With the one year blogiversary of Rebirthoflisa coming up this month, this prompt about finding my authentic voice is very timely. It is a time for reflection and self-discovery. I started this blog because I had a need to be heard and I wanted to build my readership to allow more people to read what I have to say. I intended my blog to be a place where I could narrate the goings on in the world that interested me, but never thought of sharing my own guarded life with strangers. I thought of it as a means to an end because I wanted to be a writer and the only way to do so is to actually write. I never expected for it to grow to what it has become. I started with one follower, my sister and wanted to expand to others, but didn’t know how. Somewhere along the way I learned about networking and linking up with other bloggers and found that I am not alone. Everyone wants to be heard and I am now open to hearing those voices in conjunction with expressing my own.
I have come across some great people who share the same views as I, as well as some who are totally opposite in their thinking. I have tried to be fair and not pre-judge people by their profile pics, which we all do either consciously or subconsciously, or by their choice of topics. Keeping an open mind has allowed me to read some very profound poetry and get excited about writing my own. I have read about suicidal thoughts and been brought to tears from reading the brutally honest rantings of people in pain. All of these experiences have allowed me to tap into my own voice and express my deepest, most personal thoughts to the world. I found vulnerability in writing that I never had before and I love it. At first it was uncomfortable and I did not want to write, but I pushed myself and the results were pieces of work that I am proud to share.
As I celebrate my first blogiversary on November 22nd, I realize how much better I have become at expressing myself on a personal level. I look forward to my continual learning by participating in more challenges and courses. I cherish the relationships I am building and I am excited to host my own events on my blog. One such event was an idea I learned from a fellow blogger, Eclectic odds n sods, just today. I am planning my first Blog Party Event to coincide with my annual celebration and the countdown has started. Only 17 days left until the Big Day and I hope you will join me. Keep an eye out for more info on my blog…
Writing 101: Size Matters
Today, tell us about the home you lived in when you were twelve. For your twist, pay attention to – and vary- your sentence lengths.
The Baller of G’ Boro (Set to the tune of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air)
Now this is a story all about how
My life got flipped turned home renter
And I’d like to take a minute and be real thorough
I’ll tell you how I became a baller in a town called G’Boro
In West Haven project where I was raised
On the hardwood is where I spent most of my days
Skating, bike riding, shootin’ hoops after school
When this girl from Bmore who was up to no good
Started making trouble in my neighborhood.
I got in one little fight and my moms got PO’d
She said we’re moving to a house on Hooks River Road.
I moved in to the Master Suite
Where my mom made me promise to keep it real neat
My big bro James was right next door
He kept me laughing and made me do his chores.
When I wasn’t sleeping in my bed
You could find me in the willow tree where I read
The best thing about this house was I was home
Mom let us have two puppies of our own
In the back yard they stayed in the shed
I came home from school one day and they were dead.
I channeled the pain into playing sports
Bball, softball and all kinds of sorts
I practiced real hard and became a minor star
Mom said, play sports, be a baller that’s who you are.
Today’s assignment is to publish a post for your dream reader, and include a new-to-you element in it.
When I first read this assignment I sort of panicked. I had never attempted to identify who my reader would be. I just needed to express myself and I wanted everyone to read my blog. Then I realized that you are “supposed” to have a specific genre and reader in order to reach people on certain levels. At least that’s what they teach in writing classes.
I don’t agree with the idea that when you write you have to speak to one specific audience and that’s it. I had so much trouble with this assignment because I write from the heart and I am the type of person who tries to see points of view from everyone. I can’t shut off who I am and I don’t want to so I have concluded that my writing will continue to reach out to all people one article at a time.
That being said let’s get to the meat and potatoes. This blog is a sort of therapy for me, but I have also found it to be comforting to people who have gone through the same or similar events in their lives. The topics I choose are sometimes taken from my past, the headlines or based on the lives of family and friends. Like most writers, if I observe something I deem as interesting I will let it marinate in the columns of my mind and then cook up what I hope is a great tale.
I am not vain enough to think that everyone in the world will love my style or content, but I know eventually I will run across a specific topic that will touch them. Maybe I can open someone’s eyes to a subject they never thought they would care about. Maybe, just maybe if the planets are aligned I can help someone who needs to hear that one thing God planted in my brain to share. I pray I can be a light to someone. I may not reach a specific type of reader on a regular basis, but I hope to be able to open the minds of readers and help them walk in someone else’s shoes for a few minutes. Change their perspective if you will. This blog is designed to be a sort of Rainbow Coalition of blogs where everyone is welcome, where you can find topics that seem familiar and ones that may educate you. Everyone is welcome and even if you don’t agree with my point of view, we can agree to disagree.
I decided to upgrade my writing skills by taking the Writing 101 course on Word Press. The first assignment is to “Unlock Your Mind” by writing for 20 minutes straight with no real purpose so here goes…
What makes people do the things they do? Why will one person go with the flow while another person pitches a fit at the smallest things? Are we bound to be like our parents or can we change the outcome of our future by learning from different sources.
When I was young, I felt like my mom was the center of the universe, Super Woman, if you will. In my mind there was nothing she could do wrong and I wanted to be just like her when I grew up. My older siblings did not share my enthusiasm and thought she was mean. Now that I am an adult, I have a different way of thinking about her because she no longer is seen as a super hero. I love my mom and will never cast her as a villain, but I wonder why she did some of the things she did. I have always been a sensitive person and kind of empathetic. What makes people tick and why they do the things they do are questions that I need answered. I never wanted to be a therapist per say, but I craved the knowledge. Whenever something happens my first instinct is to ask why or how. I find this a great trait as I pursue a career in writing.
Getting back to my mom, she was hard working and the type of black woman who kept her head down and did not cause trouble. Not to say she was a coward by any means because if trouble found her you could best believe she would annihilate it with ease. What I mean is when she went to work she did her job and as she was told unless it was something absolutely crazy. She was born in the 30’s in rural Virginia and had children at a young age out of wedlock so she had to do what she had to do to survive. Her mom died when she was 12 years old and she had to fend for herself being one of 17 children. As a black female growing up back then she had very limited options on how to earn money. I know she once wanted to be a nurse because she told me when she tried without success to make me study to be one. Mom has always been talented in the kitchen and worked several years in a restaurant in her home town. She has a special way about her when she cooks and can make anything taste amazing! I marveled at her cooking ability when I was young and she shared her gifts with me. I am proud to say I can burn in the kitchen as a result. Even though she could cook anyone out of the kitchen, she never had the ambition to pursue her dreams. As a matter of fact I don’t recall her ever expressing her dreams to her children. This must have seemed like a waste of time for her because she had mouths to feed and dreaming would not do it.
Most of my life I remember her being a maid and serving parties to earn a living. She has done several other jobs to make ends meet, but those were her staples. Thinking back I wonder why she never opened a catering company. She was always volunteering at the church whenever they sold plates and she would cook what seemed like a ton of potato salad, green beans and BBQ chicken. She was always the organizer and delegated who would do what. She was a BOSS in the biggest since of the word when it came to those church sales. I wonder what kind of life she would have if she used those skills to build her own business.