Tag Archives: writer

Writing for me

If you are a writer, write!

Simple.  Freeing.  Permission to be authentic.

I am a writer. Does it matter if anyone else reads?

I saw the (If you are a writer, write!) statement recently when I was pondering my current state and I wondered whether I’m  truly being authentic if I deny myself the expression and joy of writing? Does it matter if my words are not published? Does it matter if no eyes bring my words and thoughts into the light from the shadows where they reside? If I truly believe that my core skill is to write, then why do I limit my gift to this blog, to what is safe, to what I can’t ‘fail’ at, to what will not be judged and by what other people tell me there’s already too much of?

Even within this blog, I tend to sensor myself.  So many things I’d love to write about are left unwritten for concerns of hurting feelings or exposing vulnerabilities among those I love. Could I not see this break in employment as a gift of time to write to my heart’s content? Can I bravely take the risk independent of whether anyone will ever read that which I pour out through the tapping of my fingertips and the expression of my self?

Perhaps, after giving every ounce of me to loving my family, it’s time to give to myself permission to really write authentically without fear or restriction, without the constraint of whether anyone would care to read. Perhaps embracing that which I have not given myself permission to embrace before will bring me peace and acceptance.

The search for self-worth and acceptance is one I can remember struggling with even before I entered kindergarten. Doesn’t everyone want to belong? The place I’ve felt the strongest embrace is in my role as mother and in the relationships with my children. Perhaps I need to find that self in me and give her permission to experience the freedom to write – simply for the joy of it. Perhaps too, my children will one day appreciate my writing but if not, with or without an audience, how can I truly love or accept myself if I constantly push aside the one thing I’ve long held dear as my talent?

Perhaps today is the day I embrace opportunity and give myself authentic permission.

Finding my voice

As far back as I can remember I loved stories. Before I could read or write I memorized story books to pretend that I could read the words on the pages. Perhaps it was grade two or three when the teacher would take pictures from magazines, glue them onto construction paper and set them along the dusty ledge of the chalkboard along the front of the classroom. I liked the way she spaced them evenly along as she slowly set them down. My eyes would dart across them quickly at first and more slowly. A nervous energy would tighten my stomach. After a few minutes I’d settle on one of the pictures. The idea was to write a story about what was happening in the picture. What an adventure! Often I’d get lost in my story and my hands wouldn’t print out the story as fast as my brain wanted them to. I had a vivid imagination but would sometimes simplify my ideas to avoid the pains of printing it all out. My printing and handwriting was always scrutinized and criticized by teachers for being messy. However, I loved writing those stories. Again I’d become nervous waiting for the teacher to call me up to her desk and give me the corrections. I’d stand beside her and look down at my paper with the red-ink evidence of my mistakes. My letters didn’t fit the red, blue, blue line format like her samples on the board. I’d forget some punctuation and in my hurry to get my thoughts down, I’d sometimes miss bits here and there and would often have the dreaded offense of including a run-on-sentence! Even with all that, I knew, I had the ability to tell a story. I also remember in grade one my best friend, Debbie Humble, and I would make up stories as we walked to and from school.  These stories may have looked like lies but both of us knew they weren’t true.

My childhood involved keeping secrets, things you just didn’t talk about outside of the home, things related to my father’s alcoholism. It’s almost as if there were so many things I wasn’t to talk about that I was bursting to talk about anything else. I was a very talkative child and I remember, as the youngest, often being given tasks to distract me from bothering my siblings or parents with my chatter. We had a green Pontiac car that was parked in the carport and as a child on a tricycle I’d go out and talk to that car. It listened to me without sending me away. Our poor neighbor was building a fence once and I talked with him hour after hour – like it or not! I often was disciplined at school for talking when I shouldn’t. One teacher even sat me with the ‘bad’ boys at the back of the classroom thinking that would stop me from talking, but it didn’t. Once, my brother put me in his closet with his tape recorder and told me to pretend I was on the radio. I did a whole show! Amid the “don’t you ever shut up” and “don’t you ever think before you speak” criticisms from my dad, I somehow managed to retain some shred of confidence in myself.

Even though I’d be sick to my stomach before public speaking I did well and enjoyed winning several school competitions. I looked forward to presentations knowing that once I began speaking the nervousness would melt away.

Later, in high school English, I began to learn to write how particular teachers wanted to receive the work. By the time I got to Journalism, I learned to take editing – even when it was brutal. In my career I learned to write for particular audiences, adjusting content and tone and using the colloquial words or expressions of specific groups, industries or workplaces. While I enjoy using my communication skills in my employment I felt I was missing the freedom of just writing in my own style about things that are important or meaningful to me.

This blog is my attempt to free my own voice and to write from my heart. It’s funny though many of the things I’ve written I hesitate to post for fear of offending family members. Hurting people’s feelings is the last thing I’d want to do. Someone once told me that I have the ability to teach others through my writing so I’m meditating and opening my heart to that. I’m not sure where exactly it will take me but if along the way I write something that is painful to someone, I can only hope they will forgive and understand, and maybe someone else will also learn or be inspired by those same words.