Finding your voice

As a young composer (25), I am just beginning to come to terms with the struggle of finding my own voice in composition and allowing that voice to grow, mature and evolve. Imitation seems to be the beginning stage of finding your voice, finding composers you admire, assimilating some of their ideas and writing. But at what point do you make that transition from being a conglomerate of the ideas of others and having your own true voice. In many ways I feel this is an individual struggle, but would the guidance of a teacher be of any benefit. How have you transitioned to finding your own voice (for those who have)? What advice can you give? Are there any other young composers in my predictament? Keith My web site