression “Thriller” and “Suspense” come from.  Sweet and sappy or romantic, while easier to write, do not give me as much of a writers high.  Are all these voices mine, or am I just a little girl playing dress up in other writers voices?

The Answer

I don’t have an answer, not yet at least.  This is just the very beginning of my journey.  To find my true voice I must read and learn.  I must study other writers stories , not to imitate, but to understand and expand my knowledge.  I must study history and cultures.  Because ultimately, what a writer is writing is the story of humanity.  We are exploring all the different faces of our world.  We are, through our words, attempting to better understand the people around us.    I may never be published, but I hope that on this journey I continue to learn and grow as a person, as a wife and mother and as a writer.

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