Aug

6

2013

Time to Talk About Voice–I Tell My Own Story

Filed under: Blogging, Drafting, Pondering, Writing

I’m back! And while it was a much needed vacation (especially from blogging and crazy social media) I missed you. And I’m excited to be blogging with a little less stress. I pictured myself doing a catch-up blog post, but I’ve posted most of those picture highlights and tweets from my vacation already and I feel a topic calling to me. I want to talk about voice today. Traditionally when writer folks talk about voice, they are referring to that unique quality in someone’s writing that sets them apart from other writers and is sort a window into that writer’s soul. I love talking voice whenever I can. It’s a topic I find highly interesting, but today’s approach is a little different.

I’m talking about having the strength to speak up.

use your own voice

 

If you know me, you know I really hate confrontation. I do better when I’m speaking up for someone else, although even that’s hard for me. There IS strength in having a long fuse–being slow to return a volley. But there can also be a very unhealthy aspect to swallowing your feelings–when your choices are not made from the heart but come from an overwhelming fear of what will happen by rattling someone else’s cage. Emotions that are processed in an intelligent way contribute to growth. Emotions that are buried out of fear will come back and bite you in the butt. This week in a very personal aspect of my life, my extremely long fuse finally butted up against the bomb. I’ll be the first to admit, it wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t eloquent. The act of vomiting everything I’d contained for so long wasn’t that pleasant either. Throwing up isn’t a good time–BUT YOU FEEL BETTER AFTER ALL THE YUCK IS OUT!

mean what to say

 

I’ve been examining my sudden burst of courage and I’ve realized a couple things…

*I needed a catalyst to open the door to my voice. I needed to have something very concrete and in my mind–irrefutable to use as a starting point. This is just another way of saying I needed to mean what I was saying. Having complete confidence that I had the right to speak made me comfortable enough to let my voice out. But once the flood gates were open, I couldn’t stop the spew. Those feelings had been simmering for way too long.

*I said what I did in complete and utter anger–but I don’t regret it–because at my core I know it to be my truth. Notice I didn’t say THE truth. I’m smart enough to know that truth is bendy and illusive, but it was my truth and I own it.

*Part of my fear in speaking up is making other people uncomfortable. Kimmiepoppins is a people pleaser at heart, but upon self examination I’ve realized that this particular situation had made me uncomfortable for YEARS. And while the confrontation doesn’t actually make me feel any less uncomfortable, it does make me feel lighter. Like I took some of the weight that was hanging on me and spread it to some of the other people involved. I don’t know how they’ll carry it, but I’m reminded that it’s not always my job to protect other people from themselves. Don’t I always say that it’s dealing with your life that makes you grow? Comfortable is a rest stop for growing.

tell them your story

 

Of course I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t relate this experience to writing. I believe the only way you can find your writing voice is to have a voice to start with. Perhaps at times it feels a little easier to slowly and privately weave your voice like threads in a tapestry. But if I’m honest, when those threads become a book, I’m using my voice to bravely put words out into the world. I can’t speak for everyone, but what I know is that I MUST speak for myself in all aspects of my life. There’s a disconnect if I write with courage and live with fear. There’s a disconnect if I live to grow and I write without stretching. Will the people on the wrong end of my fuse like my voice? I doubt it. Will readers like what I bring to my pages? Some will. Some won’t. But either way, I’m learning what I can live with.

I tell my own story.

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Comments

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  1. Great post, Kim! I’m glad you had the opportunity to purge because pent up feelings can be so destructive. It took me nearly a decade to speak up about some things and my motivation was either start expressing myself or walk away from everything. I was unwilling to walk away. It’s painful, but ultimately worth it, and things eventually get better. Which you already know. Well done!

    Andrea

    • Ha! So true. I guess I wasn’t ready to walk away either. I’ve done that before and I know what it feels like to truly let something go. So it was this or rot from the inside out. <3

  2. Welcome back. It takes emotional courage to speak up and face confrontation. I’m glad you found your voice for it. 🙂

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