I was reading a new book on my kindle today. One of my favorite bloggers did a compilation of her blogs. Her book, Willa's Journal: A Box of Stars is delightful because it is really makes you think about everyday ordinary things. In one of her posts, she says she writes-because she can-realizing that other people may or may not be interested in what she has to say. I always was.
This made me wonder why I write. Actually, there are so many reasons I may not get them all down.
I started keeping a journal before I was a teenager and still keep one today. I am constantly jotting or recording stories I want to get done. I have several tiny notebooks with notes, scraps of sentences, and many journals. My writings are mostly about my life and other amazing things. I am a thinker and spend a lot of time thinking in my head about why things happened a certain way and how I could do it differently. I also am amazed at the not so accidental timing and connections of things that happen in my life. I learn from everything-good or bad and I am amazed at how intricate people and life are and how it all works together. There’s a lot going on in my head….who knew? I think these words are what keep me up at night.
I write to…
Dump: Life is hard and painful and most of the time people don’t have time for your hurts because they are nursing their own. I can dump every ugly piece and get it off my mind. I will not be judged or have to worry about my secret getting out. Many times I have written things on paper that are-well; they are just too painful to say. I will never be able to say them but at least I can write them. I am entitled to my feelings and they need a voice.
Tell Someone Off: I have never done this in real life, only on paper. It is not in my nature but some people need it! I do not like conflict but again, I am entitled to my feelings. Let’s face it-most of the time when you tell someone something they are not likely to listen. It is not worth stirring things up. Megan and I have been talking about things like this a lot lately. It is hard to find a balance between having respect for yourself and just walking away from it.
Try and understand: Often by mulling over something that has happened and how I feel about it puts everything in place. I get a clearer sense of it. In the midst of events we often can only see what is right in front of us.
To Remember: There are so many stories from my life I do not want to forget. There are people I don’t want to forget. I can see how people have been placed in my life at a specific time for a specific reason. I consider many things that have happened in my life to be near miracles-there is no reason why it should have miraculously worked out as it did. I do not want to forget the wonder of it all. I tell my students-you and your life are important. Write it down.
To be amazed and thankful: Have you ever listed the things you yearn for the most? Have you ever written your prayers? I have. Then years later I am looking at old writings and I amazed at the prayers that have been answered and the absolute perfect timing. Looking back it becomes so clear as to why things had to play out the way they did-pain and all.
To remember to pray: I care about people and so many people are hurting. I am also very busy. I like to write the names of people that have asked for prayer. I keep it on my desk near my computer. Usually in email or on Facebook people will ask for help. I say I will pray and I need to write it so I will. This also allows me to check back and see how people are doing.
To Heal: I tell anyone that will listen-writing saved my life more than once. It helped me process things that I had stuffed. It helped me dig out of things I was buried under and as much of a cliché as it is-I found myself and pulled myself out-one page at a time. Consider this-some of the most famous songs and poems were written when dealing with pain.
Last but not least, I write because practice makes perfect. Well, not really. For me writing is an extension of me and my mind as well as my emotions. As none of those are perfect, my writing is not either. However, when I write consistently, my voice is truer. I become braver and less critical. My vocabulary improves, becomes more embellished, and flows easily.
I wrote a book (the one that saved my life) and it is not yet published. My dear friend/editor Robin asked me how I would feel if I did all the work of compiling it and then it never got published. I told her I was ok with that because this was a huge part of my life and I liked having it put together. Maybe one day I can share it with my daughter.