Finding a voice

In my writing, I am seeking to find my “voice.” Can I get a little existential for a moment? I have to say: I think we’re ALL trying to find our voices.

ImageA voice is for speaking. It is for singing. It is for communicating. And honestly, it’s about communicating our selves. When I talk to friends, I use my voice to find out more about how they are and to share about how I am. We learn to use different tones of voice depending on how we are feeling, who we are talking to, and what situation we are in. I have a hard time getting angry at people—or at least angry enough to show it in my voice, in my words. But sometimes finally I am so emotional that it comes OUT—

Ah.

There it is.

My voice.

So perhaps in trying to discover my voice—in you trying to discover your voice—we must find what evokes strong emotion in us. The strongest emotions are the ones that refuse to be unspoken.

And it is a beautiful thing, to speak. To share. To have a voice.

I lost my voice for a while.

No, I didn’t literally lose the ability to speak. Or did I? Yes, I could still speak out loud. But I lost the ability to say MY words, MY thoughts, MY innermost feelings. I was afraid of judgment, of non-understanding, of being vulnerable and sharing my voice—my SELF—and having it glanced at, only to find it undeserving of attention. Still, the thought of sharing myself, and having others turn away from it, is terrifying. Unbearable. So sometimes I sit in quiet. I hide my words and my thoughts deep inside myself—because if they’re not seen, then they can’t be judged. No, *I* can’t be judged.

But is a lonely place, to sit in silence. With silence, there is no communication. Without communication, there is no relationship, no community. In being silent to avoid rejection from others, I found myself lonelier than I could have been with all the rejection I feared.

I don’t want to be afraid anymore. I want to find the emotions that make me speak up. I want to connect. I want to hear what others have to say, and I want to share what I have to say.

It’s time to find a voice.

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About YOU

Alright, so in the vein of continuing a Blog Makeover that promised change…it’s time for me to write about YOU.

Wait! Don’t run away! I promise I’m not morphing into a creepy stalker who will track you down and write about you from a discreet distance.  (Or will I…?) (No, really, I wont.)

The point is, I’m wanting to revamp my focus on this blog. I have been encouraged lately to consider the audience I’m writing to, and what their needs and interests are.

Used to, I assumed that the “right people” would read my blog. Those who wanted to hear about my life experiences, those who shared my various interests. Surely that would generate a decent audience, right?

Then I realized that, to fully fit that description, the audience I was writing for…is ME.

As much as some of you love me (hi, Mom), no one is going to be fascinated by a blog that revolves around ME. And I realized that if I want to write for an audience of myself…well, that’s what my journal is for.

So here’s part 1 of my Blog Makeover: I’m making it more about YOU.

And here’s the part where you help me: tell me something about YOU. Tell me interests you have, what you love to read about, areas in life that you hope you’re not alone in.

Sure, I can’t write about everything you’ll respond with. But I can start paying better attention, and when I know you better, maybe then I’ll have something worth saying.

Makeover: Blog Edition

Alright, despite the post’s title, there isn’t really a new reality show about people going around and revamping others’ blogs with amazing new designs, etc. (or is there? If not, I call dubs on royalty rights for the idea).

But the point is not reality shows. Or even simply a new theme, design, or appearance on the blog.

THE POINT IS…

I’m going to be writing again. With much more focus, and with more of your input. So all that to say:

CHANGE IS COMING. GET READY.

You may ask “What? How? When? Why?” The answer, dear readers, is you must wait and come back to see. But I promise, the wait will be not be long.

Because I can

Welcome everyone, it’s time for my weekly blog post!

Oh wait. I haven’t written in, like, 3 weeks.

Hmmm…

Well, I do have some reasons (like a trip to Georgia) why I haven’t been able to keep up as regularly as I wanted these past couple of weeks. But in the midst of trying to figure out a good explanation to post for why I haven’t been writing, and trying to figure out what to write about in the first place, I came up with this conclusion:

I write because I can. Because I love it. Yes, it would be awesome if I weekly wrote amazing, profound, witty blog posts that tons of people read. But honestly, I probably won’t. I’ll have the weeks (like lately) when I don’t keep up with my goal of writing one post a week. I’ll have the weeks where I have no idea what to write.

But hey, I started a blog because I like writing. And it’s a place for me to write and to be real. So I’m probably not going to write a lot of “perfect” posts. Some of these are probably going to be disjointed and random and may not make much sense. But I’ve decided, I’m just gonna throw all of the expectations out the window, throw myself into the writing, and just use this blog as a place to be REAL. Because I can.

So here’s my random post. It’s not written on my weekly schedule. It probably doesn’t make much sense, and it is definitely all over the place. But guess what? It’s something I got to WRITE. It’s a place I got to be REAL. And writing, and being real, and being me, and discovering myself through blogging…those are kinda priceless. If people enjoy taking that journey with me, that’s great. If you’re one of those, come on and enjoy the ride. Just be warned it may not always be predictable, regular, or expected.

‘Cause I’m not either.

Thank you for reading my random thoughts. Thanks for putting up with this post. I hope you come back for more.

P.S. I dyed my hair auburn today.

“To live a creative life…”

For a while, I forgot I had a Pinterest. Yes I signed up way-back-when when all my girl friends were first getting on it; I pinned a few things and promptly forgot about it. After all, I wasn’t really very good at the DIY (Do It Yourself) projects, crafts, wedding planning, or cooking stuff that all my friends seemed to be so zealous about sharing.

And then I read this post by Jeremy Cowart. When I looked at the type of boards he had, I thought, “Hmm…that looks more like something I could do.”

So I went back to my account on Pinterest. I was planning on writing today, but then I got caught up in this totally different kind of creative expression. I began thinking about the kinds of things I liked. I didn’t have all the “crafts and cooking” boards my friends loved, but I could post about books, music, quotes, dance, cool photos, art, travel, and other interests I had. I even have a board that just shows random things about me. And in the process, I even found myself pinning about home decor, clothes, hair, and other things I never thought I’d be into! (Who knows, maybe I’ll start a crafts or cooking board yet.)

I spent most of the afternoon thinking about my creative interests and how to express them. While I didn’t get around to any of the writing I had planned, I did get a chance to put some thoughts into another creative outlet: Pinterest. And guess what? However you do it, it’s fun to express yourself.

If you were creating a collage of your life, loves, and interests, what would it look like? I challenge you to find new ways to show off your inner self!

Let’s talk: What do you think of Pinterest? What’s your best medium for creative expression? Leave comments, and let us know!

Also, if you’re on Pinterest and want to share your creativity, feel free to leave your profile link in the comments for us to check out!

Slow Blogging

Golly. It has been forever since I wrote a post.

Bet you’d thought I fell off the ends of the earth. (Or that I’d simply stopped blogging. Either one.)

Well, I read this post on “slow blogging” the other day, and decided that slow blogging was better than no blogging. So I’m now making it my goal to, once a week, write a post. (I know this announcement is super-exciting to the two of you who occasionally still remember I once had a blog.) I’m even considering doing a once-a-week post on my writing blog again.

Because that’s another piece of news for you. I’m trying to start writing. I’ve been thinking and dreaming and reading about writing for a good while now, and I just started a piece of fiction yesterday. I managed to write 3.5 thousand words, which made me feel rather good, and I just knew I’d churn out a novel in no time.

Today, I’ve managed 215 words, and am now pondering if I shouldn’t delete that whole scene after all.

But I’ve decided that if I want to be a writer, I must truly WRITE. Even if it’s all a load of nonsense and never any good and no one ever sees it. I have dreamed of being a writer for most of my life, and dang-it-all if I’m not going to give it a shot. So I’ll probably be blogging about that process here, also.

(If you’re interested, “How to Write a Novel” by Tahereh Mafi is one of the funniest, most awesome things I’ve ever read. Love it. Go read it.)

Also, I have been reading a heck of a lot lately. If you’re on Goodreads, look me up.

Finally, if you’re one of those two people who would love to know what I’m doing in between weekly blogs, you can always catch me on Twitter (much more than on Facebook).

Thanks! See you next week.

100th Post – Living a Better Story

I had a conversation with a good friend of mine the other night. He was speaking about his sadness over a person who, as he put it, was “stuck on making rules instead of encouraging people to live a better story.”

Those words reached out and grabbed me.

I was particularly fascinated by the words “encouraging people to live a better story.” I found this tied in quite nicely with To Write Love on Her Arm’s words about “I am living a story,” and “your story matters.” Have we thought about the fact that we are living a story? And if we are, what do we want our story to be? What do we want our story to say?

My friend further elaborated on an idea he’s been pursuing in his own life, of taking the phrase “I want to be the kind of person who _________________,” and using it to build out who he wants to be. He went on to example, “If I want to be the kind of person who volunteers his time generously, then what do I need to do about that?”

It made me stop and ponder my own life. What kind of person do I want to be? If I were writing my story, how would I write out the next few chapters? What will it look like?

I am reading a fabulous book right now (at least, fabulous 6 chapters into it). I love fantasy books, particularly because there are no limits. What if we set ourselves into “fantasy writing mode” and wrote our story with no limits? No I’m not saying we could all design super-powers for ourselves (if we could, I’d have dibs on flying), but what if we took away the boundaries of some of our believed-lies and self-doubt and REALLY LIVED?

I want to find out what my story looks like. I want to find out what it means to live. I hope you do, too.