Finding your voice is a challenge everyone faces, not just writers. Substitute the term “voice” for one that relates to you – mojo, personality, style, niche. Whether you’re a business person, technical mind, tradesperson or creative type, everyone possesses a distinct uniqueness that’s waiting to be discovered.
I came to this realization last night during the American Idol semi-finals. Before the finalists performed, they aired their audition tapes from several months earlier. As someone who’s been watching the show all season, the transformation from nervous, uncertain amateurs to confident, polished professionals was startling. Early on, the singers were simply trying to prove they could sing, but as the contest progressed they were tasked with showing the world who they are as artists.
For the contestants, the past several months have been filled with praise, criticism, mentoring from industry heavy-hitters and a whole lot of work. Those who failed to identify their sweet spot fell by the wayside, leaving those who did. There’s Scotty, with the deep, velvety tone who carved out his niche in country music, Haley, whose throaty growl brings an edgy new life to classic rock and Lauren, whose saccharine sweet voice gives wings to her pop-country renditions. Three very different artists with one thing in common: they’ve found their voices.
Discovering your voice is like finding a key that can unlock your greatness. Don’t believe me? Look at some of the legends of our day, like renowned chef, Bobby Flay, whose passion for cooking exploded when he discovered his culinary voice in American Southwestern cuisine. Or Oprah, whose broadcast career exploded after she left reporting and became a philanthropic daytime talk show host. Or Tina Fey, who found her niche when she took her playwriting and acting education and honed in on improv and comedy.
I believe we all have a voice – an element that’s distinctly us – just waiting to be unlocked.
Once it is, anything is possible.