“Do you want to finish that novel? Start a blog? Just get into the habit of writing? What kind of change do you want to see happen in the next month?”
I’ve said for the past two years that I’d love to write a book about my experiences in Tanzania but immediately I put it out of my mind because “how could I have any authority to talk about a place I’ve only spent a year”? I have friends that are still there, and there are many other people who’ve had similar experiences who could write something just as well, if not better than me–so I disqualify my own voice by comparing it to others.
I’d like to stop disqualifying myself and write what’s on my heart regardless of the fact that there are “probably people who are more qualified” besides me.
I’ve shied away from any sort of topics that could be controversial, or writing about my relationship experiences or my perspectives on things because I a) have felt like I shouldn’t rock the boat or challenge the status quo (even though I disagree with it most of the time and don’t ever personally claim it as my own) and b) I wonder if anyone is even listening. I mean, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read someone’s post on Facebook (especially political) and thought to myself, “Hmm. Okay,” and then gone about my day totally unaffected by it. I think my fear is that other people are just as blasé about what I have to say as I’m so guilty of being towards the copious over-share of opinions these days (thanks social media).
I’m not saying I want to write about politics or just get people fired up for no reason, but I want to give myself permission to share and to stop apologizing for the space I occupy by using my words to hide myself, disguise myself, make myself less offensive, more chaste, more cowed. I want to get my fire back and burn.
Those are two basically completely intangible goals that I’ve set for myself for the next few weeks, but as far as something I can really look at and say, “Yeah, I see specific, measurable progress in this area”, I’m hesitant to commit to something. In fact, I’m probably too small minded. I have friends who’ve done NaNoWriMo for years and the mere thought of writing however many thousand words makes the blood drain from my face. (Do I even have enough in me to fill up something like that?) Maybe I should throw myself into it like I did with my dance showcase (which I’m performing at next month–can you say anxiety attack?).
Perhaps my goal is small, but it’s all I’ve got for now: I’d like to see a consistent writing ethic develop in me. I’d like to continue writing 500 words a day, and I’d like to get a specific blogging schedule with different topics or focal points on certain days. I don’t know exactly what that will look like yet, or how exactly it’ll play out, but I am excited to hopefully find my voice (or get it back, or whichever) in the remaining 29 days!