I’ve wanted to write this piece for some time. I was still trying to find my voice, trying to find the courage to write.
One of the things I thought of, as I made the resolution to climb Mount Rwenzori this year, was that I would record my journey and tell my story in writing, either through a blog, or possibly even a book. But I procrastinated for nearly two months. During those two months, I wrote often in my journal about starting to write, but I was afraid of writing.
Writing is scary, especially when one is writing about personal experience. There is a vulnerability that comes with that kind of writing, of putting one’s thoughts, actions and feelings out there for public ‘display’ as it were. I also fought with the insecurity of writing. I often told myself that no one would be interested in what I had to say. I often told myself that many other people have achieved far greater things than I have, and they were not writing about themselves – so who did I think I was to write about my experience?
I turned, as I often do when I am scared or unsure of myself, to my siblings, to get their thoughts and perspectives about whether or not I should write. Three of them are prolific writers and I admire them greatly because they have honed their craft over the years. To a person, they all encouraged me to write, but I still held back. I was still scared.
One day, I called my dear friend Rhoda Kalema, just to wish her a Happy New Year, and generally find out how she was doing. As we ended our conversation, she told me to record the things I do every day, because then later, I would have notes to refer to when I write my memoir. And she told me that I must write my story. During our conversation, I had said nothing about the struggle I was having regarding writing, so I took her words as a sort of “writing on the wall”. But I still continued to procrastinate.
I finally wrote my first blog post on March 5th 2015. For me, it’s been a stretching of my limits. I still feel timid a lot of times. Many times I want to give up. Many times I ask if myself whether the writing is even worth it. Many times, I want to walk away from it all. I still feel scared, I still feel unsure of myself even as I write.But I write.
And I encourage you to write. I know this piece is for someone out there. You know you must write. You have been too scared to start writing. You’ve been holding back, finding one excuse after another. But it’s time to go on and write. It’s time to give voice to your voice.