Is that my voice? I don’t know anymore

When the question of whether or not the voice in my paper is really my voice (as opposed to just a version of it) was first proposed in class I was like um yes of course it’s my voice…I wrote it…that’s what I sound like. But now that it’s been a few hours and I’ve had more time to think about it, I actually don’t know and I’m starting to have an identity crisis. It’s like when you hear a recording of yourself talking and hope to God you don’t actually sound like that.

As far as I can wrap my head around it, it is my voice…sort of. While I pride myself on incorporating voice into my writings, I guess I can’t really say that it is ever 100% my authentic voice. As far as school assignments go, no matter how laid back the assignment is or how personable I’m trying to be, I think it’s always going to be at least a somewhat “cleaned up” version of my voice. The fact that it’s an assignment, and it will be graded, and probably graded by someone I don’t know super well makes me feel as though I shouldn’t sound the same way I do talking to friends I’ve known for a long time and know pretty well. It’s definitely not fake, I’m not trying to be a completely different person, it’s just…different.

While I don’t know that this is ever going to change, I’ve never realized that what I’ve been calling my voice for such a long time is really a polished version of my voice. I now want to find different outlets/ ways of writing where I feel as though I can use my authentic voice, and not the version of my voice I’m now realizing I put on.

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