When I went back to school at age 53 to complete a Bachelor's degree, it was to learn how to "tell my story." An editor I'd hired to read my memoir manuscript told me, "You have story inside you, Karen, but it's not on these pages. You just need to tell your story."
I didn't know how. I'd written journalistically for years as a public relations professional. Structurally, you do the 5 w's, who, what, where, when and why. Typically, facts, only. No opinions. No lyricism. No flowery language. And no metaphors.
My mind doesn't think metaphorically. It thinks literally. This is a problem for a writer who writes Creative Nonfiction or Fiction. But I am beginning to understand metaphor because it is working in my life. Singing has become a metaphor for what my soul is craving--self expression.
My voice was silenced as a child. My spirit crushed by childhood sexual abuse and parents who didn't know how to love. Not themselves, not each other, and certainly not me. I know now they did love me; they just didn't know how to show it.
I couldn't understand why singing has become so important in my life. As I've said before, I'm not a great, nor even a good one. I'm okay. At first it was about overcoming stage fright. I've gone from needing to stand staring at my toes so I wouldn't see anyone looking at me, to making eye contact with folks in the audience and connecting with them as I'm singing.
Then it was about hitting all the right notes at the right time, connecting with movements, and having fun. Now, it's moved beyond that to just being ME. Staying centered inside my own self. No inner critic telling me I have no business doing this--I'm not good enough. I am doing something I've always wanted to do. And I'm making people smile.
It's about me expressing me. That's the metaphor. So is my writing. So is being with others and sharing who I am. Not being pulled this way and that, trying to please so and so, so she won't get mad. Worrying what thus and such will think. Just me is enough. So when I get up to sing, if I'm not feeling good about what I'm doing, I know I'm off center. Because when I'm on, I know it doesn't matter whether what I'm doing is good. Just doing it is enough.
Insecure Writers Support Group
Welcome to Following the Whispers blog
Thank you so much for taking the time to visit. Hope you enjoy your stay. I blog here on Monday and Tuesday. This blog was created at the time my memoir came out, in February, 2009. Its motto was: creating a life of inner peace and self-acceptance from the depths of despair.
"ONLY ONE THING IS MORE FRIGHTENING THAN SPEAKING YOUR TRUTH, AND THAT IS NOT SPEAKING IT." Naomi Wolf
"We are called human beings, not human doings."
Wes Nisker, Buddhist teacher
"The way to do is to be."