Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Whose Skin Are You In?

by Mary Allen

You were influenced by writers from the first time the printed word whisked you through a magic doorway into other worlds and other lives. Mimicking those authors, you conjured up people and worlds of your own. Your craft developed still bearing the stamp of those you admired. Eventually you become a writer with your own style. You have “voice”.

Read through recent Hoosier Ink blogs. Notice how often you can identify a writer by their style, word choice, or tone. What you recognize is that person’s personality. They have gifted a bit of themselves to the reader.

Some may think voice is the flag we capture at the summit of publication, the prize in which our name becomes our trademark. I suggest that voice happens earlier, when we risk revealing our selves through the written word. Then publication, brand, and trademark rise from that which God created in you uniquely for a specific purpose within a particular time frame.

What you have to say, the lessons you carry from your experiences, and the very essence of your genetic makeup all unite to create you. Your Life Voice will be strongest when it lines up with God’s will and your Writer's Voice will emerge from your Life Voice.

What experiences have notarized your personality? Are you hiding these or letting them endorse your words with power? Have you accepted your God-given individuality? Have you incorporated values of your favorite authors in a way that strengthens and nurtures your Voice?

If you are still looking for your Voice check to see whose skin you are in. Are you disguised as someone else? Are you cloaking your strengths by copying literary heroes? Are you envious of how God uses his other servants? You will never be more powerful than when you are who God created you to be.

“O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit or stand. When far away you know my every thought. You chart the path ahead of me, and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment, you know where I am. You know what I am going to say before I even say it. You both precede and follow me, and place your hand of blessing on my head. This is too glorious, too wonderful to believe! I can never be lost to your Spirit! I can never get away from my God!” Psalm 139: 1-6


  1. Mary, I totally agree with you. I just told my Bible study this morning as we ventured in the book of Ruth--"Tell your story. The story of God at work in your life is yours along to tell--it's your witness, your testimony." And I confess, I love reading H.I. and trying to guess the identity of each author.

  2. I get a kick out of seeing how far I have to read before I make a guess.

  3. Wow, major words of wisdom, Mary. Sometimes writing humor seems like a demotion, when I compare myself to profound scribes both now and down through the ages. But this is God's plan for me, and I do well to follow it--even if it means slipping on a few banana peels....