Sometimes I ask myself, “What makes you think you have anything of value to say and any of the neccessary skills with which to say it?”
Maybe we all wonder this, in our own way…. we wonder if what we are doing really matters, if the path we’ve chosen (or at least found ourselves walking) changes the Story. Because we rarely receive George Bailey moments. Writers (might) get comments and workers (usually) get paychecks and mothers (expectedly) get hallmark cards and roses on the second weekend in May. But no matter the reward, we eventually start to question its authenticity. And we ask ourselves: does what we do really matter?
Comparison- ehhh. It kills creativity. It kills the beautiful voice that might have been shared with the world because that voice is convinced its beauty is actually quite mundane and unneccesary in the grand scheme of things. For me, as a person who longs to write, comparison breeds a fear that looks a little like this: Do you really want to add to the growing sea of babble? This fear of simply adding to the noise sometimes keeps me from placing fingers on keyboard, pen to paper, of linking up the marionette strings between my heart and brain.
Comparison tells us the other is so wonderfully witty, so wildly sardonic and comical that people cannot help but laugh out loud. Her metaphors are insightful and her similes sarcastic and she will inevitably make you smile. And she (obviously) wouldn’t overuse italics because her words are emphatic enough. But because my voice is not witty, I see what might (could?) be beauty in myself and instead worry it sounds like the immature giggling of a high school girl who has yet to see the world and know its pain and its heartache.
But my Voice is all I’ve got. Your voice is all you’ve got, and the only thing that will change the world. You can waste your time wishing for the wit and the grad school vocabulary and the allusions to Donne and Dickens and Dante, and you would waste precious hours that tick, tick, tick by reminding you of your finiteness. Don’t waste your finiteness wishing for what the other has– the wardrobe, the skin, the career, the kids–the eloquence.
I heard this tonight: Find your story, and live it, in your own voice. Talk about truth and beauty, crumbs and crying babies, even though you’ve talked about them a thousand times before. Because this is your life, your voice, and the story worth telling is the one you are living, and no one can tell it but you.