Sometimes it’s hard to hear my own voice – my writer’s voice- amidst the din of the other voices in my head. You know the ones, right? (And if not, stop reading now… this clearly isn’t the blog for you.) The voices that tell you you have other, more pressing issues, e.g. the never-ending laundry, dishes and vacuuming – that last bit which has been put off for a week (hey, it was 88 degrees inside my house; I made the sane choice). There’s always something else, of course. I’m a stay-at-home mom; I’m never off the clock.
The voices tell me a lot of things, many of them negative. They tell me my writing isn’t good enough or I’d have 75 likes per post like so-and-so’s blog. They tell me blogging isn’t really writing anyway. They tell me I never finish what I start, that I’ll never publish anything…. We won’t even talk about the ones that attack my physical appearance. I could spend a solid week blogging about those alone.
The question I have is this: Where are the positive voices? They must exist, yes? The ones that say, “You go, girl!” when you’ve managed to cut off a particularly ugly tantrum in midstream (my daughter’s, not my own, although either is theoretically possible). The ones who applaud when you bite your tongue, online or off, rather than throw down an easy, nasty retort. The ones who should be telling you you’re good enough, you’re smart enough, and gosh darn it, people like you, even when you’re feeling none of that. Especially when you’re feeling none of that. Where are they? Because damn it, I could use the applause, the approval and the pats on the back, even if they were all in my head. Because I’ll let you all in on a little secret: the things that happen in your head have power. They do.
I’ve been struggling with writing, lately. It would be easy to blame it on school starting, but I think it began somewhat before that. School starting hasn’t helped, for sure, but the trouble was already there. I’ve felt a bit deaf to my other voice, that writer’s voice I mentioned before my train of thought was neatly derailed. It’s been a bit quiet of late. I haven’t felt very inspired, and the mental doldrums have set in. It’s like I hear nothing but a ticking clock in my brain when I go searching for something real to write about. I feel adrift (trains, boats… my analogies are all over the place tonight), and I don’t know how to get back to dry land. When I can’t hear that voice for awhile I start worrying that maybe it took a permanent vacation, or maybe it was never really there to begin with. It could have just been one of those other voices, fucking with me. They like to do that.
Anyway, I’m struggling. In many areas, but in hearing my writer’s voice, especially. I keep running into others whose voices are so clear and vibrant they leave me feeling inadequate. Jealousy and envy bite me on the butt on a fairly regular basis, it should be said. Still, I read these other voices and wonder, what do I have to offer, really? What makes my voice unique? What do I want my voice to say? And if it says things I feel matter, and no one’s listening, do the things I’ve said still count?
Those people who can sneeze and get 27 people commenting on how charming the sneeze was drive me crazy, by the way. Honestly, intellectually I know it has zero to do with me, and I shouldn’t let it get to me. It’s ridiculous, right? But God, it stings. Especially if I just poured my whole heart into something only to see it ignored. It’s difficult. I start feeling as if my words are as invisible as I sometimes feel. I’d really hate that. Words only have power if they are seen, and invisibility isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It’s not the superpower I’d choose, you know? I’d much rather be WordGirl! Able to stir people’s emotions with a single post! Now that would be a desirable superpower. So incredibly cool.
Right now I’m just TiredMom, and she’s not nearly as powerful. If you happen to find a voice lying around, under-developed but sincere, please let me know. I’m missing it.