On Trusting Your Voice

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“Give
a piece to one hundred people, you could possibly get one hundred different
opinions—not absolutely different, but lots of variations. This is where the
depth of your relationship with yourself is so important. You should listen to
what people say. Take in what they say. (Don’t build a steel box around
yourself). Then make your own decisions. It’s your poem and your voice. There
are no clear cut rules; it is a relationship with yourself. What is it you
wanted to say? What do you want to expose about yourself? Being naked in a
piece is a loss of control. This is good. We’re not in control anyway. People
see you as you are. Sometimes we expose ourselves before we understand what we
have done. That’s hard, but even more painful is to freeze up and expose
nothing. Plus freezing up makes for terrible writing.”

Natalie
Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones

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