I’ve been in a funk for over a week now. I’m trying to get out of it, but it seems that for some reason, I can’t really figure out what’s causing it. I can think of a few things that might be contributing to me feeling so off, but I can’t really put my finger on the exact source. I do know there’s one thing nagging at me, and it’s something that’s been an issue for a while. I’m still trying to figure out who I am, who I want to be, and what my true voice is.
It’s pretty obvious that I really want to help people and change the world for the better. That is something that I know for certain. After all the things I’ve seen and been through, I want to make the world a better place. I want the next generation to be born into a better world filled with better people. The thing I’ve been struggling with in all of this is finding my voice. I’ve talked about it before, but I still don’t feel like I’m much closer to an answer.
I talked about it a little in a recent post, about questioning my artistic designs. You see, there’s this stereotype that everyone in the self-help community is kind, soft-spoken, they all have this really zen attitude. They don’t swear or get upset or loud and they go above and beyond to use wording that is as non-offensive as possible. They’re passive and PC at all times. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that, but honestly, it gets a little boring. Don’t get me wrong, learning to chill out and be polite and get my point across in a gentle way is a skill that I’m glad to have learned. Unfortunately, after a while, listening to that kind of thing can just put you to sleep. Good information is wasted if it’s not engaging the reader.
What’s more is that while it can feel good for me to be like that, it doesn’t feel like I’m really being true to myself. I mean, I love George Carlin and Denis Leary. I enjoy sarcasm and in-your-face truth. There are plenty of times that I just want to go off on issues, but I don’t because I’m afraid that people won’t get the point. I’m not a comedian, and sadly even if I was, comedy can easily get mistaken for harsh rudeness when written. It takes a voice to make some things come across the right way. I do think that sometimes people, well, need a good swift kick in the ass to get them thinking and changing. I think there really needs to be more emotion in my writing, more personality, but where do you draw the line?
I’ve already discussed how I cut back on swearing, and I do think that’s a good thing. A lot of people aren’t interested in reading something when they have to worry about the writer dropping the F bomb every third sentence. I have no problem keeping the cursing to a minimum. I’m just trying to figure out how much emotion, how much non-PC I can bring to the table without alienating the people I’m trying to reach. And you know, I can’t help wondering if this would be a problem if all the gurus out there didn’t all have basically the same personality. They created the stereotype that people have of them. No one in the industry really stands out all that much except maybe Dr. Quantum (Fred Alan Wolf), who’s a funny bugger. Esther Hicks gets odd, but she still fits the mold for the most part. I don’t know of anyone in the self-help field who has a distinct personality, and surely none that get down to brass tacks the way I sometimes want to.
I believe that it’s vitally important for each of us to set ourselves apart from the pack by figuring out who we really are. We shouldn’t allow ourselves to be shaped and molded by what other people think or expect. We need to be ourselves, whatever that means. There’s a place for everyone. The world needs each and every one of us to be who we really are, and not just a product of what we see and hear. That’s part of why this is so important for me to figure out. I need to know who I really am so that I can bring my best to the world.
So what do you think? I want to be taken seriously as someone who can really help others, because I can and I have helped many, many people. I just don’t want to be another cookie-cutter copy that people lose interest in and forget about. I would never go as brash as Carlin, but the super calm isn’t working either. Where is the line between personality, honesty and too much? Would you like to see someone in the self-help industry who’s not like the rest? Would a little kick-in-the-pants be a good thing in my writing from time to time? For those of you who know me, how much of the dark, sarcastic, no-BS Briana do you think I can bring to the table before it scares people off?