About the Post

Author Information

Helena Artmann has a bachelor degree in Communications with a vast experience in PR and the online world. Before moving to Canada in 2005, Helena published a variety of articles in Brazilian magazines and websites, mostly about travel, adventure, outdoor, gear, environment and her favourite activities, mountaineer and hot air ballooning. This is her website: http://artmanncommunications.com

Finding My Voice

Old bookWhat I am doing right or wrong are questions that pop into my mind on a daily basis while parenting my son. And when I think I know the answer, the questions change again as my son evolves. But today I realized something that I think it would benefit anyone with any age and walks of life.

Nine years ago, I moved to Canada and realized that I knew less English than I thought – and living and working in another language is completely different from traveling. Hence my first job being on the backstock of Mountain Equipment Co-op! In just over a year I was getting my first job in my area: Marketing and Communications Coordinator at Green Calgary.

I worked there for three years and my first boss was a wonderful woman, still in my life as a friend. But soon the Executive Director came back from maternity leave and I had a hard two years in the job. This lady destroyed my confidence in a way that it took me long five years to recover.

How did she do that? She simply told me I couldn’t write, treating me with disrespect and racism (!). New to the country, naïve and very happy with my work in my area and on an environmental not-for-profit, it took me a while to realize the damage. In fact, it took another incredible person and professional, Meghan Ward, my editor at The Campsite, to convince me otherwise.

Meghan edits all my texts on The Campsite and I always receive her Word Documents full of comments and changes. I open it and the feeling I have is always the same: I did something right. And this is because all the edits are in a good direction, they make sense, and they teach me something. There is a reason for writers to say that you have to read to become a better writer. And, of course, you have to write.

I’ve been reading English books since my first year in Canada and, now, I’ve been writing frequently as well. I can see the text flowing in a way that I never had before. Ideas come much easier and I get excited to sit here and write over and over again. Some posts will flourish; some will go to the trash can.

Since I decided that what I wanted to do next was going back to writing, I am much happier with my purpose in life and work. Following this path, I became responsible for the blog content for Endurance Unltd and got my first serious writer’s block. The lack of confidence came back and I struggled to find my voice.

I told the CEO of the company that I was struggling. Peter, as the good friend he is, acknowledged it but never let me down. Slowly, I posted a sentence, a paragraph on social media and the results started showing up. Peter and his team started not just noticing it but telling me what a great job it was.

This morning, I woke up decided to finalize a post that was suffering with my blockage – and there you go! My voice came and flowed over the screen in a beautiful and natural way. And that is why I started this post with the mom dilemma: as a parent, we have to guide our kids and many times we end up doing it through the ‘bad’ side. Wouldn’t it be much better if we used the ‘good’ side more often?

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