You can only be you.

There is no shortage of ways you can pretend to be someone else as a writer. The only problem is that they don't lead you to your voice.

You can only be you.

It sounds like the most ordinary thing in the world, but it's actually difficult being yourself as a writer. We don't fit in. Never have, never will. But it's part of the process of finding your voice to try to walk another path than you are designed for.

The problem is that when you try to be another version of yourself, you feel miserable. You might make a lot of money, or otherwise live a good life, but you feel empty inside. You lack your voice.

Life stops you

So you try to hide it and play the theatre of life to convince yourself that you are, who you pretend to be. It's a coping strategy, and it's fine. We have all been there.

You can't keep doing it, though. If you don't stop, life does it for you. An accident, a disease, a divorce, a job crisis or meeting someone special, are ways this can happen. When life stops you like that, you better stop too.

In the beginning you will probably try to deny it, but life will start doing its work, and eventually you have to surrender to the process of finding your voice.

Little by little you sidetrack from your main track, and at some point you are confronted with the choice of returning to the original main track, or staying on your new.

A defining moment

This is a defining moment for you. Whatever you choose shapes the rest of your life. Do you want to return to the safe path, where everything is given in advance, or are you willing to explore your voice further?

Most people return to the original main track. It feels safer, and on this track everyone confirms each other in having made a sensible choice. The only problem is that your voice gets lost in the noise of the crowd.

Few choose to continue down the unknown sidetrack. They intuitively know that it will lead them to their voice, in spite of the challenges along the way. They are the ones who find it.