Listen to me read this 3 minute post.
When I was 20, I shaved my head.
I was in India, and I didn’t tell anyone back home about it.
My parents only realized what I had done when they were walking toward me in the airport. From afar, they both thought I was just wearing it up in a ponytail. But then as they got closer, I saw their eyes widen.
For weeks, I would catch them staring at me in concern.
A family friend asked me why I shaved my head.
I explained that I was reclaiming my natural hair. That I had dyed and straightened the real me away so I wanted to get back to how my hair should really look.
He said, I liked it longer. It softens your features.
Not the right answer.
But then, I saw my grandma. She was 91 at the time, and it was one of the last times I ever saw her before she died.
She took one look at me and said, I love your hair this way. I can see your face better.
Even though no one else got why I cut my hair, Grandma intuitively did.
She got me.
And even though my parents, their friends, and most of the people I knew didn’t like my new ‘do, it was an important, even essential step in reclaiming my unique self, my true voice.
You know a writer has found her voice when she is willing to be completely honest. To take risks. To do things even when most people think they’re weird.
Many people say that it takes a long time writing to find your writer’s voice.
And for lots of bloggers, it does.
I think it takes them a lot of time to realize that it’s okay to be themselves without filters, and without fear.
It takes a lot of time for them to claim their incredible, unique, terrifying voices.
Why does it take so much time?
Mainly because of fear. The fear that we won’t be accepted. The fear that some people will read what we have to say, and they’ll think I don’t get this.
But here’s the thing: the people that do get it will be transformed by your courage.
They’ll sit up and take notice and think, Wow. I never knew there was someone out there that could speak to me so clearly.
If you stay where it’s safe, in the vanilla zone (you know, everyone is fine with vanilla, but it’s rarely anyone’s favorite), no one will look at you like you’re crazy. But no one will be able to see your face better, either.
Here’s how to do the equivalent of shaving your head in your blog:
Set a timer. Write for 15 minutes straight. It doesn’t matter what you write about, just that you don’t stop for the entire 15 minutes.
Don’t stop writing, and dive straight into everything you want to avoid.
If something comes up and you start to shy away, write about that.
You don’t even have to publish what you write. But the more you write into your fear, the closer you’ll be to uncovering what’s brilliant, and different, and truly remarkable about you.
Do it. I want to see your face better.