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Friday, 5 July 2013

Jean Allen on VOICE

I believe an author’s ‘voice’ is unique and has a right to be read. However, unless we find a way to get published, distributed and displayed to the public we may as well give up?
Wait! Think of all those writers whose works were rejected. What if Dickens or Tolkien had given up? What if Thomas Bracken hadn’t written the words for our NZ National Anthem?  A good book, song, phrase, a poem buried can be a sad, sad loss.
I have had to spend the last three months mostly at home. Our street is ‘over a hill and round a corner’. It has no through traffic and is quiet. Or is it? Quietude in this little, green valley is threaded with an orchestration of birdcalls. Three fat kereru beat heavy across the house, settle in the bush and coo; the sound Eileen Duggan likened to moaning and groaning. High in a cabbage tree a tui’s loud refrain overrides the chatter of sparrows. Our place is a bird’s world. We love them; so much so that some walk in to visit and can’t find their way out - sometimes leaving a trail behind that is not good for the carpet!At intervals throughout the day different bird choruses become my background music. Sparrows chirp and chatter; fantails tweet and sometimes gulls fly in from the sea, sit on the roof and squawk their heads off. Yes, some birds are strident. Some, though, are amazingly musical, while the tui fools me, from time to time, with his clever mimicry of other bird calls.
No one tells them they can’t add their voice to this little world because they aren’t known; won’t make enough money; won’t be liked etc. etc. And how much less a place our valley would be without even one of our songsters. Sure, sometimes they fight and sometimes they sing on and on and on. However their voices either together, or in solo, either in their silence or in discord – are priceless.And to some people – so is my writing voice. I need to keep on writing; keep putting my work out ‘there’. I need to be like Bracken and the birds and never give up, never shut up. Small I may be. Slow I may be - but I’ll get there and some readers, somewhere, will be grateful for the gift my writing ‘voice’ gives.
Are you with me?

This is Jean ‘Angel’ Allen hoping you are writing or reading something splendid today.






  1. Well said - a lovely piece of inspiration to cheer those who are wondering if their voice will ever be heard!

  2. Thanks Bev
    After 3 months off for health reasons I am about to start editing. I may be a bit slow but hey! I'm with the turtle!