i secretly call myself a writer.
i don’t say it out loud in too many places where people might catch me and ask me questions. because questions beg for answers and mine tend to be “ummmm…. well…"
i shuffle, i waver, i don’t stand in my truth and say "yes i am a writer" because then i would have to admit that i write. but the truth is i rarely put it anywhere for people to see.
my words are simultaneously sure footed as they stretch out onto pages, yet altogether timid and down right on edge at being caught, seen, read, or received.
basically i only write in the closet. okay well maybe not in the actual closet, there’s no room in there. i write in my bed late at night. i write in my notes app while walking my dog. i write in the journal that is always stuffed in my bag when i go somewhere overnight.
i really am a writer.
but there is a difference between the kind of writer i am and the kind of writer i want to be.
a year or so ago i started to expand where i dared to spill words and what i did with them. i joined a live writers group where we would write and then read.
oh. my. god.
i am not generally a nervous type but my inner critic had me jittering like an over caffeinated spaz. as you might imagine the circle was quite encouraging and totally supportive. eventually this writing and reading became a regular thing. because, you know, i love to write.
weeks upon weeks of circling in and reading and receiving feedback. and these words slowly filling my inner jar of confidence, "save that” "keep that one” “put that somewhere” "you're a good writer". i started to post a few things in private groups online, a few things on my blog, a few things on social media. but the reality is i very rarely do.
and i keep wondering why.
the irony is not lost on me that i am a big fan of authentic self expression. well, just to be clear here, what i put to the page is authentic and is coming from my self, as expression… but… something important seems to be missing. somewhere in all of this i am hiding.
hiding behind the stories of the past telling me i'm not good enough. hiding behind the stories of overwhelm, and too many ideas, and not knowing how to begin. hiding behind the stories that i need to do it a certain way, to add value, to write like other coaches, or yogis, or women, or writers. hiding behind stories that what i say and how i write is irrelevant or doesn’t matter. hiding behind the fear of looking the fool, not having it all together or letting others down even though i know better.
i’m hiding behind the stories and not telling the stories.
there is so much damn noise in the field, my field. hyper sensitive empath much? soloprenuer trying to figure it out? poet seeking the mystical? mentor and coach holding other peoples stories? single woman navigating longing and desire? dreamer imagining possibility for us all? yes, yes and yes. it’s all here and it’s all talking at once. right now. all of it and it’s mingling with my past and my pain and the old stories of failing, and i know, once again i am getting in my own fucking way.
today at the end of an interview a woman asked if i was writing a book. i fumbled for words. i stuttered out an "ahhh.. no… i’ve always wanted to…" all of which felt quite lame. this woman was interested in my story and i have been hiding it. waiting to make it better. waiting to “arrive” before telling it. i couldn’t help but feel what a waste that was, to me and to her and to anyone else who might resonate with this voice, this body, this storyline of experience that makes me, me.
i may be a spoken word academic, a woman with lyrical articulations and educated opinions. i may be a dreamer on paper, a question maker, and a rambling wild wordsmith. i may not fit into any mold and plenty of people will not jive with my vibe. truth be told i have been a little afraid of my wild, because she be wild. untamed. sometimes i even fear she might be insane.
i am woman after all, taught to be well behaved and play the game the right way. and even though i know i am breaking the molds and cracking out of the familiar and letting the garden grow again where it will, the unknown is scary. sometimes letting my voice out makes my knees shake.
and i’ll tell you a secret truth…i long for connection. and although i’ve drawn many in close with my words and embodied honesty there have been plenty who have drawn away. and this aches. i know it’s all okay, that it’s the way it needs to be, that it’s how it goes sometimes, that we speak our truth and it creates waves. but the ones who left, who faded, who turned their back, left a mark because they were close to me. and in the leaving they etched a belief in my heart that it is dangerous to show all of me.
but, i know i am here to speak, to write, to share this river of ideas and insight. I am here to let the the waterfall of love in my heart pour out, to say yes and say no as i navigate the steady stream of being, and to honor the jagged rocks of pain where i still stab into my own flow with self doubt.
i am a writer and i will write my way home. i will write my way whole. and i will practice loving myself, all, right here on the page. and trust that who sees, who reads, is exactly who is meant to.
so yeah, i’m a writer. it’s not a secret anymore.
and that book, i might start working on it sooner rater than later.