The Creative Mama » inspiring art, encouraging women

Trusting Your Unique Voice

Not long ago, I was journaling about some personal goals I would like to set for myself, and one of them was “become a writer.” I stopped, and thought about what I had written. I had referred to myself as a writer before, but through that written goal, I suddenly realized that I did not truly believe myself to be one.

I have often felt that I was too young and inexperienced to have anything of real value to say. I would write page after page in my journal- sometimes even on my blog. I’d tell myself I that would be a “real writer” when I had gained more life experience, seen more places, had done more notable things… then I would have something to offer.

So often we struggle with allowing ourselves titles- “writer”, “photographer”, “artist”. I think we fear that if we refer to ourselves with those terms, we will have to live up them. We fear that more will be expected of us then we are able to give.

The truth is, I have always been a writer, whether I was brave enough to claim the title or not. For as long as I can remember, I have filled page after page of my journals with thoughts and opinions, memories and dreams- they were extensions of my very being.

It was not a matter of becoming a writer. What I really needed was to give myself permission to believe I was one already. I needed to let go of the fear that I would not have enough to offer, to let go of the fear of failure.

I am a writer. I am an artist.
(My heart sings to be able to confidently type those words.)

Many extremely creative people hide behind the word “aspiring”. It is okay to admit that you are still growing and have much to learn- we all do. We are each at a different point in our creative journey. I grow as an artist, photographer, and writer every single day. But when we boldly claim what we already are, within, we give ourselves permission to create. It is not about claiming to have “arrived”, it’s about claiming to be on the journey.

You, as an artist, have something amazing and unique to offer, right now. No one else sees and experiences the world the way you do. Your voice is your own, and if you are willing and brave enough to break yourself wide open and share your unique and beautiful heart, what comes out will be real- nothing “aspiring” about it. That kind of authenticity is extremely powerful, and is truly art.

I dare you to trust your own voice as it is right now. Give yourself permission to boldly claim who you already are. Just watch what happens.

About Hannah

Hannah Mayo is a lifestyle photographer, telling the stories of families and couples in South Florida and beyond. She is a free spirit and lover of adventure, head-over-heels for her husband and two sons. She loves writing, coffee, the ocean, travel, yoga, fresh flowers, sun on her shoulders, passionate people, a fresh new journal, antique shops, seashells, avocados, Polaroids... finding beauty in simple and everyday things, and sharing what she finds.

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  • Jackstrn

    What is a writer…but one who shares through written words. I too have always written but never considered myself a writer…until recently. It’s a beautiful thing to wake up and know that what you had always desired was within you all along. Trusting ourselves is key to living our dreams.

  • Michelle Black

    Hello… I would like for you to credit me on this post… you’ve blatantly taken it from an original post of mine, only to reword it as your own :(

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  • renee @ FIMBY

    Came over from Steady MOm’s link this am. I have been growing into my confidence calling myself a photographer since receiving encouragement from the community at shutter sisters. No, I’m not a professional, but just because I don’t earn money from my art (not trying to right now) doesn’t mean I can’t claim that title.

    I also like to think of this in terms of my children. I encourage them to find and boldly proclaim who they are. I’m learning to give myself permission to the same.

  • Tracy Larsen

    thank you is not enough for this post…

  • Julie

    Wow, You’ve really given me something to think about…
    Thank you!

  • donna b

    Hello Hannah. By your birthday, you look like you are in your late twenties. My sister at, sent me your blog because she knew I could relate to it. I could so relate to you. I am now 63. I have been keeping five subject notebook journals since I was sixteen. I too wrote my dreams and aspirations of becoming a published writer and having a \"one woman show\" with my paintings…

    My daughter\’s father and I divorced when my girls were 8 and 6. I raised them on my own, and often, after I put them to bed at night, I would write in my journal, as if it were my dearest friend. Pouring my heart out on those lined pages.

    After the girls were in their younger twenties, I remarried. He is the love of my life, and I am still journalling, but have discovered the world of blogging. I have two blogs, Mystical Journeys, which originally was to showcase some of my art, thoughts, and put my writing out into the world for people to read. The day after I started my blog, my Father went into the hospital with pneumonia, but our suspicions of his dementia were confirmed. I began blogging about our journey with him.

    My other blog, Discovering the Purpose of our Lives, began to counter balance my other blog, and to have a place to put my search for my purpose, \’out there\’.

    I am gathering information, old photos and doing the outline for a book about Dad, who is also a Marine who fought in the battle of Tarawa in World War II.

    What you wrote was so beautifully and simplistically written. You write straight from your heart to another\’s. I also believe you have talent and will accomplish your goal.

    I intend to follow you in your journey through life. Thank you for your blog and your wonderful writing voice.

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  • Mindy

    You are SO right! I have always feared titling myself as a writer or photographer because of the expectations (by others and self-imposed) I will have once I accept that title. Hmm…going to have to ponder this some more and pray for more confidence.

  • Pamela Topping

    Beautiful post!

  • Jen

    Thank you for writing this. It is beautiful. As I read it, tears welled in my eyes. I have been struggling with this for a long time. While I still have a lot to learn…I am a photographer. :)

  • Tricia

    This post was beautifully written, and much needed. I think by many, for many different reasons.
    Thank you.

  • Shannon White

    I love this post! Well said and yay for your newfound confidence. We do need to toot our own horns.

  • The Nester

    Well said! Found this post via Emily’s {Remodeling’s} tweet

  • Sarah

    I really enjoyed reading this, and was encouraged by it. I have been reading articles a lot lately by really great photographers/educators about “What makes you a professional” photographer… and really, for me, I’ve been holding back saying I’m a photographer, because I enjoy the art of photography, but don’t want people lining up asking me to be their family/wedding/etc… photographer. So, I think that I will also free myself from the stereotype, and allow myself to call myself a photographer, too!!! Thank you.

  • Cara

    You are so right. I think that if you call yourself “photographer”, “artist”, “writer” you then have to live up to that and that is what scares people. Me included.

    I am a photographer…there I said it!

    Wow, that felt great!

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  • Regina

    Thanks! This was really encouraging!

  • Kristin V

    Beautifully written. You are a writer and many other amazing things.

  • Emily@remodelingthislife

    I needed to read this this morning. Thank you!!