I’m a writer.
To be honest, that feels awkward to say and difficult to believe about myself. Don’t writers need to be published or at least have their words read by a certain, yet arbitrary number of people in order to deserve that title?
No. I know better than that.
The best proof, to me, that this does NOT define a writer is found in the words that I’ve read by countless people that simply write for the sheer joy of it. Or the sheer necessity…whichever the case may be.
I love how each person has a voice. A way that they see and relate to the world and then express it. A way that they make sense of the good and the bad around them and within them. The beauty heard in each unique voice as I learn from their different experiences, beliefs, feelings, joys, thoughts and struggles inevitably touches something deep inside me and I connect to them in some transcendental way that reminds me that I’m not alone.
Some of us find it easier to express ourselves, to connect or to offer a deeper level of transparency and truth when we have the protection of a computer screen or paper and ink between us and those who care to listen. It’s as if we find the courage to let people see who we really are because we carry a shield in front of us while simultaneously revealing our most vulnerable thoughts. And, ironically, it feels wonderful.
Until we lose our voice.
Until we have nothing to say.
Until what we have to say is something that we want no one to hear.
Until the words don’t come, leaving us with the inability to process our thoughts or find freedom from whatever apathy or passion has stolen our voice.
Or…. until we are afraid that the words WILL come only to be empty of truth or meaning or power to touch anyone.
Least of all ourselves.
What does a writer do then?
What does a writer do when their words only express the fact that there are no words?