# Learn the tradition
Keeping up with what's hip doesn't make for developing a contemporary voice. Become steeped in the past, and then you will find your own contemporary voice. Just because it's old doesn't mean it's old hat. Don't worry about keeping up with what's new. There's too much new stuff to keep up with anyway. Most of what calls itself contemporary is made from a desire to be liked, an imitation of what's already around it.[^1] Following trends is a losing battle. Developing a fresh voice is like being on the vanguard. [[Why create?]] To find one's voice.
Seneca said, "We are excluded from no age, but we have access to them all. Why not turn from this brief and transient spell of time and give ourselves wholeheartedly to the past, which is limitless and eternal and can be shared with better men than we?"[^3]
To learn the tradition, go back into your [[Make a creative family tree|Creative family tree]] and find their influences.
![[One should read —Mary Oliver]]
[^1]: [[A Poetry Handbook]] pg. 11
[^3]: [[Keep Going]] pg. 143