18 Apr Wednesday | 4.18.12 | Journaling
Today is Wednesday and my focus for the The Daily is something theoretical/academic. I don’t really feel ready yet to write that. I’m still enjoying just writing. Just sitting with myself and writing words. I either have to get myself out of the way first before writing the more topical piece, or I need to abandon the topical thing and just sit and write everyday. I thought maybe if I gave myself some topics, some sort of outline/boundary within which to work it would help more than just an open ended free-for-all. We’ll see.
Right now as I sit here writing in a noisy Starbucks I feel a resistance to writing ‘about something.’ I kind of like the writing as a practice and writing as a personal exploration more than anything. Writing about some topic in my field or about spirituality or about current affairs feels like different kinds of writing. That is writing I think I need to move toward. Right now it feels like I just need to write with no pressure for it to be about something, for it to make sense, or for it to even be enjoyable to others. I need to acquaint myself with writing in a way I have not before.
A new online friend and writer, Roxane Beth Johnson, sent me one of her books of poetry and I think it is just fantastic. It is entitled Jubilee and can be purchased here. I am not a huge fan of poetry, mostly cause I am not very good at figuring out what the writer is actually saying half the time. But Roxane’s poetry is both show and tell in a way that leaves you in the scene she has provided. It is also autobiographical and I’m always interested in other people’s lives. They are haunting and real and beautifully written. I emailed her to tell her this last night and she replied to me this morning with some encouraging thoughts on writing. Here’s what she had to say.
So much of writing is writing into the unknown. It really is a way of going into the black, black night with no light or visible companion. But, as papa Walt Whitman said, “only the dark, dark night shows to my eyes the stars.”
Now I don’t want to get black and white about writing, but sitting down to write “about“ something, sitting down to write academic work can be like this to some extent, but to a large extent one has to formulate thoughts and outlines and cite information that all has to make sense. Writing into the black night does not occur near as much in topical writing. But this feeling I have been enjoying the past several days feels like I, myself, am writing into the void, writing into that black night in order to see the stars illuminate within me. There are parts of me that are foggy, fuzzy — unclear. I want writing to help illuminate those and since writing acts as a psychotherapeutic process of bringing unconscious material into the conscious, some of those parts will be shown to me.
I think what I am enjoying about this process over the past several days is the freedom. I don’t feel pressure to write about something and this has been freeing. Yes, it is easier writing as it is just free association in many ways, but for now, I am okay with it. It feels like I have to write this way for quite a while before I write seriously about topics. I could be wrong about that. Maybe as I write like this for awhile it frees me up to more often just sit down and write about a topic I am thinking of.
I’ve also been feeling more of a desire to write – a hunger to feel words being typed that connect me to me. It is not just writing and putting words down, but a sense of connection with myself. Journaling has always felt like this for me and I am basically journaling. In the past I’ve usually tried to journal free-hand but this way it is much faster and can keep up with my mind. I think fast and type fast.
Now it’s time to let this settle, post it, and see what else wants to be written.