I am going to start a new tag.
It’s going to be called “What If”.
The voice thing has been screwing with my head again.
I realised, yesterday, what part of the screwiness was about. It lies in the disconnect between what I am now blogging and what is going on in my head. There is a lag, I think, between my old style of writing and where I have moved in the last six months. A disparity between what I am confident about putting into words and what I am learning about the other parts of myself.
I am as safe in my writing as I have been in my life; and, in both cases, recently, it has left me feeling as though I don’t have a voice.
The realisation has been quite painful.
Despite all my learning, I am still caged by the need to be accepted and afraid of sticking my neck out –
Sometimes. And at other times I really enjoy the debate.
This is not reflected in my writing. I have tempered my views with caution and cushioned my words in subjectivity. I have avoided getting into political discussions (because what do I know) or pursuing the subjects that interest me (because other people are far better equipped); have shied away from disagreement and punctuated my opinions with “I don’t know” or “maybe”. I have prioritised positivity (because I have spent so long challenging negativity) and emphasised possibility (because I adamantly believe in the importance of hope), which is fine –
Only it ’s not me. Or not all of me.
And so I am taking down the boundaries for a while.
What if I put my opinions into words, even if I know that others may disagree?
What if I randomly followed my curiosity and explored some of the ideas that have gripped my mind?
What if I wrote poetry? Or swore? Or shared a crazy idea? Or jumped from one voice to another? Or moved between stories and concepts without worrying which style was “right”?
I am beginning to realise that I have been mistaking consistency for authenticity – and that where we are different from others is as important as where we are the same.
I am a little embarrassed that it has taken me so long to reach this conclusion. It is only the courage to act on this learning that is harder to see.