An Authentic Voice?

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Today’s Daily Post from WordPress raised the always interesting issue of maintaining an authentic voice when writing.

I realised recently I had learned a huge amount about my own writing voice in the last few years and particularly in these last twelve months of daily posting. Just how much only became apparent when I happened across some old journals from 20 years ago.

Now I’ve written diaries and journals for as long as I can remember. I secretly felt myself to be a writer even when I was 10, but unfortunately this slightly delusional self-perception translated into horribly self-conscious ramblings. And this mode of recounting life continued well into adulthood. I was clearly writing for some unknown audience in my private scribblings which were never intended to be read by anyone with a life to lead.

It’s pretty ironic therefore that the one thing I have really learned about in a year of public writing is the need to just flow with my intuition and instinct and write for me without worrying about reception. This has clearly been influenced by my daily morning pages practice of the last four years. Occasionally I take a bit more care: my recent accounts of journeying around Israel and the Palestinian Territories demanded an unusual degree of consideration and sensitivity, but it was still my voice speaking.

I’ve posted before about my freedom to write in the way I wish perhaps being facilitated by never having studied writing after O-level English at 15. I have often felt what appears on this blog is more authentically an expression of me than some of my art.

With art, it’s hard to shake off the teachings. That’s one of the reasons I have started a new project in my other blog, #adailyselfreflection. The #dailyfail is about the spontaneous, the unconsidered, the raw, the risk-taking and consequential failure that so often runs the risk of getting buried or not happening at all in the pursuit of successful artwork.

I hope it will be as public a declaration of authentic me as much as I hope Life and Art is.

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5 responses to An Authentic Voice?

  1. Developing that “voice” is something I think is always ongoing. I love finding a new author whose writing is so unique & different from what I am used to reading. If a reader enjoys your voice then they will tend to follow you even if you go into a genre they are not a fan of.

  2. Great post! I can identify with the feeling that one medium (writing or art) reveals a more authentic voice than others. That’s one reason, like you, I enjoy working in several at one time. I can transfer lessons I learn in writing to my artwork and vice versa. It’s ironic, but one of the best ways to find our voice is to filter it through various media so we can find the common thread. Thanks for sharing!

    • gillianholding – Author

      I’m really interested to hear others experience this; I spent years slightly bothered about my desire to go into everything and my dislike of being categorised, and i think it was because inside i knew that the synergistic benefits were there…

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