When you are starting something, especially if it is a creative task, emulation is the most logical first step. Nowadays, at any given moment, we are all exposed to a thousand different voices. However enriching this may be, it nevertheless makes us susceptible to losing our own.
Here are a few ideas to help you find your own voice:
(If you don’t understand Spanish you can read them below).
-Accept that it may take time: Miles Davis said: “you have to play a long time to be able to play like yourself.” Hemingway, Lennon, Picasso…they didn’t wake up one day and simply started producing inimitable works of art out of thin air. There was plenty of hard work before finding their unique styles.
Ira Glass talked about the gap that exists in between our abilities and our ambition. Sometimes this gap (the space in between what we are able to do and wherever we want to arrive) is very wide and we end up giving up. Some people can’t stand that phase, that period of mediocrity, the days when our work is still average. If you are struggling with this, remember:
-Don’t give up: you may only need one more step to fill in that gap. One more little effort may be enough to change what’s ordinary into something extraordinary. Suddenly you’ll take a different turn and the path will appear clear. So whenever you feel like quitting, just hang in there a bit longer. You never know what the next day will bring but it may be, finally, your voice, loud and clear.
-Eliminate the noise: you own voice will appear in your purest, simplest work. If you are a writer, edit and edit and edit one more time till each word has a reason to be on the page. If you cook, go back to the basics…listen to your instinct and look for your essence. You don’t have to change who you are to find yourself, you just have to be even more of who you are.
-Identify connections: which are the elements that you tend to use more often in your work? Where do you come back? Which are the details that you find “yours”? Look for those things that are familiar and make you feel at ease and you’ll be able to design a map to your own style.
-What do others value in you? Don’t be afraid to ask the people that surround you. We sometimes need that external, more objective feedback to value and appreciate the things in our work that we take for granted.
Are you looking for your own voice? O maybe you are one of the lucky ones that have already found it? If so, how did you do it? I’d love to read your opinions on this!