More often than not, I struggle with not feeling like I have anything to say. This is frustrating for a writer, supremely so knowing that I am a very opinionated person. In the past year and a half, I have gotten the chance to rediscover myself and decide what is truly important, and what can be set to the wayside. And yet, despite my strong convictions, I still find myself staring at blank pages, wondering what I could possibly say that would worth my time to write and someone else’s to read.
It got so bad that in the earlier half of this year, I was seriously considering giving up on writing for good and figuring out a new vocation. Words are meant to communicate. If I don’t have anything to communicate, what’s the point of even writing? While there is some truth to that idea, the fallacy I was selling myself was that I don’t have anything worthwhile to say, because I really do.
Most days, it’s still a struggle, if I’m completely honest. It’s why my output has been so inconsistent, both in blogging and fiction. But I’ve started to question where this conviction comes from. Why is it so easy to believe that I don’t have anything to say?
The first thing that comes to mind, is the minimization or marginalization of female voices that is a continuing obstacle for women across the board. It’s an easy answer, but I don’t think it gets to the root of it, to my lived experiences. It’s not entirely honest. Because yes, this does happen, but it’s never happened directly to me. Even so, I silence myself before I can be silenced by others because it is less painful to do if I do it to myself.
I wasn’t always doing this to myself. GamerGate really terrified me, still terrifies me when I think about it. Even though it wasn’t something I followed super closely. Just hearing about the ceaseless waves of vitriol being spewed toward women, sometimes seemingly just for existing within a specific industry, or voicing opinions that contradict the accepted norm. It took me a while to realize that I was becoming increasingly reluctant to share my thoughts on things I love, like videogames and science fiction for fear of reprisal because I am a woman and a nerd.
I hate that I have silenced myself out of fear. It goes against the grain of the kind of person I believe myself to be, that I want to be. So, this is me, trying to do better, trying to stand up against my own fears because I have the luxury of being able to without the threat of actual consequences (as opposed to imagined ones). I’ll let you know how it goes 😉