Years ago I bought a postcard from Hot Topic that said, “I used to be a schizophrenic but we’re okay now,” and taped it to my archaic computer monitor. As a writer, it spoke to me — in many voices. Over the past few years, I’ve begun to realize that whatever the calling, artists of all mediums are continually in the process of corralling their “voice.” It dawned on me recently that perhaps the reason we, as women and artists, struggle so hard to find our voice is because we’re overlooking a very basic fact about our gender. Women have many “voices.”
I’ve been in the process of developing my blog for nearly two and a half years now. Some might think that’s a long time, but the reality is that no, it’s not. Like painting or drawing or movie making or writing, blogging is an art form and it requires a mix of patience and persistence. Patience because creating takes time. Persistence because often the Muse goes on vacation and you find yourself in a dead zone creatively, and that’s when you have to doggedly keep painting or writing. The results might not be stellar during this time, but it’s the something versus nothing that matters. Let’s face it, what makes an artist or a writer is not that everything they produce is breathtaking or brilliant. What makes an artist is their journey. Think about this, if you go to medical school and graduate at the bottom of your class, you’re still a doctor.
We don’t Tweet with the same voice that we update our Facebook status. We don’t speak in an email the same way we speak on the phone. We have many voices. So why, as artists, do we continue to find a way to contain one voice into our work? One voice to represent who we are and our reason for being? As women we are always relegating ourselves to the back of the bus. We wait until we serve everyone else dinner before we eat. We wash our load of laundry after we’ve washed everyone else’s. We ask what everyone else wants to do instead of just doing what we want to do. And then we find ourselves negotiating with our voices, instead of giving them all equal representation.
Most of my own struggle when it comes to my writing here, in this space, is deciding what voice I want the world to hear. It’s a battle I believe every Creative fights at some point. As the General on the field, though, I need to take charge and take advantage of maneuvering more than one voice to the frontline. I need to work on bringing my other voices out along the flanks of my writing, enhancing its depth and purpose; hopefully, winning a broader, as well as loyal, audience through my endeavors.
While I enjoy cooking and baking, beach trips and opera, movies and books, knitting and grandchildren, board games and yoga, motherhood (in any season) and friends, I also ponder on current affairs, God and Buddha and other teachings, home and work, life in general and in the intimate. And any and all of these facets that make up who I am, and my life, should be equal fodder for what I write — for what you, too, write or paint or draw or sing about.
While I find that certain posts draw more readers than others, I don’t want to limit myself to only writing or sharing a specific voice. I am so much more than one thought, one line of sight, one dimension, or one voice. So as I continue to develop my space here — this room of my own — I’m going to work on expressing myself in different ways on different days. There will be days when my post might speak to you and other days notsomuch. We will share similar experiences and points-of-view at times. Other times you will totally disagree with my perspective or belief — you’ll tag it as crazy talk — and that’s okay. On any given day, if you want to come to the table and linger over a cup of coffee, or take a few sips of tea and go visit somewhere else, that’s cool. I’ll roll with it. We’re good that way, right?
The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–
And whether pigs have wings.”
— from Alice in Wonderland (by Lewis Carroll)
Yes, the time HAS come. What will you do to free your inner voices?