Writing For Ourselves

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What tools do you use for writing? I carry a journal with me everywhere now and the silver and black pen and pencil. Quotes go down in ink; thoughts go down in pencil. It’s a simple system. The fancy pen/stamp/ink are from Venice in 2011. Three years before words actually made it to the page.

I’ve never been a writer. Or perhaps a better way to describe it; I’ve never felt like there was anything interesting to say. Yet my past was always driven towards writing other things but not about myself.  A history degree.  The dozens of papers written were all an expression and yet looking back a lot papers were on autopilot. Yet there it was. At what point do we lock up our creativity and tell ourselves that we aren’t good enough. When does that happen? It’s amazing how easy it is to listen to the small mind convince us to not move forward. Lock the door; throw away the key.

Two years ago the crack in the door appeared. Using Evernote I would journal everyday. Subconsciously it happened back in 2011 when I purchased a pen, ink and journal and yet never used them. On the shelf for three more years before finally the book was opened. Life had changed dramatically. It was no longer enough to tell stories to myself in my head. The thoughts needed to be expressed as a form of therapy; relief. The Art of Manliness wrote an article about the importance of starting a journal and it clicked.  It’s a great read even today.

How and Why to Start a Journal

Then the words started flowing; slowly but surely. Talking to myself really. The mind had an outlet for all of the thoughts going on in my head. It solidified certain things and held me accountable for others. Suddenly it wasn’t just a thought in my head but rather words on a page. To be reread and confirmed later on.

The process morphed into keeping a paper journal. I’ve collected a fair number of journals (empty as of right now) to be filled with thoughts and quotes and aspirations. Thoughts go down in pencil and quotes go down in ink. Reading Janet Connor’s Writing Down Your Soul led me to finding the perfect mix. A good journal (Moleskine is now my preferred paper). A good pen/pencil (I use a Rotring 600 pencil and a Faber Castell pen) to keep with you and that’s it. The pen and pencil draw a lot of attention but really my thought was if I invested in something I enjoy writing with it would be easier to write and less likely to lose!

Keep writing until you feel firmly grounded in your guidance. – Janet Connor (Writing Down Your Soul)

Today I’ve managed to fill a book and about one-third through a second.  It’s become the hub for most of my thoughts in terms of this blog and the other social media outlets I enjoy. It’s also where ideas are noted, themes are identified, and aspirations are kept. All to keep my focused and grounded in the person I am today. One of the most rewarding pieces that makes it into my journal are themes that appear through various sources. Perhaps something I read in the morning to pop up later in a different article or discussion.  Baader-Meinhof / Selective attention / confirmation bias; Yea yea it’s all those things. It sure makes me take notice when it happens though!  Perhaps as Wayne Dyer refers to it as the Source finding it’s way into my life.

The most important thing I’ve learned from this whole process is to not be hard on oneself when there are no words and yet if given the opportunity to write the words come. Writing has become a therapy of sorts and as previously mentioned a creative outlet. Two years ago I wrote nothing. Today there is comfort enough to write here; for anyone to see.  So that to me is progress of some sort. A level of comfort with myself that never existed before.

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