Opera Legend Jessye Norman has new memoir out, and I caught a lovely interview with her by PBS Newshour’s Jeffrey Brown. In it, I was struck by how some of the things she said about finding the sound and feel of one’s voice relate to writers finding their written “voice.”
Since I wrote this post, the video has expired on the PBS Newshour site but you can read the interview here.
Starting from the beginning, writers in particular out there, try to read what she is saying through the lens of a writer. We all have our own process of finding, feeling and expressing our written voice.
For writers, however, as author Theo Pauline Nestor advises, it includes reading, reading, reading, and writing, writing and writing. I would add it can include following what and who inspires you – who and what help you resonate deeply inside yourself, and begin to write from that “feeling” place.
Jessye Norman knows what this means for voice as it relates to sound; it parallels the feeling process when we are writing, whether it be fiction or nonfiction. Finding that inspired, feeling place opens the gates to creativity, and opening oneself to where the story needs to go, and how you, as the vessel, bring that story to the page.
Whether it be singing or writing, knowing you are in the slot of your own unique voice brings a kind of fulfillment like no other, and like all the ways we can feel fulfilled, it just leaves us wanting more of that feeling…of being fully “in” ourselves.
Those who are into the act of writing out there, I bet you know what I am talking about. How would you describe finding and feeling your voice?
Original post June 2, 2014. Updated September 8, 2014