Finding Me: The Voice behind the voice (1)
Written by
Nissi Mutale
May 2012
Written by
Nissi Mutale
May 2012

Posted originally on on on May 14, 2012 

I have grown to believe that writing and identity are inseparable. Whether you are writing a comic, a dystopian novel or a fairytale, I strongly believe that elements of the writers personality will come through either directly or indirectly. The first section of the book ‘Finding Me’ is entitled ‘Paper Pills’ and a lot of the poems take on a sexual nature because being a teenager, a large part of my identity was linked to my sexuality. I had a lot of feelings, new hormones and a general new awareness of myself and the opposite sex that had been alien to me up until my mid to late teens. I wrote about these feelings at the time completely unaware of the journey that was to follow. During the time of writing the poems I had no ambition to publish the words…these were my personal feelings and insights. I had always imagined keeping the diaries and showing them to my husband and kids when I was older. However in my early twenties I looked back over what I had written noticed that there was a progression. The poems were more than lust filled stanzas. Instead I could distinctly hear the voice of a young girl who struggled with who she was. The decision to publish came because I wanted to encourage both young and old people to get used to talking to themselves. Often we go though things that we do not understand. Putting pen to paper is a release and given time, experience and insight we can gain new perspectives.

The words on the written on the paper say one thing but the voice and tone behind the words say another.

Putting together ‘Finding Me’ helped me to see that that there were many layers to myself. I may say one thing or behave in a certain way but the seen is usually related to something unseen. It may seem like some abstract psychological theory but once you start putting pen to paper and pay attention to your heart…something happens. It is interesting to look back on my personal progression and till this date I read some of the poems and they speak to me in new ways. I can be going through something and I find healing in words that when I was writing, caused me so much pain to write.

As a result I have come to the following conclusion: There is a voice behind the voice.

Excerpt from ‘Finding Me’:

You broke me
– I accept that.
Took my heart and separated it:
Let my Insecurities,
Faults and Tenderness overshadow me
– I felt that
Made me feel so worthless, I grew breathless.
Face soaked in tears,
Heart weeping what I didn’t need but had been built into me over the years
- I needed that.

Nissi x

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