I woke up yesterday with this idea in mind, of all my fellow writer and creator friends with strong voices and hearts that want others to feel strong, too: We are the counter-voice.
Whenever we feel unworthy to put our work in the world, or think it’s not important, or that no one needs it, or that we are simply adding to the noise — we need to remember that no — we are the counter-voice. The voice counter to the cultural noise.
What our voice is counter to is the cultural noise that, for example, talks shit about Simone Biles and Gabby Douglas. The cultural noise that is pro-rape. The cultural noise that has kept women and races separate and hating one another and ourselves.
These noisy, shitty, violent voices don’t question whether they are worthy of being in the world. They just are. They just spew. They blanket everything. All while we question whether our lovingly-crafted work and words and art and music deserve to be out there. It couldn’t be any clearer that ours doesn’t just deserve to be out there — the timbre of our very world depends on it.
So when you’re not feeling worthy, you have to remember that to which we are counter. No — I know being “against” is not a popular new-age huggy-lovey touchy-feely place. I am not suggesting our main purpose is to be against. Our main purpose is to be for what we’re for, of course. But a good place to start when we’re feeling low or too scared to put our work in the world is “We are the counter-voice.”
Our counter-voice may feel like a drop in the asshole bucket, but I suspect it’s a lot stronger than we might ever know. What we have on our side is love and thoughtfulness. Let’s just try not to thoughtfulness ourselves into non-existence, not sharing, believing the cultural noise.
Make sense? Trying to help over here. I’ll try to keep the lily-gilding and dead-horse-beating to a minimum.
My brilliant friend Casey Erin Wood says “Your brilliance is more important than your bullshit.” It’s one of my favorite things anyone has ever said. And I think your brilliance can burn through a lot of cultural noise. We just have to get over our own bullshit long enough to put it out there.
Anything rile you up enough lately to burn through some bullshit?
It's me, Jennifer Bernice (rhymes with "Furnace": it was my Granny's name) Sutkowski
• More details about my writing here.