Thursday, February 9, 2012

Set Free by Andrea

"I must write it all out, at any cost.  Writing is thinking.  It is more than living, for it is being conscious of living."-Anne Morrow Lindbergh

For most of my young adult life, I was a guilty prisoner of the ideology that one had to journal daily for the process to be meaningful (to whom exactly, I am not sure).  I unconsciously subscribed to some unwritten rule that one had to record the minutia of everyday life- to do anything less would leave an indelible mark of being undisciplined for all to see. At this I failed.  I just could not keep up. From where did these unrealistic beliefs and unattainable practices come?  I do not know.  I do remember, however, the day I was freed.

Unlike the rest of the first world, I was not a member of the Order of Oprah.  I rarely watched television and The O Show even less.  One day, for whatever reason, I turned on the show just as the star was sharing about the catharsis of journaling, a practice in which she had engaged since her teen years.  I felt a heaviness come over me because I once again felt that urge to be more deliberate about capturing life in words.  Then a guest therapist commented that one ought to write, and to write as needed.  In those few seconds, I was set free!  I was given permission to create my own habit of writing.  Why had this not occurred to me?

The more I read and learn about the teaching of writing, the more I learn that all writers- those who do it for publication and those who write for their own sanity- have specially crafted habits of mind and practice.  There are as many ways folks go about the art of writing as there are folks writing.

I have journaled "consistently" for almost two decades now.  It is my catharsis (as well as cleaning, but that's a post for another time). I am able to purge or to cultivate.  I am able to delve deeply into my thought life.  I am able to see my life from outside of myself. I am able to temper my zeal, contain my anger, work out my anxieties. I am able to care for myself.

I knew the power of the pen despite my attempt to fit into the proverbial "box".  I know what it is to live under the tyranny of ought to and should, to fear getting it wrong.  So I write and teach to free other would-be journalers, writers, authors.

Live free and write!

1 comment:

  1. I could not agree with you more! Through blogging I've discovered my own passion for writing. Because I do it for me, with only minor thoughts of "will they like it?" it is pure. It's as much about the act of writing as it is the expression. Blog on my friends, blog on!