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People ask me all the time how I manage to be so honest when I’m writing and I’m not really sure of the answer. I suppose the more comfortable I’ve become with my experiences and my overall story, the more comfortable I’ve become with letting people know about more private issues.
Believe it or not, when I began writing, I was quite a private and closed off person. But it wasn’t long before I had learned to articulate my state of mind in an honest and open way. I honestly think that my writing has helped me to become a much more open overall and I’m really happy about that.
Personally, I love reading writing that I think is extremely honest. The writing that I can most connect with and is the most memorable for me is something that I think was difficult for the writer to disclose. Actually, I suppose not even difficult for them but where you feel that they’re not holding anything back.
In my writing, I’m mostly talking about issues that I’ve recently formed opinions or come to realisations about. When I begin writing a post, the jumping off point for me is usually what would have helped my past self. Through telling my story, I hope to help people work through their own issues and I have to be honest to do that.
I think there’s a certain comfort in telling your own story on your own terms in as honest a way as possible because it means that no one can easily twist or miss the point of what you’re saying.
Also the thing I commonly ask myself when I’m hesitant to be publicly open is what’s the worst that can happen? I’ve been exposing myself online for over a year now and the worst thing I’ve gotten is a bit of anonymous hatred. I’m not saying that bad people can’t target you online, because they can. But for me, online harassment hasn’t ever been a big deal…so far.
I’ve actually experienced some particularly nasty trolling over time. When I published the video for my poem “Hi, I’m Transgender,” I received some of the most disgusting comments. The video actually has way more dislikes than it does likes but it honestly doesn’t bother me even a little bit.
I believe in my story and I believe I have a right to tell it in whatever way I want to. I feel sorry for the people who have adverse reactions to my honesty because it suggests a part of them that can’t be honest. When you believe in yourself and in your writing, I don’t think anyone can really change that.
I suppose my main piece of advice for people would be to ask yourself are your concerns your own, or the concerns of those around you? I know that members of my family probably worry that I’m so open and honest when I write, but they support my choice to be that way and I think they respect it too.
There are so many reasons that you could stop yourself from revealing certain thoughts or secrets, but in my opinion and in my experience, the rewards of being honest massively outweigh the worries that it brings.