PROMPTuesday #116: The Voice Within

When I was an eighth grader, I decided I wanted to be just like Julie Hinnegan. Athletic and popular, Julie had this amazing long, straight hair, even white teeth and a lispy girly laugh. Since I couldn’t be athletic OR popular and because my hair resembled chicken fluff, I only had the teeth and the laugh going for me. So I mimicked that laugh for a good three months. It was kind of like, “thhh thhhh thhhhhh,” a sound made by sticking your pink popular girly tongue between your even white teeth and blowing. It was ridiculous. It was a non-laugh, really, and more like an explosion of lame air. But I thought it was cute and would bring me good tidings, and so I copied it. Thhhhh for thhhhhh.


It got exhausting soon enough. I was an open-mouthed laugher and the remembering to close my teeth over my tongue was a chore. I returned to my loud, enunciated, HA HA HA! and never entered the popular group.


After that stupid experience, I kind of swore off trying to be like other people. For the most part. Every now and then, I’d try to find the EXACT SAME Esprit sweater as Mary Lisa Kay, but I mainly stayed myself. Big dorky goofiness and all. Turned out when I became fully me, I was happy and befriended. It was nice.


But I’m getting all weirded out again. I read too many blogs and lack confidence, so feel I should be like the “other people.” You know, the people who are funnier or edgier or craftier or sublimer or more self actualized-er. Many days, I don’t feel “enough,” and hyper analyze my writing and wonder how I can be not so much like me, but like them.


Luckily I snap out of it most times. After many posts stopped and started. By now, I know my voice AND what is NOT my voice. As I’ve discovered, I kind of can’t help but be me. It leaks out. And then I let the prose go like a full-blown San Diego Momma hose.


I do have many moments though. Insecurity sucks. It steals your voice, it really does. Weakens it. I try hard not to be a namby pamby and just write like I write and not try to emulate this person or that. It’s a constant challenge.


So this is a long-winded way of introducing you to this week’s PROMPTuesday, which is:


How did you find your voice? Did you lose it and regain it? Do you still feel like it’s missing? Or are you unabashedly, unreservedly YOU. If so, please do tell. On all counts.


Please post your submission in the comments OR post in your blog and leave a link to your blog in the comments.


First time to PROMPTuesday? Read a bit about it here.
Want to see what’s been written in the past? Catch up on the PROMPTuesdays archive here.


6 thoughts on “PROMPTuesday #116: The Voice Within”

  1. This post really speaks to me. I’m so in awe and totally love reading all the great blogs out there. When I read my writing I wonder if it conveys my personality like so many others do. I read my posts sometimes and think “i’m funnier or more interesting than this makes me seem” haha :) I love your blog & you’re right…trying to be like someone else ultimately doesn’t bring self-satisfaction.

  2. What an awesome prompt! Not sure I have found my voice yet though… I had that same Esprit sweater! Oh and “explosion of lame air” might be my most favorite thing you’ve ever written.

  3. Have something I want to add to this conversation, as I think it is a very good one, but can’t find the right words. Not quite the same as not knowing where, or what, my voice is, but frustrating nonetheless. I’ll come back later…

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