The Writer’s Lament

It is not that I am silent.

Rather, my voice is missing.

It went out one day and never came back–

I am not sure if it is lost,

Or stolen.

I only know that it is gone,

And I have no way to call it home.

Gouache and ink on watercolor paper.

Gouache and ink on watercolor paper.

Many people talk about how to find your “voice” as a writer. I always thought of it as something that was organic–the way you phrase your sentences, the variety of vocabulary you use, the rhythm of your words on paper, your written personality. It can be modified, or shaped, like a garden–you can add things or take them away. But I never thought of it was something you go out and find, almost like a shopping trip: Hey, there’s a voice I like–I’ll take that one!

I’ve been having trouble with mine, lately. Nothing I write sounds like me. Or at least, not the way I think I should sound. It’s not that my voice is changing or growing, it is simply that it isn’t there. I have ideas, boundless ideas, and can’t get them out on paper. It’s very strange.

So when, as a writer, your voice just…evaporates, what do you do? Has anyone else ever experienced this?