Who knew finding my voice would be such a difficult thing. I’ve always been capable when communicating. I’ve enjoyed a level of sufficiency crafting both spoken and written word. But the truth is, I’ve been hiding behind that. It’s odd to realize that the very thing some people identify as extroverted and competent behavior is the very thing I could hide behind.
I watched a great video (click here) the other day by a spoken word artist named Prince Ea. In it, he explores the idea of truly living. He also talks about the concept of “kinda” and it’s this whole concept of “kinda” that has me thinking lately. I have always been kinda smart, kinda outgoing, kinda confident, kinda capable, and so on.
This kinda has kept me afloat and at the same time, I’m realizing it has also held me back. I feel like the kid who was really smart in school and kinda applied themselves but didn’t really step out of any comfort zones. On a surface level that kid looks like they have it together, but after a while, they slide through the cracks and into an abyss of complacency, fear, and kinda.
As I push into this writing thing more I realize my voice hasn’t developed fully. I’ve played at times with different voices and tones. I’ve been flippant and coy. I’ve been angry and forthright. There have been moments when I feel like I found my voice, but life gets busy and chaotic and I get tired and worn out, and the next thing I know it’s slipped away again.
I’m a mom. I have twin boys. I live in Shanghai. I have moved and renovated homes more than once. Life is just busy. And busy makes it difficult to put time toward my craft. But nothing was more detrimental to my writing that a recent post I wrote. It was a powerful and personal post. It came easily and yet I worked on refining it. I got a lot of positive feedback and people I didn’t know were reading it and talking about it.
It was 5 months before I sat down and wrote again. And let me tell you it’s been hell to write again. Hell, I tell you.
Every little voice of doubt has entered in to critique my ideas, content, writing style, and voice. The doubt that has entered my mind has been shocking. I never thought that I would be paralyzed like this.
But here I am, full of doubt and fear and wondering if I will write anything like that again. It’s been weird. I had no idea I was like this. But the video, recent conversations, Brene Brown (dammit Brene), and a host of other challenges have all collided into this moment of truth.
So here I am. And here is my project. The Naked Writing Project. It’s a space for me to come and sit and write- free from editing, distraction, perfection, and striving. It’s also a place I’m inviting you into.
If you are inspired and have something you want to share, consider submitting here. If you are a writer and you have a few pieces that are hot but won’t see the light of a final draft anytime soon- send it my way. If you’re not a writer per sey but have something you want to put out, let this be your platform. I can’t wait to see where this concept goes.
Email submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org