So often, creative pros talk about “finding their voice” as if it’s some far-off entity that must be hunted down and captured so that it might be put to work. That’s not even close to reality. The way in which voice is developed is far less exotic—they try and fail, then they try again, then they adapt and try again, and eventually they make something that feels better and more resonant with their vision.
You develop your voice by using it, a lot. Take small risks with your work each day, and see what resonates. Put work into the world where others can respond to it. Try developing a new skill that gives you unique ways of expressing yourself. Explore a challenging medium. Collaborate with new people. And take in the work of other people broadly and deeply, and see what resonates with you.
Your voice develops over time like film in a darkroom, not all at once like a digital photo. Many people struggle to develop their voice because they don’t pay attention to the clues that are found in everyday, resonant moments.
Put work into the world every day. If you want to develop your voice, use it.
How can you be more purposeful about uncovering and developing your voice through your work?