In order to find your voice, you have to use your voice.
Many years ago, when I was single, I occasionally went on dates. I remember sitting in a diner with a nice man who’d asked me out for coffee. It was so long ago I can’t remember what he said. I do remember I disagreed with him—in my head. I never said anything out loud. In that moment I knew I wouldn’t go out with him again. If I didn’t care enough to express my opinion, to show him the real me, it wasn’t going to work.
When I went out with my husband, I was full of stories and opinions from the very first lift ride. Our first “date” was a daytrip to go snowboarding with my sister. See how I care enough to tell you that?
I have struggled to find my voice as a writer. I don’t think I really started to find it until I started blogging. It takes courage to put your opinion out into the world, because someone might (will!) disagree with you. But that’s an opportunity to clarify your voice, to refine your thoughts about whatever you are discussing.
I’m normally a reserved person around people I don’t know and my medical training also made me very reticent. There were a lot of unwritten rules I absorbed as a physician about not expressing myself. It’s taken a lot of thought work to get over that and there’s still a lot that I don’t share.
But the older I get, the more I want to be known as my true self. I want to express my true thoughts and to hear what other people really think, in my writing and in my life.
So I’m expressing more opinions and having more discussions with people who disagree with me.
I’m finding my voice.
What has helped you find your voice?
Diane MacKinnon, MD: is a writer, blogger, life coach, family physician, mother, and stepmother. I’m finding my voice partly through the discussions we have here in the comment section of this blog.