I still plan to pop in here occasionally. However, in the past couple months I’ve been in the process of launching a new blog/website over at www.voiceunbound.org. And it’s up and running! Why the move? Well, the simplest answer is that I’ve found more focus and clarity. These days I’m pretty much obsessed researching, studying, learning, and practicing energy healing techniques all related to Voice.
My interest in researching voice began while I was writing Zenab’s memoir. As it turns out, writing a true story—for someone else, in first person, is a bit of a tricky task. In my earlier drafts, I tried very hard to preserve the integrity and purity of her story by distancing myself in the telling. However, what I learned the hard way is that when I kept my own personal reaction and heart out of the telling, the voice fell flat.
James Scott Bell, author of Voice: The Secret Power of Great Writing, describes voice in this way:
Voice is the character’s background, perspective, and language filtered through the HEART of the writer.
He also says that the written word carries a vibration. We all know that when we speak, our tone (another way of saying the emotional vibration attached to the words) changes the way our words are perceived. But who knew the same applies to the written word? Have you ever read an e-mail where the actual words chosen were tame, but you felt negative energy reading it? Or have you ever sent an e-mail while upset and it caused others to react negatively even though you didn’t actually say how you were really feeling? Many believe tone is difficult to read in e-mail, but my belief is that it actually comes across loud and clear! The energy and emotion we feel when we write is conveyed, even if we use sugary words.
With all this in mind, I re-wrote Zenab’s memoir this summer. I really poured my essence into the telling. I let myself FEEL everything she felt. I allowed myself to become outraged, to feel her longing for a better life, to experience her pain. I shared in her joys and small victories. I cheered for her as if I were cheering for myself. I allowed myself to cry as I wrote. In other words, I literally charged the words with the vibration of my emotion.
Voice is the basic vibrational essence of who we are—Anodea Judith.
At the end of the summer, I sent the new version of the manuscript to my agent and her response? It’s remarkable how much emotion I can feel in the story. Brava! I cried.
But just the beginning. As I’ve talked about this with my friends and family I’ve realized that this need and longing to connect to one’s authentic voice isn’t just something writers struggle with. In fact, some have even gone so far as to say our current political situation is the backlash of a culture whose truth has been sacrificed for political correctness. Beyond this, more than 90% of the women I know feel in some way as if their voice is stifled or shut-down. Speaking truth, from the heart, seems to be a lost art in our culture.
But I want to change this. I believe there are Seven Conversations we can have with different aspects of ourselves (based on chakra framework of consciousness) that will dramatically repair our ability to connect with and speak this inner truth. I’m eager to share all this with you!
I hope you’ll take my free “How Powerful is your Voice?” quiz over at voiceunbound.org and jump along this journey with me!