When people talk about finding their “voice,” you might get the impression they looked down one day and there it was — lying on the ground, fully formed and functional, just waiting to be used. In my experience, though, finding your voice is more about hard work. And time. Lots of time. Our voices are built, not found. It seemingly takes forever. A decade or more. And here’s the frustrating thing: you can’t rush it. There are no shortcuts to finding your voice. You have to go the long way — slowly accumulating influences, trying on different styles, finding a voice that feels natural — and then refine it slowly, project after project, year after year. The good news is that while there isn’t a shortcut, there is a path.