I was having a conversation with a friend who is a songwriter. A lovely, talented man. He has left his old pattern of working, writing what he described as ‘pop songs’ in pursuit of his own, original voice. He wants to be true to himself. He says he has yet to find his own voice, but I am sure he’ll know it when he does, and it will be a truly special and deeply needed contribution to the world.
For me, this summer’s events have echoed continually his struggle. I have time and again come up against issues surrounding truth-telling, authenticity, and being heard.
We all need to feel heard. We all need to feel that our message has got through, that we are understood.
We each have a unique voice, too. Maybe we don’t need another historical novel, or a pop song, but we need the original perspective of the person making that piece of art, because everyone has one.
Everyone has a unique experience of the world. No one, not even a twin, can have exactly the same perspective as you, because no one has the same thoughts and reactions, or the same past, to bring to an event.
YOUR TRUTH NEEDS TO BE TOLD
I can’t count the number of times I have looked at what I have written or drawn and thought: ‘Gods, this is shit! I’ve got nothing new to say. Its all just copying.’
(Incidentally, there is nothing wrong with copying as a practise to learn an art form. Its been used in art schools for centuries, and if you go into any great gallery, you will find students sitting on little fold chairs in front of paintings, copying away. Presenting someone else’s work as your own is quite another thing, however, and its nothing short of stealing.)
Eventually, I will find my own, unique voice. Perhaps I already have, I’m not entirely sure. But I have my own opinions, my own truths to tell, things that no one else can share with the world. No, the world may not need yet another historical romance novel, but it may just need mine.
After forty-odd years of being in this world, this is what I know:
We are all unique.
We all have a story or truth to tell.
We all have a right to tell that story or truth in whatever way makes sense to us.
We all have the right to be heard.
We all have the right to develop and acknowledge our own voice.
If there is one thing I want to say to you this weekend, it is this:
TELL YOUR TRUTH
You might find the following links useful:
This, from Liz Lamoreaux, about truth-telling.
This, from Andrea Sher, about the gift of allowing others to help and comfort you.
And this, which is one of my most popular stories, but which was probably the most difficult thing I have ever written, because it comes from a place of deep truth for me.
I can’t sign off by saying ‘Happy Creating’ today. I just want to ask you to somehow, in whatever way you can, to tell your truth,
With love and thanks for your support,