Authentic Voice

by Vanessa Preston


Articles about authors and artists finding their authentic voice always grab my attention.  Being authentic is one of my top priorities in life and creativity, and my interest is piqued by opportunities to learn what authenticity means to different people.

In a quick video posted between sessions at Tribe Conference last week, Jennifer Blanchard mentioned authentic voice, then asked this question:  “What frustrates you?”

It seemed like a strange question to relate to the subject of finding your authentic voice.  But according to Emily P. Freeman, your frustration is the key to understanding what your voice is all about and what you want to share with the world.  Jennifer told us what her frustration is and how that influences her key message.

Usually a simple prompt like this gets me thinking, and a journal page or blog post will flow quite naturally. Not this time.  But I couldn’t let it go.  Fortunately my pen works more efficiently than my brain sometimes … I started to write a response, and this is what emerged.

What frustrates me?

  • Frustration:  Not doing things I KNOW will help me be healthier, brighter, happier etc.  Self-sabotage, defeatist thinking, an idealist avoiding action.
  • Solution:  Change MINDSET – opt in, step up, take action


  • Frustration:  Being a martyr.  Silly thoughts, like, ‘To keep you happy I won’t do what makes me happy, then I’ll be miserable and that’ll make you miserable’
  • Solution:  Adjust FRAME of REFERENCE – I often find scriptures to replace the lies I tell myself with bigger truths.  I can think of many which apply here!


  • Frustration:  Focusing on scarcity, thinking I don’t have enough time, space, skill etc.
  • Solution:  Shift PERSPECTIVE – be grateful for what I DO have, focus on the abundance of possibilities and opportunities presently available.


  • Frustration:  Multiple interests and priorities competing for my attention and time.
  • Solution:  Rethink REALITY – it’s wonderful to be a multipotentialite!  My interests can complement each other instead of competing.  My faith gives depth and light to my writing and art.  Writerly thought adds complexity and narrative to my art. Art gives me a playful outlet for ideas, and a way to express my faith.


So … what does all that say about my authentic voice?

I guess this exercise reminds me to allow ALL the parts of me to connect and intersect, to help in pursuit of my overarching goal (GLOW:  inspire, empower and encourage).  

My authentic voice seems to flow best when I write by hand.  This is why I handwrite my blog posts in my journal.  I did the same for the entire first draft of my new ebook (due for release in November), “Writer’s Apprenticeship:  21 days of Exponential Growth.”

Here’s what Jeff Goins has to say about finding your authentic voice:

10 Steps to Finding Your Writing Voice
You Have a Voice
Your Voice is Louder than Words:  Interview with Todd Henry

Here’s an article Jennifer Blanchard wrote about How to Find Your Writing Voice.

Grab a pen and a journal and figure out what authentic voice means to you.  I’d love o hear about it!

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