Hello Reader,

How long did it take you to figure out what you were trying to say with your creative work? Or, like many (most?) of us, are you still trying to figure that out? This week at TCI, we focused on what it means to find your voice—or your calling, or your style, or your passion—as an artist.

View “Finding your voice” Focus →

Or, scroll on to read related wisdom and insights right here in this email...

"I suspect [finding your voice] comes down to the not-at-all-easy thing of knowing yourself, and asking what the kind of work you want to make looks like, and what kind of work is completely honest to you. If you can answer that question and then invest in that, disregarding everything else, then ego falls away, and you can proceed from a place of sincerity. And, not to sound hopelessly wafty and mystical, but when you do that I really do think opportunities just come to you."

Writer Hermione Hoby on creating your own path

"As writers, you [need to] trust your own voice. A lot of people write and think, 'The public will like this,' or, 'This will be important,' but you are your first reader. The first person that has to be impressed with what you’re writing is you. You always have to remember that."

Poet Nikki Giovanni on trusting your own voice

"It’s up to you… Ultimately, if you want to go stand in the middle of Union Square and just start doing your thing, saying what it is you want to say, you can. And if it’s good, if it speaks to people and people respond to it, then you’re gonna end up somewhere. And if not, well then you’re just in the middle of Manhattan expressing yourself and that’s great in and of itself."

Writer and performer Amanda Duarte on creating your own best role

"I think there’s so much debate where people are like, 'You’re not an artist if you blah, blah, blah,' or, 'You’re this because you blah, blah, blah.' Who gives a fuck? As long as you are saying what you want to say, with context, research, and informed input, I think it’s important to share."

Visual artist Shawna X on working for yourself

"I found my voice through [Twitter]. Writing things in that restricted way was helpful, and I needed the encouragement to keep doing things based on the reception to it, because I think if I’m alone in my room doing something, I’ll have no confidence that I should keep doing it. The back and forth between people is helpful."

Writer Darcie Wilder on finding your voice online

"If I were to have a heart-to-heart with a younger version of myself, I’d remember that it took me a really long time to truly believe that I can sing. Even saying it out loud right now, there’s something uncomfortable in saying it. Part of that is because I would like to believe I’ll always be a student, and that there’s always room for growth. And, there’s a larger version of what I’m doing that I hope to get to. But yeah, I’d tell myself to trust in my voice. And to trust that even when it feels like it’s not fully there, that it will show up for you. And in showing up, you realize that it’s always been there. "

Vocalist Somi on trusting your own voice and making your own model

"Making my zine was obviously a place to test out identity, voices, and sensibilities. But looking back, I think what I cherish about that time is that I would stay home at night and do something for no real reason other than that I wanted to do it. There were no readers, nobody was asking me to make a zine. And yet these were things I was interested in—things that I wanted to learn more about. I’ve tried to approach my career similarly."

Writer Hua Hsu on finding the time, space, and voice you need to write

This weekend, we hope you’ll spend some time reading and thinking about what makes you happy, and what keeps you ticking. Indulge your interests and follow your inklings. Let your inner voice lead the way, and the rest will follow.

Thankfully yours,


Real Snail
The Creative Independent


A guide to ideating, publishing, and distributing a DIY zine, written by Rona Akbari and illustrated by Somnath Bhatt.

Zines tend to be a bricolage of various images, texts, and messages. Here is a list of just a few of the things you can do with the zine format:

• Publish sketches, drawings, and mini-comics
• Match recipes with whimsical illustrations
• Mix words with images and textures
• Print lines of poetry
• Share a manifesto
…the list goes on

Basically, what you can include in a zine is only limited by your imagination.

What will your zine be about?

Read more →



The Creative Independent is a growing resource for creative people. Each weekday we publish one interview or how-to guide exploring the emotional and practical facets of bringing new things to life.

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