I recently dug up some old creative writing pieces from 2012 and 2013. When I wrote them, I had just moved to New York and was stumbling into who I was. Discovering that writing was something I needed to do was an accident that was unfolding.
I wanted to read these few pieces again to help me work through finding my voice. The beginnings of a large writing project is intimidating and I wanted to go into it early with confidence of who I am and what I want to say.
I was hoping to find some clues in these early pieces like hints I left myself before I was consciously writing as a craft. As you'd expect, these pieces were raw and rambling. I was clearly lost and lonely. Yet when I reread those pieces I still saw myself in them. The topics, when not forlorn, are often about journeys, moments, and scenery. Just as I was at the time, my style was a little sad and disconnected.
Maybe in five years, when I look back on what I'm writing now it'll be more full of joy and humanity since I am too.
What do you do to help find and refine your voice? Do you feel like yourself when you write or are you impersonating?