Finding Your True North Voice

Photo of compass on a map

Photo Credit: “Compass Study” courtesy Calsidyrose via Flickr creative commons

I’ve heard it can take years for a writer to find their true voice. That unmistakable tone that speaks louder than mere words, shines brighter than the North Star on a cloudless summer night, and stands head and shoulders above all the spurious voices she’s worn before that never really suited her.

It’s the voice that fits like a snug pair of skinny jeans with two point five percent Lycra: tight, but still comfy. It’s also the voice that can run at times with poetic license and manage not to trip on its own shoelaces.

Where does this voice originate? It begins as a whisper from your soul in the ether and moves through the body via the heart center before it takes form in your imagination as a big “what if?”

Given a reasonable command of language and a respectable idea of story arcs and other such basics of fiction writing, this voice begins to answer that question in its own unique way.

If left unhindered and free to play, it slowly begins to pulse through your fingertips as you tap at letters on your keyboard, forming words that lead to sentences that lead to paragraphs.

Before long, characters appear and begin telling their story; a story that is usually one beat ahead of your conscious thoughts, so that you, the author, are just as surprised as anyone else by what happens next.

Yes, it really does work this way if you allow it. But then you are usually the highly creative type to begin with. And allowing your imagination to play will come as natural to you as breathing.

You may have had an imaginary friend as a child, or be the type given to magical thinking in general. So long as you still have a good sense of which world you are navigating at any given moment, you don’t need to worry. These qualities are what make you a writer.

And they are ultimately what point you in your very own true north direction.

So, absent infrequent yet inevitable pole shifts, Mayan calendar endings and what not, you can trust these northerly directives to lead you to some pretty interesting places. The least of which will help render your distinctive timbre, and the grandest…

Well, the grandest may even help extinguish the fires of global conflict, save millions of lives, and assist you in making your particular contribution to the liberation of the entire planet from the throes of evolutionary transition.

Pretty heavy stuff, I know. Yet worth imagining, don’t you think?


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