This was originally written on March 18, 2013 but never posted.
I wish you could be here with me. Here at a coffee shop with a view of the gentle tide moving the sand back and forth. And New England-style houses on stone walls lining the shore. With a cup of coffee on the table in front of me. And various languages being spoken within earshot. And a child’s curious tones. and an elderly couple sharing a bowl of soup followed by a cup of coffee. With hipsters in the corner. All of us sit in the small dining area of a locally owned coffee shop. And this is where I am pondering voice. My voice.
A few weeks ago (now months) I took a crash course on story and voice. I wasn’t sure if I would belong because I never felt like a writer. I still don’t feel like a writer. It has never been my strong suit. I am much more gifted in face-to-face communication and building real life relationships with people rather than providing a virtual rant here and there. Elora and Preston taught me that everyone with a story to tell is indeed a writer.
And boy do I have many a story to tell.
Where do I start? What do I say? How do I say it?
The tide is coming in very quickly now. The footsteps left by the playing children have been swept away and replaced by the shallow layer of frigid, salty water.
Part of my struggle as a writer stemmed from ninth grade English class. I had a teacher that destroyed my confidence in anything I put down on paper. The only times I got A’s on anything were presentations. Having been a straight-A student till that point, I didn’t know how to deal with an F, and it took a huge emotional toll on me. Writers don’t fail papers. Writers thrive with prompts.
Or so I thought.
I started writing accounts of my past for an expository writing course last year and I learned how to infuse my writing with more appealing language. When I started my blog about a year ago with a piece I wrote for that class I found I was bitten with the writing bug. But how could someone who was not a writer have a blog?
For a while, I didn’t care about voice, style, or even an overall purpose for my blog. It was my refuge from real life. As I write more and read what other people have to say, what I want from blog has shifted.
Even more so, I am in a crisis of voice.
Who am I–as a person and as a writer? How do I want people to read my stories? How do I want people to perceive me?
Much of my life has been filled with me working on my oral communication. I have done theater for years, sang at my church back at home, and have sung opera in college. Much of my story telling and communication is told through vocal inflections rather than thick language. Many writers and bloggers have brought me to tears with their beautiful word choice. I have never felt like my words can transport someone to where I am.
Blogging loses the aspect of storytelling that I am so good at. Is blogging the place for me? Do I belong in this community?
Blogging is so much what you make of it. Yes, it builds off of the written word, but it can be so much more than that. Blogging is what you make of it. I am no longer going to hold myself back by what blogging and writing “should” be, and that’s why I am no longer going to solely post written words but also spoken words.
I have decided to speak some of my posts as a way to incorporate my kind of story telling. I love the way others can move you with their words, but I’m not a typical writer. I’m a story teller and this is what I’m good at.