Authentic Voice

Copyright October 2016
©Jane H. Johann
“Lake Michigan Unfolding” No.6

I am a part-time blogger, maybe even less than that recently…ha! My youngest daughter says that she is bored with my writing and that I need to put a little more authenticity into it. She is attempting to make me an honest writer. She says she is not interested in reading about mountains and streams.  I reminded her of a little sign I have at home: “NOVELIST AT WORK–You may end up in my writing! Beware and speak softly.”

One of the reasons I lack putting my voice out there among the millions of bloggers is probably a common theme for writers. I fear revealing too much of who I am and then being questioned.  But now that I made it to 67, what have I got to lose?  I also fear that I do not live up to my writing.  I may write happy things, profound words, urging others to social action; however, then I have to live it also.  People are disappointed with me, and I with myself, because the action behind the words is so far from my reach. Depression is a horrible thing.  It grabs hold of your spirit, drags you down into the mud—but like the lotus flower, I have to bloom.  So out of the mud I am crawling today and attempting more honesty in my writing.

I do admit that I try extremely hard to write only positive and encouraging words. I think there is so much rubbish and sorrow in the media–why add to it?   Many times I write these for myself, because I actually need to hear them.  I need to find joy and hope and so I write about it. My writing forces me to think positive.  But then of course, if I do write something positive, then I am reminded by not too few, that I need to stop worrying and eat my words!  Writing always comes back to you. You think you are giving the words away, but you are ultimately held captive by them.

Several years ago I wrote a one-liner about “hope” on Google share drive. I believe it was, “We have to keep hope alive!” I completely forgot I had written it. And there was one comment: “Instead of writing about hope, get off your butt and do something!”

And I do get angry when someone tells me after meeting me, who beforehand only knew me through my blog: “You are not at all what I expected!”  I felt terrible I was such a disappointment in the flesh! I think fear is why I haven’t written.  I do suffer from depression and social anxiety (a strange mixture) and am a very shy person—no one believes that after meeting me.  That is only because I do try to run past my shyness and jump into the middle of life.  Sometimes that jump brought me grief because I was too impulsive. Other times, it gave me happy experiences and encounters I never would have had, had I held back.  However, after I make my impulsive move, I am exhausted!  It takes an insurmountable amount of energy to make that leap.  I am more comfortable with a few people than a group–and my anxiety is easier to control. And, yes, I stood in front of a classroom of students for 36 years. It took a lot of energy. So I guess it says this to those who are depressed, yes, it is hell, but take the chance! Make the leap!

I will say this about my writing. Anything I write is 99% a reminder to myself of love in the world, the kindness of people, beauty in nature, and hope in the world–even if I am sitting on my butt!  I did actually cry when I read that one line– Sometimes believing is the only thing I have to offer!  Then I think of the great cello player, who I admire very much and wish that I was like him, who each evening, would play his cello in wartorn Serbia:

“Twenty years ago, as mortar shells began raining down on Sarajevo, killing his friends and neighbors, Vedran Smajlovic did what he knew best to help the city: he played his cello at funerals, in bomb shelters and in the streets…” http://www.wqxr.org/story/197875-cellist-sarajevo-plays-his-city-again/

 

12 thoughts on “Authentic Voice

  1. You always have been a great writer, ever since I have known you, you old lady!!!!!! Sometimes, we all say things we regret. It is call being human. Keep blogging along. What do you have to lose.

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  2. Well written, Jane!

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  3. tersiaburger says:

    Love you my Cyber Friend

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  4. as a more modern generation would say – you go girl

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  5. You did it again-said so many things I think and feel. YOU KEEP WRITING AND ENCOURAGING PEOPLE WITH POSITIVE THINGS even IF YOU DO GET DEPRESSED AND FEEL HYPOCRITICAL, none of us are perfect,
    SO STAY ON YOUR BUTT AND WRITE -THAT.S WHAT WRITERS DO! I know I should have my my butt in the chair more often!

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  6. In my humble opinion, if you sincerely engage in the writing process, it is authentic, regardless of whether it presents an image of yourself in the perception of readers that is not what they perceive in a personal encounter. A sincere expression is authentic as any expression of the more darker experiences and feelings.

    I, too, suffer from depression and anxiety to the point of being on disability. In my writing I struggle to not wallow in the dark thoughts of the rabbit hole. I try to offer to a more empowering vision to the world. Besides any writer has the right to keep some personal feelings and thoughts to themselves.

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    • thank you, Elusive Trope! When I am able, I am going to print out what you wrote to me! Your words are comforting and very helpful to me, personally. Thank you for taking the time to read my writing and for your comment! Blessings to you and your day! As my Professor signs off, so do I, “Onward with active hope!”

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