“Everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” Sylvia Plath
Wow. You go Sylvia Plath. And here I was all set to write a piece on how I was struggling to find an authentic voice in my blog.
That might surprise people who know me. I teach folks how to find their authentic voice on paper – so if anyone should have one packed and ready to roll out for a weekly blog it would be me.
When I’m with my Wild Writing students four days a week I write really honest, messy stories about my relationships, sexuality, addiction, aging, all the things I long for and struggle with. I show up naked and full of those unseemly thigh dimples. I think that’s why I have so many writers who come back and work with me year after year; I put myself on the line and model the kind of authentic writing that Wild Writing is all about.
And when I forget how to do it, my students take the lead. Together we create a world where imagination and guts is golden, the thing we reach for.
But the blog isn’t a room full of women who I’ve been writing with for months. I have no idea who is reading this, but moreover, I’ve been confused about what to share. My website and my more public persona is that of a writing teacher, but that’s just a slice of who I am.
How do I find that middle line – the place where authenticity meets imagination and the “outgoing guts” to tell real stories?
And what will I share? Will I talk about the date I was on Saturday night and the extra martini that I really didn’t need? Or what it’s like to end a marriage with a really nice man after 21 years and become a single mom to teenage girls? Why blog at all? I have some friends, like Andrea Scher, who do it really well. I watch her – many of those blog posts are written in our class. Andrea’s completely beautiful and natural.
So I’m sitting with this – embarrassed by my lack of confidence. But sitting isn’t very productive – and if I know anything, I know that. Getting up and moving into the studio, picking up the paintbrush or the pen is everything to moving into relationship with my work. I can’t resolve this issue in my head. There’s no courage in that. So I think I better take a page from Ms. Plath, and my friend Ms. Scher, and find me some guts and the imagination to get some words on the page – no matter what. Time to practice what I preach and show up naked – dimples and all.