Writing instructors and How-tos frequently discuss finding one’s voice. It’s that unique sound or style that develops when writers write authentically. And whenever I start to write that I’ve found my voice my fingers start to freeze up and my gut gets queasy. It’s almost like an ironic tic. If I’m writing with my authentic voice, I just don’t say those kinds of things. So saying it removes my authenticity, because I start to doubt instantly that I am telling the truth.
So, instead of saying that I’ve found my voice, the bigger truth is that I trust my voice. I know when I’m going wrong. My bones tell me. And if I can stay true to that, then I’ve done something. The problem now is choosing what to say. There are so many things I’m passionate about, so many topics to explore, so many genres to dip into. I can’t build a platform if I’m writing about natural childbirth one day, using the arts in community development the next, and the oneness of humanity the next. In the depths of my heart everything I’m passionate about is sourced from an inexpressible love for people. But writing about that in those terms makes me want to gag. I write poetry, memoir, portrait and essay. I write novels and stories and grant proposals. How the heck am I ever going to settle down into a set of genres and topics?
This blog is forcing me to choose. Well, let me put it this way. For the sake of a sense of community around my blog, I want to focus a bit more. Even if it’s only me and two other people, I want us to chew on some common topic together. But I’m coming up blank. Too many choices, none of them speaking loudly enough to me. It’s making me feel grey and bland, and like I’m sinking into mediocrity because I simply can’t choose one thing to be passionate about.
Of course, I’m avoiding the one thing that I could write volumes about – my children. I have four, but only two acknowledge me as their mother. I don’t want to write another blog about parent alienation syndrome, because I don’t want to contribute to such a divisive topic. I don’t want to blame or curse anyone. I would be strident and angry or weepy and paralyzed if I tried to write about it, anyway. Or am I just making excuses? It is those issues that bring us the greatest trouble that we can write most authentically about. That is where our voices can sing, if we would but let them. So what do I do?
I am tempted to put up a survey: What do YOU want Amalia to write about? But that’s a cop-out, and I know it. So I’m just going to throw it out to the Universe. Show me what You want me to do with this voice. I want to be useful, I want to harmonize, I want to connect. Show me the way!