“If you do not express your own original ideas, if you do not listen to your own being, you will have betrayed yourself. Also you will have betrayed our community in failing to make your contribution to the whole.” -Rollo May
Every writer must struggle with finding their own voice. At least, that’s what I hear and read when I look to others discussing their development as a writer. I find that after writing, but mostly maintaining this blog, that I have what is best described as stage fright. Others write better than I do, they express themselves more eloquently than I do, and everyone else has already discussed everything I’m interested in and could share with an audience. It’s all been done before, by people better than me.
About a month ago, I was at a professional conference where several people shared their wisdom. One woman paraphrased a motivational speaker I like. She said, (and I’m paraphrasing from memory), “Be so boldly yourself that you risk turning people off.”
Oh how I’ve chewed on that little nugget for weeks!
There are several layers to my particular brand of stage fright, but it includes a concern for my privacy, a concern for being so boldly myself that I get hate mail and threats (which is unfortunately common for female writers who express a strong opinion on anything that matters), and a concern for unintended consequences of having opinions that differ from others. Another challenge is simply recognizing ideas which are intrinsic to my psyche. It’s incredible how blind I am to my own mind; so much so that when someone else discusses it, it is like looking into a mirror. I find I am often looking for mirrors.
“The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.”
― Sylvia Plath
It is with that last bit that I realized that I perhaps needed to be more boldly explicit in my writing. For example, though I’ve identified as Pagan for as many years as I can remember, the word itself has lost its meaning and is no longer an accurate descriptor. Then again, who cares? Do I have to accurately identify myself before my words are worth reading? I’ve struggled with this particular flavor of writer’s block for several months now. I struggle with the desire to express myself and the desire to hide away and be invulnerable.
I’ve been working on some new articles and mulling over writing others. Some things are still journal entries that may never be seen by another. In any case, I promise I will be posting new material here soon.