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Finding My Voice

by Cynthia Wheeler | May 3, 2018

While I inherited my father’s gift for storytelling, every time I started to write my mother’s voice crept into my head in relentless critical commentary, ‘that needs a comma. How can you write about a place you’ve never been. Even if someone wanted to read it, who is going to publish it?” It was a convenient deceit by my inner critic to take me down with my own mother’s voice. Consequently, I had pages of undeveloped ideas.

I joined a women’s writing group where participants were encouraged to suspend judgement. The practice silenced my inner editor. I wrote with abandon. What emerged were my own personal narratives. I read. People laughed.

Curiosity drew me to the first WordPlay Cafe. The next month I arrived early to get a spot on the list to read the themed piece I wrote. I was nervous but I’m too old to let opportunities slip past. Plus the MC Tomas was hip and the crowd was chill. I read my story. People snapped their fingers, laughed and clapped. I was hooked. I wanted to get away with reading from copy but Tomas encouraged me outside my comfort zone to perform without notes, in other words, memorize. At 65? Memorize? Just know, like the writing process, I found it easier when you tell the story you know, not the one you think people need to hear. I’m so grateful I found the WordPlay community where we can share our stories and be heard.

Loving this post? Don't miss the WordPlay Cafe Summer Series starting May 10th at The Nile in Downtown Mesa.

    

 

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