Finding Your Voice (and your courage)

Do you have the courage to write what you’re actually thinking? Not just the stuff to which everyone will say, “That’s insightful. I completely agree with you. Great point,” but also the things which will elicit replies like:

“Where did you get that idea?”

“Who give you the right to say that?”

“You’re looking at it all wrong.”

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Usually the people we love and respect the most are the ones who mold who we are, who we become and in some ways how we think. But this is a two-edged sword, because it also makes them the most difficult to inform of our deviant opinions or thoughts or ideas.

Are the voices in your head (of your friends and family) shouting at you not to tell the true story? Do these voices disapprove when you begin opening doors to a past that no one wants disturbed? Do their voices argue with you in your mind as soon as you consider sharing an opinion with which they would strongly disagree?

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Nearly every repressive government on earth will, soon after their acquisition of power, move to take over any existing form of communication: newspaper and radio. They will try to eliminate or control literary works. Why? Because whoever has a voice, has power. A government insistent on maintaining absolute control will strive to be the only voice.

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Own your voice. Embrace your story. Do not let the voices in your head (your parents? your religious leader? your controlling friend or spouse?) tell you that you aren’t allowed to use those words, or talk about that subject, or have that opinion.

The most powerful writing is always authentic. And difficult to write.

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Nearly every thought on writing that resides in my brain has sprouted from a seed planted by Anne Lamott. I can take credit for none of it.