Losing My Voice

September 8th, 2014



September marks the first time in 20 years that I haven’t written the cover copy for the magazine I started in 1994. Although I left the publication at the end of 2013, I continued to write the covers. I’d felt for a long time, though, that it was becoming more difficult to gear up for that deadline every month. At first I thought I was just burned out and needed a pause, but I started to realize that it was also because I’d lost the voice of that magazine that once was second nature to me. Second nature because I developed it and it was in some ways an alter ego for me. But I’m not the same person I was 20 years ago. Somewhere along the way, I started changing, but the only inkling I had for a long time was a nagging discomfort, like wearing a pair of shoes that are too small but so beautiful you can’t bear to give them up. For a non-adventurer like me, a rut is more comfortable than a disruption, but some messages become too insistent to ignore. One day, I just literally ran out of words. Once that happened, I couldn’t stand the thought of writing something false, something that didn’t ring true to me no matter how it might read to others. When that happened, it wasn’t difficult to give up writing for Skirt.  The hardest thing is to wait and hope that I’ll find a new authentic voice, one that fits who I am today.  In the meantime, it’s a relief to take off those beautiful shoes and go barefoot for awhile.

5 Responses to “Losing My Voice”

  1. Joey Potter says:

    Skirt! and Nikki will always be synonymous in my mind. 20 years is a long time…for anything. Your voice will always be authentic…all you need is a new outlet in which to express it. Nurture an open mind and a willing heart and that “outlet” will find YOU…not the other way around. Here’s to peace, love and a new pair of shoes!

  2. Ellen says:

    Nikki, I’m so glad you’re writing again. It is a treat to have someone to spend time with, to share moments. Life changes, sometimes in unexpected ways, and brings us to moments that surprise even us, decisions we can make now that might have been by Loretta Young, the iron hand in the velvet glove. Peace.

  3. Jen W. says:

    Skirt! helped me find my voice and I am forever grateful. I thought your story was an inspiration and I think that evolving and moving on is even more so. To your next voice. Best of luck.

  4. Leigh says:

    What a long and fruitful journey. Looking forward to see where your special style of writing takes you next- a place only your singular style can take you! Best wishes and thank you for inspiring my own journey in story telling.

  5. Marcelita Swann says:

    “It is the same in life; the heart changes…we learn of it only from reading or by imagination; for in reality its alteration, like that of certain natural phenomena, is so gradual that, even if we are able to distinguish, successively, each of its different states, we are still spared the actual sensation of change.” Marcel Proust

    It must be strange saying goodbye to your Skirt!-life, as there is a grieving aspect to it.

    Proust writes that it’s not the grief that fades, but the person who you were, while grieving, fades.

    “It is not because other people are dead that our affection of them fades; it is because we ourselves are dying. Albertine had no cause to reproach her friend. The man who was usurping his name was merely his heir. We can only be faithful to what we remember, and we remember only what we have known. My new self, while it grew up in the shadow of the old, had often heard the other speak of Albertine; through that other self, through the stories it gathered from it, it thought that it knew her, it found her lovable, it loved her; but it was only a love at second hand.” Proust

    The Nikki of Skirt! has faded; Proust would even say she may have died.
    It’s time to take another journey…with your new internal voice.

    We will wait, as we re-read your postings and smile at your barefoot freedom.

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