Yayy I’m back :). Time to get back into the swing of things. What better way to start than with Writer’s Quote Wednesday. This week, I take my inspiration from Audre Lorde. And since I just came back from a Stage Play, I thought it’d be fun to use the picture of me on the set in my costume right before going onstage lol.
“If you don’t define yourself for yourself, you’d be crunched into other people’s fantasies of you and eaten alive.” – Audre Lorde
When it comes to writing, and also to life, what sets one person apart from another are those individual qualities that are specific to that person. There is uniqueness about each of us and our style of writing that defines our work and defines also who we are as individuals. It is a kind of branding that does not have to be created, it already exists. We just have to discover it. There is a lot of good advice out there and a lot of good living examples to follow, but if you do not yet know who you are as a person and as a writer; if you do not yet know what sets you apart from the rest; if you have yet to define yourself, it is easy to get lost in all the opinions and philosophies and false images of who everyone perceives or desires you to be. Many invoke what others are expected to see. As a result, they lose sight of a definition of self. They cannot find the voice that is exclusive to them because they are trying to be a mirror reflective of someone or something else.
While I disagree with many of Audre’s views, I enjoy this quote because it is a constant reminder, for both my personal as well as my writing life, to be true to myself no matter what. I also chose this particular quote because my next book deals with mixed ancestry and it is noted that Audre Lorde’s mother could pass for white, while her father was darker than the family would have liked. Lorde is therefore among many African Americans to have experienced in some way the question of the colored line.
About the Author:
Lorde was born in New York City to Caribbean immigrants from Barbados and Carriacou, Frederick Byron Lorde and Linda Gertrude Belmar Lorde, who settled in Harlem. Lorde’s mother was of mixed ancestry but could pass for white, a source of pride for her family. Lorde’s father was darker than the Belmar family liked and only allowed the couple to marry because of Byron Lorde’s charm, ambition, and persistence. Nearsighted to the point of being legally blind, and the youngest of three daughters, Audre Lorde grew up hearing her mother’s stories about the West Indies. She learned to talk while she learned to read, at the age of four, and her mother taught her to write at around the same time. She wrote her first poem when she was in eighth grade.
Audre Lorde was a Caribbean-American writer, poet, essayist, etc. and her poetry was published very regularly during the 1960s — in Langston Hughes’ 1962 New Negro Poets, USA; in several foreign anthologies; and in black literary magazines. Her first volume of poetry, The First Cities (1968), was published by the Poet’s Press. She died in 1992 at the age of 58.
That’s it for this week’s episode of Writer’s Quote Wednesday. Be sure to check out Silver Threading to join in on the fun. Just click on the pic below!
8 thoughts on “Writer’s Quote Wednesday – If You Don’t Define Yourself”
Reblogged this on Writer's Work Lab.
This is a wonderful couple of lines: “There is uniqueness about each of us and our style of writing that defines our work and defines also who we are as individuals. It is a kind of branding that does not have to be created, it already exists. We just have to discover it.” In an era when writers are told to brand themselves, this is so refreshingly contrary.
What a great picture of you and what a great quote. So true her words. And also thank you for helping me on my Artist’s Date Adventure to discover a new poet. That will be Audre Lorde 🙂
Your welcome, and thank you.
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