Black woman wearing a colourful flower crown.

Finding My Voice As a Woman and Writer

H ncHappy holidays! What have you been up to this season? Aside from eating, sleeping, and just enjoying not having to rush anywhere, I’ve been thinking I should get a blog post up.

You ever stay away from something so long that even getting started becomes really intimidating?  I needed willpower for Christmas. Santa was late as all hell, but at least he delivered. We’ve got a post!


Fun fact: Driftyness has been around since I was in high school, around 7 or 8 years ago. It’s been through many iterations over the years, first starting out as a place for an unhappy girl to vent her unhappy thoughts, then a place to document and share my healthy hair journey, then a fashion blog, then this.

I’ve struggled to define what this is. Is this a lifestyle blog if I don’t write about things like fashion and makeup? What’s my niche? What’s my brand? Despite the courses I’ve taken and the reading I’ve done, I’ve tried and failed to answer these questions because nothing seems to feel right.

How do you encapsulate “likes to write and hopes that people take something positive away from writing” in a brand? Do you turn it into an unpalatably long acronym, LTWAHTPTSPAFW?

I’ve been struggling to figure out who I am as writer of this blog. What should I say? How do I say it? What kind of message am I trying to get across?

Interestingly, these are the same kinds of questions I’ve been asking of myself as I become an adult-adult–the kind that doesn’t even need to announce she’s grown for people to know.

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In all honesty, I’ve really struggled with my voice this year. When I speak, there have been two conversations going on: the one I’m trying to have, and the one I’m having internally with myself. Externally, I want to say what I think, be smart and confident, and have the kind of conversation that leads to a connection. But internally, I have a volley of doubtful questions: am I sure? Won’t someone think I’m strange if I say that? Won’t I sound stupid? Is this person even interested in what I’m saying?

I feel a similar sort of uncertainty as a writer. What do I put out there? Is this topic too personal? Am I going to read this later and cringe? Is there even a point to what I’m writing? Are people going to think I’m boring?

As I go forward into 2019, I realize that one of my goals is to be more honest with myself. For a long time, I’ve been trying to fit various molds as both a person and a writer, always with the assumption that just being myself wouldn’t be good enough.

Part of being honest with myself is realizing when things aren’t working. This idea that I must fit instead of just be isn’t working for me. 

I suspect that 2019 will bring significant life changes for me as I wrap up grad school and (hopefully) start a full-time job. I’ve been asking myself questions about what I really want and value, as well as what direction I need to go in in order to have the life I want. One thing that’s been coming up a lot is what kind of things matter to me mainly because they matter to other people. Whose standard am I using to live my life? I think learning to use my own values and standards is an important part of finding my voice as a woman. I want the things I say and do to reflect who I am with confidence. I want to be coherent: what I value and how I live should line up.

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As far as my voice as writer of this blog goes, I’ve come to think of Driftyness as my sandbox. This is where I write about the things I’m doing and learning as I go through life. Overall, I’m just trying to be happy with my life like most people, but I’m getting the sense that this isn’t as straightforward a process as it seems. Driftyness is where I can learn about things like SEO and social media, or try my hand at writing different topics and in different styles. It’s my messy, unedited portfolio; my much-loved prototype; my sketchbook instead of my final piece.

I can’t say how all of this is going to end up, but I’m excited to see what kind of things (and blog posts) are going to come from it. Here’s to the quiet strength of just being ourselves.

Question: how did you learn to get comfortable being yourself?

Image via Autumn Goodman @ Unsplash

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10 comments on “Finding My Voice As a Woman and Writer

  1. this is beautiful. Happy new year!

  2. How can you read my thoughts like that. It’s exactly how I feel………and I’m 71. See things never change. Life is always a struggle. What to do, what to do. But life is in the doing. Don’t let the thoughts stay in your mind. Put them down on paper…sorry…WordPress…. and share. Happy New Year.

    • Hey, Len! It’s nice to know that I’m not alone in my feelings. Sometimes I think they’ll resolve on their own as I get older, but I guess we’re always a work in progress! I agree with you – life is in the doing. Good words to live by. I think I’d go crazy if I didn’t write down my thoughts, so I will definitely do that! Thanks for the encouragement. Happy New Year to you too!

  3. I was just thinking about you yesterday and here you are? I wasn’t blogging for almost two months as My mother was sick. I know what you taking about. You are still a great writer, I would say you are a born writer. She is doing better now and just came back to blogging. I self-hosted my site on siteground and now you guys can’t see me in the rear feed which is sad. Here is the new link to my site Stay connected. Come give me your opinion on how my site looks. I like your new graphics. What are you using as a host? Blue host or Siteground?

    • Hey, Bushra! You’ve been on my mind too. I’m sorry to hear about your mom, but I’m so glad she’s doing better. Hope you’re feeling well also. I know that must have been stressful for you. I’ll subscribe to your new site so I can stay updated. I just took a quick look and it looks fabulous! Congrats on taking this step, I feel like it’s such a milestone in the life of a blogger!

      Thanks for all your compliments, they make me feel really good. I’m using HostGator because it allows me to pay for hosting on a month-to-month basis. I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to self-host long term, so I figured it was a good way to test it out. How do you find SiteGround? HostGator has been a bit slow for me.

      • Hey girly, site ground is amazing when it comes to site speed. I will highly recommend. Hey but I can see you in the wordpress read feed while my site is not visible anymore. I wonder what went wrong. Thanks for subscribing. I wonder if I have to follow you or just subscribe.

        • That’s good to know – I’ll keep it in mind if I want to switch hosts.

          If you’re using WordPress, you can install the Jetpack plugin so you can still show up in the reader. It’s a neat little tool!

          You can follow me, subscribe to me, or both!

          • I have installed. I wonder what went wrong

            • Really? It’s been a while since I installed so I don’t remember what I did. I think I had to turn on the black bar and give people the option to follow via WordPress. You might have to go to your Jetpack plugin in you WordPress Dashboard and go through the settings.

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