Listening to CBC Radio the other day, I heard this piece of advice from a writer being interviewed: the only way to move forward creatively, is to allow yourself to be judged.
Ding, ding! That statement spoke my truth and my struggle.
So, here I am writing this first blog post feeling EXPOSED, feeling VULNERABLE, feeling like instead of writing I should really put some more damned clothes on (you know, like hide the feeling with a cloak of silliness).
Journalism has served as a handy cloak for me over the years. For me, at least, it is way easier to tell someone else’s story than it is to tell my own. It’s easier for me to be the platform than the person standing on it.
As the editor of a newspaper, I owed my readers some vulnerability, a sliver of it at least. Without all the people willing to put their stories out there through me, there would’ve been no paper. Also… people willing to actually step up and write their truths in print made the paper infinitely better. I appreciated these rare occasions, in stark contrast with endless rants and raves on social media.
I spent a lot of time wondering about the difference between the two platforms: what made the newspaper seem so weighty and terrifying to people who would happily rant indiscriminately on Facebook? I decided that this particular form of terror is actually a good thing, and that I want to work with people to get through the terror so they can start to write what’s important to them, but to do so in a way that they would actually WANT to see those words published.
So, that’s where I’m headed.
And for now I’ll be here: filtered, but still exposed.