You Don’t “Find” Your Voice – You Develop It

Stop trying to find your voice. You never will.

Because the “voice” you seek as a writer, artist, or creator can’t be found.

Your voice can only be developed.

Look at the definitions of the words (because semantics matter):

FIND: Discover or perceive by chance or unexpectedly.

DEVELOP: Grow or cause to grow and become more mature, advanced or elaborate.

Trying to find something is just hoping to get lucky.

By definition, it’s something that happens to you — not something you control.

It’s a crapshoot. Banking your success on “finding” your voice, is the same as buying a lottery ticket.

To develop something is completely different.

By definition, it’s about taking action to make something happen.

Success may not be guaranteed, but the odds are significantly better.

Which would you rather pursue? I assume the latter.

So here are some ways to develop your voice…

Do what you’re scared to do.

The thing you’re scared to say, worried to write, and afraid to do is the exact thing you should do.

You fear it because it reveals what makes you unique.

That makes it powerful. Makes it resonate. Makes it your voice.

Use your experiences.

Nobody’s experiences match yours. Nobody’s been through what you’ve been through and seen the world you’ve seen.

Your experiences — good, bad, or otherwise — are your competitive advantage.

Use them. Be inspired by them. Milk them for all they’re worth.

Your experiences inform your voice.

Showcase your flaws.

The most interesting creations have flaws. Your voice should as well.

Don’t be perfect. Be rough around the edges.

Imperfections are interesting. They draw people in. Make people think.

And make your voice real.

Stand out.

We’re raised to fit in with the crowd. It’s a defense mechanism.

It’s also the opposite of what makes a compelling voice.

Don’t try to fit in with what others are doing — look to do things your own way.

Say what others won’t in ways that others don’t.

The faces in the crowd don’t get noticed — the ones who break from it do.

Ignore rules.

There are none. You think there are, but you’re wrong.

Your voice makes its own rules.

Practice.

Remember, the definition of develop is to grow. It’s active, not passive.

You have to do things to get things.

The more you create, the more your voice will develop.

Pay attention to others.

In order to do something different, you first must know the status quo.

Consume what others create. Study their voices. Be inspired by them.

To develop a voice that speaks to the world, you first must listen to what the world has to say for itself.

Pay attention to yourself.

Think about the conversations you have with yourself. Notice what excites you. What repels you. What thrills you.

Listen to your instincts and trust your guts.

Your brain, body, and soul know your voice and try to guide you toward its development. You just have to listen.

You know what to do.