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  • Writer's pictureMarianne Robinson

How do you find your voice?

I’ve been thinking a lot about the voice, finding the voice and what that means to me.

The actual physical workings of the voice as an instrument is amazing in itself – air comes out of the lungs, through the trachea, and into the larynx, the air makes vocal folds vibrate, alternately trapping air and releasing it and each release sends a little puff of air into the pharynx; each puff of air is the beginning of a sound wave (WOW). But the VOICE is much more than just this sound wave producing process - even though this process should be celebrated for being just that - it is much more than a means of basic communication, using sound. Voice is fundamental to our very being and how we use it can quite literally shape our lives.

As an audio narrator, using the voice in an engaging way to keep the listener entertained and interested takes skill and practice. How the voice sounds, the pace, different character voices, story-telling, performance, consistency and being articulate are all equally important. This is for me, the very beginning of a journey in training and practicing how to use my voice for this purpose.

The writing voice is our own personal unique way of looking at the world and then having the confidence to put it down into words. I suppose it is for me a way of allowing others to glimpse into my mind, my view of the world, it is a trusting, personal process and one that takes courage to pursue. This is also a skill that requires practice and something that I am only just really starting to begin. It is important to determine a point of view, an understanding of the intention for writing something. There needs to be consistent narration, sentence structure and word choice, a balance between description and dialogue, and there are very different styles of writing for unique purposes. I realise now that the only way to find the writing voice is to keep writing.

The normal talking voice is just as important as any other – the way we talk to our friends and family, how we navigate our way through our community and our work – what we say and how we say it allows us to live together respectfully and peacefully but it is a constant learning process – the way to communicate with each other and I think one that I will never stop learning about how to master.

However, the purpose of this piece of writing is about finding the voice (in narration or voice over work, in writing and in personal relationships) and in order to embark on these discoveries I think we have to concentrate on the most important voice of all – the inner voice – the internal monologue, the wisdom of our entire selves. This inner speech, provides a running verbal monologue of thoughts continually – whether we like it or not! Usually tied to a person’s sense of self, this self-talk allows us to plan, solve problems, self-reflect, think critically, read and respond to emotions, it also provides us with self-image and is vital to who we are, what we think about ourselves and then how we behave. We all know that this internal discourse can be incredibly self-critical and negative, preventing us from furthering ourselves, from allowing ourselves to celebrate our uniqueness, from accepting ourselves just as we are. For me, the inner voice is something that I need to constantly work on – in paying less attention to the negative talk and encouraging more positive internal self-reflection. Just like any of the other “voices” that I am seeking, the internal voice is about allowing the talk of belief and confidence in ourselves to be louder than the other belittling ones, it’s about finding the inner voice that supports us and gives permission for all the other discoveries about ourselves that we are perfectly entitled to find and treasure. Just like any of the other voice discoveries, it takes constant daily practice to keep the inner one in check.

Let’s keep it positive people!

Thank you for reading this, possibly listening to my voice, and generally allowing a little bit of your time and mind to take a bit of interest in mine.

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