What box are you in? You don’t think you're in one? It's what controls your life and limits you.
When writers write, their limitations come through. The audience feels it and may not choose to be governed by your limiting beliefs—your inauthentic self. Oh, you have an audience for those in boxes similar to yours, but try and expand to a wider audience and you find yourself limited, which reinforces your fear of letting go. I challenge writers to ease out, break out, smash out of your boxes by letting more of your true self shine.
Fear is the biggest box, maybe the only box. We all have fears but we are not all honest with ourselves about them. Or we do not choose to look at our fears, because then we might have to change – and well, we don’t want change (the evil you know is better than the evil you don’t know).
We have our public persona and we have our private persona – and we have our secrets known to only a few. As a writer, I see too many other writers fear to let their private self slip into their public persona. There is even the idea that letting your personal self come through can damage your career. But being the rebel that I am, I let a lot into my public persona, to the point of throwing out some outrageous stuff to shake people up and get them thinking and re-evaluating their concepts.
I have come to the conclusion that that is exactly the fear I want to challenge and get past, even if it means I never have an audience for my writing. On the other hand, I just might find a different audience that I gave little or no thought to before now. Perhaps everyone on my Facebook page will unfollow me for some of the outrageous stuff I put out, but then, maybe I will gain a whole new set of followers who ‘get’ me. Since I herald from a unique group of those with ‘hippy’ ideas, who don’t really give a flying fig what society thinks, I’m in large company.
I digress a moment. When the hippie ‘movement’ began it was a time when all the ‘movements’ of the 60’s began exploding. A new wave of energy came through to incite us to change. Everyone fell along the lines their spirit vibrated to (a hippie expression-sorry). We moved into politics, civil rights, women’s freedoms or no-more-war movements -- or explored changing art forms, or new age philosophies, etc., etc. The energy moved us to make changes, but it also moved those who opposed change -- those in power that felt the threat of new thinking, and its inevitable weakening of their power structure that kept us nicely contained. They dug in deep, trying to put up blocks against this surge that formed to take back our freedoms.
Now don’t expect a linear, exact timeline from me. You’ll only get the essence of what occurred because the point I am making is that the second wave of change is coming. Those that ‘feel’ it are preparing themselves – or struggling to hang onto the old, the safe; the ‘evil we know.’
I’m throwing this out there for you to think about, to challenge you to open up to a greater part of yourself that wants to shine. Don’t stay in your box, whether you're a writer or not.
If you stop and give yourself some quiet reflection time, you will feel that part of you deep inside wanting, pushing to be free.
Do you recognize the changes you are being pushed to make? Will you make them or will you stay in your box?
I made all my changes along the way. When you're 80 like me, you say what you think, are nice to those nice to you--and sometimes to those who aren't.
Cora, be genuine, shine a light on what is authentic, and I believe you will find, as you said, that audience you didn't even know was out there.
Cora, your clear voice is ringing in my ears. Boy, I wish we'd had time to explore this while at LCC! Next time, eh? Down with boxes!
The first person who said I had too liberal a voice in my writing made me consider toning it down a bit. But after a moment's thought, I decided he just wouldn't be my reader. I realized I can't worry about pleasing everyone, can't fit in a box, yes.
I can always count on you for good advice. :)
Ha. Yes, down with boxes. Fun meeting you at LCC.
Thanks for your comment, Nancy. Good confirmation.
It was great to read this advice, Cora. My first book came straight from my heart because it isn't fiction. I've had comments using that very phrase and didn't really know if that was a good thing or bad. My book is about the accidental death of my 21-year-old grandson, so I tell it like it is. This blog encourages me to think of those comments as positive because it's me being me. Thank you.
Thanks Jackie. I like that you own your words, whether someone else relates or not, because, as you said, "it's me being me." Wonderful.
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