Dear Imaginative & Writerly Woman,
When I was a kid, I talked a lot. Like, a LOT.
I didn't get great feedback about this.
Mostly there was a lot of sighing and "Emma, please stop talking," and "I'll seriously PAY you if you just PLEASE STOP TALKING!!!"
I couldn't do it. I loved talking way too much!
Looking back, I can see what I loved was expressing myself.
There were so many interesting things to think about, to notice, and to see.
It was invariably interesting to me to talk and talk about all the things!
As I got older, however, I started to feel the shame of all the awkward social situations created by my talking.
Whenever I talked about what I had been thinking about or what I was interested in, I always got weird looks from my peers and adults alike.
I remember being a teenager, lying in bed at night, and wishing I could stop saying so many embarrassing things.
You know how sometimes people ask what problems keep you up at night?
Well, figuring out how to stop embarrassing myself by talking was mine.
I grew up north of Boston, where the culture pretty much replicated a stereotypical high school movie.
"Fitting in" was the highest value of the town where I grew up, and I absolutely, 100%, did not fit in.
All my weird thoughts, all my weird clothes, and all my weird hobbies (like reading and writing!) were just too out there.
I tried to change myself to become more normal, but it never worked.
I came to believe something was fundamentally shameful and wrong about who I was.
But then something interesting happened in my twenties to help change this perspective.
When I was 24, I moved away from my home town, to a cool, artsy, small town in New Hampshire.
It was only 50 miles north of where I grew up, but it might as well have been the other side of the world.
People wore the same types of clothes l liked to wear!
They thought about the same types of things I liked to think about!
They read the kinds of books I liked to read!
And when I talked about all of these things...they LIKED it!!
I met my best friend in this town. It was one of those amazing meetings where we immediately clicked, fell into deep conversation, and haven't stopped talking since.
I felt so accepted and liked.
It was like "The Ugly Duckling" story.
The little duckling grew up thinking everything about her was wrong, because her community told her how strange and weird she was.
She wished she could be like everyone else, until she met a group of swans one day while she was out on a lake.
The swans made her heart sing, and when the duckling looked down at her own reflection in the water, she realized why. She was a swan!
There was nothing wrong with her. She just wasn't a duck.
Same with me. There was nothing wrong with me and my talking.
I just wasn't a north-of-Boston girl.
I was a small town-liberal-artsy-cteative-soulful-witchy-girl.
When I talked to my new friends, it made them want to be around me. Can you imagine???
Finding people I felt free to be myself around helped me discover who I really was.
My healing journey since then has been about freeing my voice and unlocking the courage to be myself.
Here's what I know today: community is key to the process of freeing your voice.
That's why I've created my new group program, "Free Your Voice", for writerly women who have something to say but struggle to get words on the page.
My mission is to create a safe community where you can be yourself, say the things you want to say, and find the courage to write what you really want to write.
The program starts Sunday September 15. We'll be meeting live on an online video platform, so you can join from anywhere in the world.
Remember, you're the swan!! We WANT to hang out with you and help you free your voice!! Learn More Here
P.S. In my new Facebook Group, Hearth & Pen: A Community For Writerly Women, we do a writing-challenge-a-month to free our voices and our pens. Join us for September's challenge: "One True Thing!"
P.P.S. I just put together a new free guidebook: 3 Habits To Calm Your Fear And Get You Writing! It's a simple routine to do before you write to help you connect to your creative flow.
P.P.P.S. I'm currently obsessed with creating lists of books on GoodReads, because I love to read!! I just created one for all the books I've read so far in 2019. Check it out here. I'll keep adding to it as the year goes on. :)