sasha_feather: Retro-style poster of skier on pluto.   (Default)
[personal profile] sasha_feather
I want to talk a bit about barriers to speaking and writing. I'm not particularly fond of the term "writer's block" because what does that really mean? It's not very descriptive. I'm going to talk about things that might prevent us from writing and speaking, from expressing ourselves with words. I consider this emotional work, and emotional work can be very difficult and challenging, so I'm putting it under a cut.



1. "I feel that my words will be used against me/I feel that speaking is unsafe." We stay silent sometimes out of instinctive need for self-protection; this can be very good in certain situations, but it can also go too far and work against our need to speak for ourselves.

2. "I fear that my words will hurt others." My current thoughts on this are to try my best not to hurt others; to be open to being called out on it; and to know how to apologize.

3. "I have so much to say that I don't know where to begin." My proposed solution for this is to make bullet points and lists. Do quick summations, rather than getting lost in the details.

4. "I have nothing to say; no one wants to hear what I have to say; my words are useless; people know this already; no one cares." This is devaluing one's own voice, and I think it is something that women in particular are trained to do.

There is something called Cognitive Defusion in which one can attempt to gently deal with negative thoughts like these, to interrupt the tape that is running on repeat. But the first step is noticing that one has them.


I think that challenges, prompts, team writing, community support, conversation, all are ways of encouraging people to use their voices. But, if words aren't working out so well, I think that art, icons, vids, dance, singing, cooking, exercise, photos, stitching, crafting, and costuming are wonderful forms of self-expression.

Date: 2009-11-01 05:57 pm (UTC)
littlebutfierce: (Default)
From: [personal profile] littlebutfierce
This is an awesome post.

I used to be much, much more open about things when I was younger (college-aged)--as I frequently told people, "If everyone knows everything they can't use it against me." Er, sort of. Anyway, nowadays I find it harder & harder to express myself sometimes, which I hate.

I also think it's v. true & important that we can express ourselves through other non-verbal ways too!

Date: 2009-11-02 03:26 am (UTC)
fullygoldy: Cowboys Hugging (Brokeback Heart)
From: [personal profile] fullygoldy
I have been thinking about you all day. You are doing some amazing and important work. I feel saddened that someone convinced you to change your mode of self expression last week.
Words are very powerful, and I know you value using words for exactly what you need/intend to convey. Your blog is a personal expression of your values and beliefs that you are sharing with us. Personally, I think it's up to the reader to decide if she's comfortable reading a particular blog. I think it's rude and insensitive to ask/demand a person change their method of self-expression in this medium. You're expressing your experience, how your epiphanies and journey of self-discovery are affecting you. I don't think it's right for you to censor yourself in this context. This is your safe space to express what's going on and feel it out before going completely public with it.
I agree with warning for content that may be triggery, but you've already "warned" in your intro post and your bio about potential content in your blog. You usually always cut emotional stuff anyway. You shouldn't feel bad about disgorging the stuff that's been poisoning you all your life. If this is the right way for you to do it, you should do it. People who aren't comfortable with that should opt out of the discussion.
Important emotional work is rarely comfortable or attractive. It's not for the faint of heart. The truth is, not everyone is in the right place to witness your work, on any given day. That doesn't mean you should change your rate of progress for them.
We all love you, and we'll let you know if you need to put on some pants, hon. But shorts, or leggings, or even hastily wrapped towels are acceptable. They don't have to be Calvin Kleins to be legit.

Date: 2009-11-03 03:37 am (UTC)
teigh_corvus: ([misc.] Inner child and coffee)
From: [personal profile] teigh_corvus
This is an incredibly thoughtful and helpful post.

Date: 2010-01-25 07:23 am (UTC)
pseudo_tsuga: ([Other] working)
From: [personal profile] pseudo_tsuga
This post clarifies tons of things I've been thinking about for a while, especially in regards to my depression. It's definitely going into my bookmarks.

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