It is OH SO important to find your voice, because there’s a good chance that incredibly unique one in seven billion story idea you just thought up has already been written. It’s hard as hell to write a story nobody has ever heard before, so we must find new ways to tell old stories in a uniquely you fashion. That can be really hard sometimes, and more than a little scary.
New ideas are possible. They’re appearing every day. Yours could be one of them. Buuuuuuuuut there’s nearly 8 billion people out there. That idea about wizards fighting aliens while a sasquatch army assembles in the lost city of Atlantis to overthrow the government is probably floating around the internet somewhere already. At least, I hope it is, because that sounds awesome and like something I would love to read. So, as it grows harder to come up with something new and unique, it’s becoming more necessary to develop your voice and say things in your own way.
The fact of the matter is this: you’re likely to sound a little bit like a whole bunch of other people before you come to a point where you’re finally sounding like yourself. It’s normal and it’s nothing to be afraid of. In fact, it can be really helpful to accept it. The people you admire are the ones you’re most likely to mirror, and there’s certainly a reason you admire them, so this can be hugely advantageous to figuring out your own voice.
With that being said, there’s a pretty big difference between piecing together snippets of those you admire to build the mosaic of your own personal voice and blatantly ripping someone else off. That old adage of Be Yourself Because Everyone Else is Taken is annoying as shit when it’s blasted all over a poster or your social media feed (usually accompanied by a photo of someone like Kurt Kobain), but it does have some truth to it. In finding your own voice, you want to become someone that not only other people but you yourself can admire. If you’re a carbon copy of someone else, no matter how cool or talented they are, it’s going to be hard for you to take real pride in what you’re doing.
Stop censoring yourself, stop thinking you need to act or sound a certain way, express yourself openly and learn as much as you can from those you admire. Let that beautiful voice of yours treat the ears and eyes of those you love and who love you. You’re probably a badass and you probably sound great already. So, let ‘em have it!
Who am I?
I'm Mark Karsten. I'm from a city called Lethbridge in Southern Alberta, Canada. I read, I write, and I snuggle puppies at every given opportunity. It's lovely to meet you.