People who know me, know that I have an opinion about everything, especially if I’m asked or come upon something of import on Facebook (although, I tend to stay away from Twitter and the likes because who has the time?). I consider myself a social justice warrior – a martial artist, a lawyer, and as a writer, a warrior of words. Over the years I’ve learned to pick my battles, and I limit them to those fights that might make a difference. So, I write.
I’m a writer because as a Latina and Lesbian, I have something to say about the state of the world from my point of view. Isn’t that why writers write? Particularly for POC, writing is a window of opportunity to speak up, flex our voice, and demand a public hearing. Putting down on paper, on a blog, or even on Facebook makes for historical imprints, visible and viable proof that we are real blood to the bone. Every time we write we declare to the world: You will see me! We are not invisible to be silenced, ignored, or even shot to death just because of who you perceive us to be – as if a brown face conjures a pack of bare-tooth wolves or, like the killer cop said in his lame defense for murdering Michael Brown, “I saw a demon.”
I love that younger people (and that’s the majority of the world’s population) have taken over the social justice banner by speaking and writing their truths. When we share our lives’ ups and downs, speak our cultural richness and common ground, support each other through community writing and sharing, we not only widen our personal horizons, we show the world that we are a talented people not to be silenced. Yeah, we are warriors!
A writer’s life is personal and unique, although common threads bind us like pages in a well bound book. When and where we write varies more than the numbers of books on an avid reader’s shelf. (As writers we read because at the very least we want to know how published writers represent the craft and what we could learn to improve our own skills.) Some of us write on impulse, a trusted notebook and a working pen within reach, ready to scribble a masterpiece-to-be. Because I have spelling issues (childhood trauma is all) and a lawyer’s illegible penmanship, pen and paper does not work well for me. I use a laptop. Typing takes care of readability and the software comes with my best buddy – the spell check. (I wouldn’t mind an in-depth grammar check either.) Some of us are lucky to own a special spot in our home specifically for those moments or hours we transcribe our internal muse into a strings of words that tell a story, make a point, or share the processes of our soul. We go to workshops, residencies, attend writers’ circle, readings, and performances. Others produce events, publish their work, and teach aspects of writing relevant to our lives. Hey, some make a living doing what we love. What do we have in common? We have something to say and the passionate push to write it down.
Writing could be a lonely experience. That’s only because when we’re in it, longhand or tapping away, we’re in our head, not relating to another human being. But juxtaposed with a cast of characters of our own making, we are not alone. I have to write every time one of my storyline characters pokes my right shoulder and says, “My name is Papo, My name is Carmen, My name is Angelica, Purita…and I have something to say.” I call it channeling, others call it schizoid. HA. Whichever it is, I try to listen and get out of the way and let my fingers do the tapping on the keyboard.
In my opinion, a writer’s life is really what we make it to be. What’s crucial is to take the time to speak up, write it down no matter what else is going on in our lives.
For more information about the author: http://www.niveasniche.com/