You lost yourself because that piece of writing affected you to your core. You wanted to write like that author, you wanted to be that author. You thought you would never get back your own voice again so you were left staring at a blank screen, struggling with words that never came.
Sometimes when we are thrown like that, we just have to let the piece sit with ourselves for a while. Don’t worry, your voice will come back to you.
But you have to let it back in. You have to stop comparing yourself to that writer. You’re trying to capture that person’s voice and shove it down through your fingers but it doesn’t fit. It’s amazing to have writers we look up to—heroes, heroines. And you will always have your influences. Maybe someday someone will tell you that your writing resembles someone famous and you will glow at the compliment. But don’t try to be someone else. Don’t try to trap their voice and put your name on it. You have your own style. The way you choose your words to express yourself to the world is wholly and uniquely yours. Remember that.
Strive to be a good writer, a great writer, but don’t lose yourself.
Jessica Sita is an author and poet who you can find writing at her blog Watchful Creature. She is often blown away by such writers as Shirley Jackson, Richard Matheson, ee cummings and recently Ksenia Anske’s “Rosehead,” as well as our own Ericka Clay.