Every writer has a particular voice. Your personality informs your word choice and your means of expressing yourself. Many strong writers have a voice so clear that you can practically hear the words as you read them.
My voice is glib. Flippant. Self-deprecating. It’s how I think and operate, and therefore how I write. I’ve known this. Comes in handy when describing myself and painful events I’ve experienced. Through my voice you learn that I can laugh at myself, I don’t (frequently) wallow in self-pity, and that I’m grounded. From reading that last sentence you can see how much more effective voice is than simply saying something outright. It’s much less believable this way.
This is all fine and good, but every now and then, I write about a hot-button political issue: parenting, mental health, Mormonism, gay marriage, rape, etc. I like to dabble. To quote Mean Girls, “I just have a lot of feelings.”
But where other people are concerned, I get less points for the whole glib/flippant/deprecating schtick. That’s because, when directed at other people, glib/flippant/deprecating becomes unaware/inconsiderate/mean. Kind of like it did in that last paragraph.
My goal is to not do this.
Bear with me. These are deeply ingrained habits, partly from writing, and partly from still being a relatively immature twenty-three year old. I’ve been sanding down that chip on my shoulder for the past four years, and there’s still a bit of a nub left. It flares back up on the internet more often than in person, because there is the distinct lack of people in front of me to remind me that I’m dealing with my brothers and sisters. The internet becomes this blob of angry opinions and without enough careful consideration, mine becomes just another one thrown into the pit.
Honestly, I am not trying to convince anyone that my opinions are right. I blog almost primarily for practice writing and practice allowing my writing to be received. That means letting go of the fear that people will judge me for my beliefs, like me less, or skewer me over a pit for writing something so tortuously terrible or boring. It’s the same reason that I bench press in my gym; partly, I like working out, partly I want to be strong, but mostly, I’d like to conquer the fear that all the Muscular Meatheads of Manhattan are hefting more than my bodyweight without breaking a sweat, staring at me and my sad 10lb weights and thinking: Dude. What’s with the scrawny Indian chick?
I like writing, but mostly I like having the courage to be myself.
All I write about is love. Go back at my posts and look. It’s always there. This is ironic, because I do not always write with love. See above where I describe being an immature twenty-three year old. I’m not trying to offend or scandalize or alienate anyone. Quite the contrary. Sometimes you just can’t tell because I’m sloppy. That’s why I’m saying it now.
My goal is not to be inflammatory or controversial or dogmatic. My goal is to find the middle ground between Condescending Asshole and Spineless People Pleaser. In my head, that ground looks like Confident, Loving, Badass Amazonian Warrior.
I may never get there. It’s a work in progress.
And your guess is as good as mine as to what an Amazonian warrior is doing with some shitty wordpress blog.
Post script: My husband, king of random factoids, informs me that Amazonian warriors used to cut off their right breasts in order to improve their archery skills. On second thought, I’d settle for Confident and Loving Average Person.