Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Finding Your Voice

Hi, this is Marilyn. Welcome! I've been thinking for a while about how unique and beautiful and special each one of us is to God.

Ever since I was a young girl, I'd wanted to write. When I was in grade school and my teacher gave us a writing assignment, almost everyone else groaned, but I was excited. I kept journals and diaries, and I wrote stories and poems. In high school I wrote more stories and poems, and was editor of the school paper. In college I filled every elective spot with some kind of writing class. I went to graduate school and specialized in creative writing. I published poems and short stories, articles and columns, and books. I’m also a technical writer, explaining to people how to use computer programs to help them do their work more easily. I'm so happy that I can do what had been in my heart all my life. But sometimes I don't think it's very special. It's just something I enjoy doing and something I’m willing to work hard at.

Writers often hear the advice, “Find your voice.” A writer’s voice is his unique style of writing—the words he chooses and the way he puts the words together. It often takes a writer several years to find her voice, but once she does, her readers know right away that she wrote what they’re reading.

Finding your voice isn’t just for writers, though. It’s another way of saying, “Figure out what unique gift God has given you.” If you play softball, for example, your gift might be pitching or hitting or catching—or cheering on your teammates or loving your opponents. If you're a musician, your gift might be the ability to find uncommon harmonies or in the special rhythms you give the music—or singing just the right song at the right time for someone. If you’re a math whiz, your gift might be solving complex problems without using a calculator—or tutoring someone who struggles with the simplest equations.

It might take a long time to find the voice God gave you, but it’s an exciting, amazing adventure! But, finding it is just the first step. The second, and more important, step is to use that voice. It's so important to use the voice God gave you, because he gave that beautiful, unique, and special voice only to you!

I'd love to hear how you're finding your voice, and what you're discovering along the way!

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