Finding Your Authentic Voice // Trina O'Gorman March 02 2018
But writing in one’s notebook should feel different, right? There is no audience but you, the writer. You should feel free to write whatever you want to write. Who’s going to read it? Who’s to judge? Who’s to question your motives or your thoughts or your feelings or your morality? It should be the most liberating and easiest kind of writing that there is. And yet, it can be challenging to find one’s authentic voice, one’s authentic and true self, even in the pages of one’s own notebook.
So many of us have learned, from a young age, that not all of our thoughts and ideas or even parts of ourselves are accepted or considered “appropriate.” In order to be accepted by the people who matter to us or to avoid trouble or be considered “good” by parents, teachers, friends, the community, and so forth, we adjust our behavior to meet certain rules and expectations. We lose something, but we also develop a conscience and a moral compass, which, on some level, everyone needs because we have to function cooperatively with others in many setting
But far too often, we lose too much of ourselves. We self-edit and self-adjust and self-monitor so much, in order to meet the expectations of others, that we forget who we are and struggle to know ourselves. And when we write, we find that so many of the external critics and voices, who have found a place in our consciousness, become the audience, even though we are an audience of one. We feel that all of these eyes and ears are on us, and we just want to be accepted and good enough still. Additionally, there is the real concern of privacy, of real prying eyes getting a look at what we’ve written.
But here’s the thing, each of us has the right to acknowledge our authentic selves. We have a right to be unapologetically ourselves. This is not to say that we must abandon our concern for others. Most often, writing in one’s notebook is a private matter that does not impact others or should not impact others, expect in that it impacts you, and usually in positive ways which can change the way you are in the world. And that can change all that we touch.
So, how do we do this? How do we find our authentic selves and quiet all of those interfering editors and critics? There are a number of things we can do.
1. WRITE OFTEN
2. REVISIT YOUR WRITING
3. LISTEN TO YOUR SILENCE
Sometimes it seems that we likely, as infants, start out as authentic, and then the world shapes us into something that is quite different, and we comply to survive. Then we spend some part of our lives trying to find ourselves again because what is surviving if we cannot be. Embrace the journey, for it is a worthwhile one.