Finding My Voice

Back when I was being remiss {I’m trying so hard not to be this again}, I shared all the things that were happening in my life that were *not the least of which* why I had been remiss. Then I hinted that there was another reason that was probably the *most of which*.

Well, here it is. {I know you’ve been on pins and needles waiting, haven’t you?}

I’ve been trying to find my voice. My writing voice.

Up until this blog, this most recent writing that I’d done were business letters and articles for my church’s newsletter. And long, long before that it was papers in college. I’ve never written much for pleasure and didn’t know what my writing voice sounded like. A few months ago, I was encouraged by Andrea’s post about her struggling with her own voice. As a comment to her post, I said this:

Thank you for sharing this, Andrea. I am so new to blogging and writing that I am still finding my voice. I see so many other writers (like you) who have beautiful voices, and I get intimidated. I recognize each voice as being a little different and I try to mimic each one to see which one feels right for me. But really, I have my own voice and it won’t look quite like anyone elses. And it should be that way. With all of our different voices, we work together in harmony to share the beautiful message of Christ.

My thoughts are the same today. I know my voice will be different from others, but I still needed to find it. So I continued to experiment, trying to mimic other writers to see what felt comfortable to me.

I found that I really liked what I’d heard someone refer to as a *writerly* voice. It’s a flowy, poetic, story-like voice. I know a real writer would be aghast at my lack of proper terminology. All I know is that I think it’s beautiful. So I kept writing with my best attempt at using that voice. And for the most part, I liked the results. But…

It’s hard work!

Those soft, beautiful words do not come naturally to me. I feel like I have to squeeze them out of me sometimes. And each post would take me f.o.r.e.v.e.r. Alas, no posts! I became remiss.
Then I remembered Andrea and realized that I was probably struggling because I was trying to use a voice that was simply not my own. I had picked a voice too quickly and was afraid to let it go. Perhaps even afraid that I wouldn’t sound like a writer without my writerly voice. Finally, I realized that I had to try a new voice or give up blogging.You can see which one I chose.::

So, did you notice my new voice in this post? I ask because my husband did. Since it had been so long since I’d written I asked him to proof it before posting it. The funny thing is that he said that I sounded different and that it sounded like I really worked hard at it. I have to admit, this put me in a mini-crisis because it had actually been very easy to write. After all, easier writing was the point! {It took me twice as long to edit the photos for cryin’ out loud.}

I questioned him so much about it that I’m sure he regretted saying anything. {Aren’t we women good at doing that to our husbands?} He assured me that it sounded okay, it just wasn’t the serious voice he was used to. I can buy that explanation because we’ve been together since college and he’s read quite a few of my papers, and just about everything since then, and it’s all been serious and business-like.

Here’s the funny thing: I think my natural writing voice is not as serious as I am. I’m one of those weird people who is really shy and serious on the outside, but underneath I’m goofy and chatty. {My mom didn’t call me Jabber Jaws for nothin’.} And I think it’s easier for me to be goofy and chatty in my writing than in person. So you, dear blog world, are getting to see the part of me that few real people do. Well, you are real; I just don’t know most of you personally.

I know there will be more flowy, writerly words in me from time to time. But for the most part, if I’m going to write with greater frequency, I think this is the voice you’re stuck with.

I may not be the lead soprano, but hopefully my voice will fill in the harmony.
In hope,
About Shelli Bourque

An ordinary girl living by the grace of life in Christ. Adoring wife and mom. Lover of quiet places and uncluttered spaces. Beauty seeker and image maker.