My Very Own Voice, Loud and Clear

By guest blogger Valeka Cruz

Recently I wrote a post called A Whole New Meaning to “Finding Your Voice”. So many epiphanies went into the creation of that post, I decided to create a new blog category (named “finding your voice”) and invite our readers to contribute. Here’s our first contributor; please help me welcome Valeka.

I DON’T KNOW about you but there’s a voice inside of me (sometimes it even has a posh British accent) that tells me what I should write. This voice is free, honest and open; fun and easy going.

This voice makes me feel I can write anything I want to. It makes me feel okay about saying things that are personal, intimate or embarrassing. This voice convinces me that my blog readers appreciate my candor because they can relate to it.

So, I write that way…until…the other voice creeps in.

This other voice tells me I’m saying too much. Exposing myself. Baring too much of my soul. It’s my inner censor.

My inner censor rears its head under the mask of being my protector. It likes to keep me in my comfort zone. This voice tells me that my readers don’t need to know some of the things my “good” voice wants to tell them.

In the past, I have listened to that inner censor. I believed it when it said my readers wouldn’t know the difference. That voice was wrong.

The beauty of writing is that the author has the ability to spin simple words into images and emotions. It’s a gift. Suppressing the gift not only keeps us from stretching and growing as writers but also deprives our readers of the best experience we can give them.

When we allow our inner censor to take over, we’re stifling our own creativity. It seems so counterproductive! We have a multitude of outside influences trying to keep us from writing what we feel—why should we do it to ourselves?

In my experience, my censor rears its head when what I’m writing is too real. In most cases, this actually means I’m on the right track. Just when I think I should stop because the censor is telling me I shouldn’t share in public about the jiggle of my thighs or the chafing of my sports bra as I run, I realize how wrong that voice is.

My readers WANT to read about me in my various stages of vulnerability. Writing what I feel and what is personal makes me more real to them. And it helps my readers feel they aren’t alone or the only one who has to deal with moments of discomfort or embarrassment.

Letting that inner voice that wants to be free and open speak up is empowering. Yes, it helps our readers but it also helps US as writers. It helps us reach deep down and pull from places we thought were unreachable. And that can only make us better.

Valeka Cruz

Valeka & Karlee

Valeka Cruz (@runningonheavy) is a freelance writer and blogger living happily in Austin Texas with her three fur babies. Her weekly blog, Running On Heavy, provides health and wellness motivation along with life lessons. She loves chocolate, hiking, laughing, hot tea and, especially, writing (not necessarily in that order depending on what kind of a day it is).

6 Responses to My Very Own Voice, Loud and Clear
  1. Carole Jane Treggett
    Twitter: cjtreggett
    September 7, 2012 | 10:26 AM

    Fabulous post, Valeka. I’m pretty sure most of us writers wrestle with that inner censor.

    I find if I can just stop editing as I write, and tell myself I’ll worry about how much I’m going to share publicly later, there are times when I can fall into an empowered writing zone where I and the words are free and I don’t feel that hand to my throat.

    I live for those writing sessions when it really does ‘sound’ like me, my own authentic writer’s voice, and not censored or watered-down or compromised me.

    I’ve also discovered a few times when I’ve risked sharing a piece of writing I thought might be too revealing or self-centered, I got the feedback it was something very beneficial for them to read. Go figure! Reminds me of this quote I love from Carl R.Rogers: “What is most personal is most universal.”

    • Valeka Cruz
      Twitter: runningonheavy
      September 7, 2012 | 12:31 PM

      Thank you, Carole!! So glad you enjoyed my post.

      You and I sound so much alike! I have always done a lot of editing as I write instead of just letting things happen organically.

      I’ve gotten such good feedback for some of the more revealing things I have written about. That certainly encourages me to keep doing it!

      My inner censor has been on a nice long vacation for the past couple of months. I think I prefer it that way!

  2. Charlotte Rains Dixon
    Twitter: wordstrumpet
    September 7, 2012 | 10:47 AM

    This is an amazing post, Valeka, I love it. Very inspiring. I relate to the part about vulnerability especially as I’m reading Brene Brown’s new book, Daring Greatly (will be reviewing it soon), and she’s all about how being vulnerable actually connects us, though we think the opposite will be true. And, I totally agree that letting our true voices be expressed freely and openly is empowering.

    Milli–this is a great topic!

    • Valeka Cruz
      Twitter: runningonheavy
      September 7, 2012 | 12:38 PM

      I appreciate that so much, Charlotte! As I continue on my writing journey, I am learning how important it is to be vulnerable and open. It’s very liberating!

      I can’t wait to read your review of Brene Brown’s book! It sounds like something I should read!

      And I agree – Milli, this is a WONDERFUL topic to add to the FoW blog!

  3. Estrella Azul
    September 11, 2012 | 12:02 PM

    How true. I am so glad you’ve come to this realization, Valeka, it’s empowering. And it allowed for this inspiring article – well done!

    • Valeka Cruz
      Twitter: runningonheavy
      September 13, 2012 | 3:03 PM

      Thank you so much, Estrella! It’s taken some time for me to get here but I am enjoying it immensely!
      So glad you enjoyed my post!

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