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Finding Her Voice – Wearing Masks

My head is pounding. I need sleep, but I need to finish talking about this, so… I’m here. I know that the followers I have here on wordpress are few so this is mostly an exercise of speaking to myself and I’m fine with that. I think, after today’s little break through (please find the video below beyond the cut so this blog makes a bit more sense) I now realize that I still have a lot which needs to be said – and a lot of things I need myself to say.

Working through this book, even getting the first words down, feels like some sort of mountain I’m climbing. I’ve been decades in preparing and gathering the gear necessary to tackle my ‘Mount St. History’ and with good reason. This book isn’t just about putting words down, it’s about putting me down and that’s hard to do when I consider how little I actually know about the real me from back then. I sometimes forget that I spent a lot of my youth wearing masks for people and situations just to cope; so it shouldn’t surprise me that I have such a tenuous grasp on the steps which brought me to this place in my life.

Finding Her Voice or Why It’s Harder to Write This Than Other Stuff (plus video) behind the cut!

Reviewing my own journey to pull together a fictional narrative which addresses the things I’ve overcome hasn’t been easy either. I’ve been plumbing the very earliest parts of my life, reviewing it and finding that when I sit down I have a shitty view of what I’ve written. And is it any wonder? I mean, honestly, how can I actually be objective about my writing when my brain is desperately clawing together the pieces of my past while simultaneously mired in everything that was the darkest part of what made me who I am? Of course it looks wrong. I read it and either I say to myself: ‘You didn’t capture the pain of your main character – this is absolute shit that no one will relate to and will look whiny at best – pathetic at worst’ …or just… ‘this sucks’ with little to no real reason as to why.

I do need to work with my group of gals more to get outside perspective. And I’m hoping to join this second workshop of writers (which I applied to join recently) though I fear the amount of time I’ve had for groups recently isn’t what it should be. I’m worried that something will have to give eventually and that sucks ass because I need every bit of help and confidence building feedback I can get right now. I need honesty and I need it from people who read and write often – ideally people who’ve been published and know what it takes (and whether I have it or not.)

Hubby was a big help tonight though. He, like Beckster (♥ rebeccatdickson.com), have suggested a smaller digestible approach first. Baby steps I suppose. I’m so busy looking at (and being dismayed with) the whole project that I can’t see the pages through the words. Hubby thinks I’m approaching the whole thing backwards. He suggested instead of going at this from the perspective of the young woman I can hardly recall the thoughts and voice of (in part due to the passage of time which makes us less like our youthful selves, in part due to doors in my mind kept locked for so long, and in part due to the masks I wore back then obscuring the real me from even myself) … that I start the project from the place I’m at now. He thinks it’s the place that I want the reader to know that he/she will one day get to. He believes that writing from what I know will not only be stronger to a reader, but easier for me to begin writing. He assured me of his faith in my ability and his words have definite power in my mind. I love him for how he knows what to say to me – truly he is the better part of why I’ve come so far in my healing & in life.

♥ you Bear!

So, I’m including my video (below) because I think the message I share there is important (for me mostly but maybe you too.) I think tomorrow I’ll start writing from here – where I am now in life and I’ll do it taking Becky’s advice: one important instance at a time – writing it for myself and worry about the fiction later. As I retell my own story to myself, it’s my hope that I’ll hear the story I have to share with others in din of all that chaos – that it will appear to me like some sort of magnum opus manifesting a bit at a time. Of course, I’ll keep writing my brain candy too (larp stuff, short stories, other novel projects) but I have to work on this too at the same time. I look forward to the moment it isn’t coming so slow that it feels like work, when the words come as easily for this as it does for all the other things that my brain spews forth.

Knowing, FINALLY, why I can write 5K in a sitting about larp characters, fan fiction, and just about anything else… but not about this most important of stories I have to tell… well it feels like someone has unveiled a ten ton weight that has been on my shoulders for a lot of years that I didn’t even realize was there. Now that I can see it for what it is, I can use it rather than letting it get in my way. Yes, putting on the masks of my characters helps to tell their stories – but when (in a lot of ways) I’m the character, it’s harder. It’s like taking off masks instead of putting them on… or piecing together shattered ones. A giant puzzle I have to put together to see a complete picture.

Or maybe it’s like Hubby said: “As a kid you day-dreamed you were the main character in a movie for God. Well, now you’re the writer and director. Just get out there, and write.”

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