I haven’t really been…myself. On social media, that is. Ever, really. Sure, I’ve written some fiction pieces and shared those with you guys. I’ve talked about finally blogging about meatier stuff. I’ve put out an interesting article here or there. But none of that has really panned out, has it? I get the momentum going just enough and then I bail, leaving the boulder at the top of the hill.
I think my problem has been that my voice has been continually silenced. A lot has happened in my life in the last handful of years, and it seems that every time I’m about to move forward, speak my mind, and make my presence known online, something silences my voice. Something steals my spirit. Something throws shackles on my words and keeps them captive, so instead of becoming passionate I become passive.
What steals my voice? Different things. The out-of-state moves I’ve made. My grandfather passing. My family alienating me. Every time I feel that fire burn within me, something – or someone – throws water on it and extinguishes the flames before the forest of social media can be subjected to my words. I retreat to the shadows to lick my wounds, and thus vanish into obscurity.
I know many who share my dilemma. A great idea is about to be birthed, but then something occurs in this life and our idea shrinks and becomes less of a priority.
It doesn’t help that I’m also a natural introvert. Any other introverts in the room? No. Nobody is going to raise their hand? Is it because you’re too shy? Ha, ha.
Some of you know what I’m talking about. We don’t want the spotlight on us. Me, I’d rather sit in a corner and write all day and then sit in a corner and game all night. It’s not that I don’t like people. I just…well, I’m an introvert. My energy is exhausted quicker when I interact with others. It’s just who I am. That’s why I am very picky about how often I meet up with friends or how much time I spend with family other than my wife and son.
Even though I’m an introvert though, I have plenty to say. I run a publishing company! I’m on the front lines of the shift occurring in Christian fiction. On top of that, I am an author who has written over a half dozen novels. I have a son who struggles with his club feet – as do I. I’m a work-from-home dad who had to adjust to being a work-from-home dad. And I’ve walked such an incredible path of faith and provision, it would be a crime for me not to share my experiences with the rest of the world.
Despite all of these topics and experiences that I have to speak about, I constantly feel a pressure against me trying to keep my mouth shut. I don’t want to offend, I don’t want to rock the boat. So much has been going on lately in the world, and so many people seem to be getting offended over the silliest things. I don’t really want to jump in the fray and paint a target on my back. I don’t want the tomatoes hitting me. I don’t want to get booed along with everyone else.
Or do I?
I mean, maybe I really do want to rock the boat, to wake people up, to make a difference in the world with my words and my presence.
We all have something to say, right? We all have experiences to share with the world. Experiences that can help others who are struggling. We all have some tidbit – or fountain – of wisdom. We’ve learned from our past mistakes, so we can help others avoid those same pitfalls. And some of us can just spot the truth from a mile away. We know what the red herrings in this life are, we just need to point them out and call them out so others don’t become deceived by them.
I was bullied growing up. The bullies always made me think that my voice, my thoughts, my dreams didn’t count. That only theirs counted. That the loudest voice in the room is the one that mattered. You grow up thinking that your point of view- your thoughts on a matter – don’t really count in the sea of opinions, and then you meet these same types of bullies in your later years and they are still doing the same thing: making you feel like you, your perspective, your voice doesn’t count.
But my voice does count. I just need to use it.
Do you struggle with finding and using your voice in this noisy online world?