How To: Preserve Your Voice

In today’s world, when there are infinite things for your eyes to peruse, so it can be hard to retain your own voice. And yet it is an essential and distinguishing part of being a creator. Kate Banks, the wonderful writer you met last week, has done this successfully in her years as a children’s author. Below she shares three tips that she follows to continue to preserve her unique voice.

1. Foster a relationship with yourself.
"I spent many many years cultivating a relationship with myself. Either through some type of meditative activity or meditative practice, even just quiet time. I’m a big believer that a lot of creation does happen in that space. People like “yes” or “no,” and I think most of creation actually happens in the gray space between black and white. And maybe it eventually meets the borders of black and white, yes and no, but for me, I cultivate empty space, number one."

2. Feed your soul.
"Creative spirits usually need—and I think I can say [so] with some authority at this point—a special diet. I’m not talking about food, although they do need good food, but they need a lot of perception, whether it be traveling to get new experiences, meeting people, color, feeling, touch. You need to keep your senses alive, in whatever way works for you. I spend a lot of time hanging out in coffee bars. I don’t know, it’s kind of a thing. So probably I’m able to create empty space better in a coffee shop than if I were home trying to maybe make some empty space. So I think it’s really important to be aware of your own creative flame and to know in what way you stroke it, what is it that nourishes you."

3. Don’t push yourself too hard.
"The third is to never tell myself to get an idea, to never push it because if you do, you’ll hit a wall. And that happened to me at the beginning a few times, where I wasted a lot of time and energy. I probably didn’t cultivate my empty space, I just tried to get it out of somewhere and it didn’t work."

Thank you so much, Kate! We’re going to be putting these tips into practice ourselves. Readers, once you’re done feeding your soul for today, come back next Monday to meet a woman who runs the coolest women’s clothing shop in Massachusetts.