Happy New Year!
2009 is actually here. Still can’t believe it myself. Usually I am very reflective at the end of the year, taking stock of my accomplishments, lamenting my procrastination, and busy setting goals for the next twelve months.
But this year I don’t really feel the need. I’m not sure why. In fact, until MusicMan asked me last week what my greatest accomplishment was for 2008, I hadn’t given it a SINGLE thought. Most unlike me.
When I did reflect on my accomplishments, I am happy to say this blog was probably what I am most proud of in terms of my personal output last year.
Not only am I pleased I have kept SHE-POWER up for so long, but I have built a network of friends and readers I value very much.
Despite the fact that my novel didn’t get finished in 2008, SHE-POWER has been worth all the hours I have invested here because this site has freed up my writing in ways I never expected.
My goal to shake off my copy writer’s voice and get personal with my writing was achieved long ago, and I feel that my fiction writing is better than ever.
SHE-POWER has given me something I was really struggling with as a writer.
The ability to be HONEST with my words and emotions, regardless of how naked and exposed it makes me feel.
It’s easy to colour everything pretty or be cynical and darkly biting, but it’s a whole other story to delve deep and reveal who you really are, your fears, your neurotic imaginings, and what you have to say about life.
Whether you are revealing yourself in memoir or a personal blog post or through invented characters, truth in writing will make you vulnerable.
It will strip away your social veneer and the persona you have spent a whole life time cultivating. The ensuing vulnerability is uncomfortable and messy because whether we like to dwell on it or not, we are all a lot more contradictory and scared than we like to admit.
I don’t believe any of us are immune to this veneer, this mask we wear for others. We adopt it in childhood to protect our true selves and to put our experiences into nice, palatable tablets that we can swallow and forget about later.
Our veneer is how we make sense of the world and who we are. It’s a way we can make ourselves fit into a world wrought with chaos.
Whether your veneer is the ‘tough nut”, the “good girl”, the “rebel”, the “cruisy surfer dude” or even the “achiever” – if this neatly packaged persona is all you can reveal of yourself, both in life and in your writing, then you’re going to miss out on a lot of the depth and wonder of this world.
You’ll also never be the writer you could be.
The writer you deserve to be. A writer who strips themselves bare for the page, for the reader. Who shares their secrets, who breathes life into another through the intimate act of sharing words, thoughts, emotions and secrets.
If you can’t be honest in your writing you’ll never make your reader feel. They’ll never cry, laugh until it hurts, or see the world in a new way.
Honesty in writing makes you memorable. Unforgetable. And that’s the only goal I have as a writer.
So, thank you my SHE-POWER fans. By writing for you, I am slowly finding more of the truth which will one day make me a great writer.
For that, you have my undying gratitude. For that, 2008 was a GREAT YEAR!
Flickr photo by Stephen Poff