My therapist thought journaling would be a good way to vent -get stuff off my chest, so to speak. So, I did, and that was over 22-years ago. Flash forward to now, January 2019; I graduated from a well-respected writing program called, The Writer’s Studio offered at SUF’s downtown campus. I have to say that it was grueling, emotional, exhausting, and worth every bit, but I put myself and my closest friends and support system through hell. I even went into a bit of a depression. It’s a long story and I don’t want to bore anyone, but I will say this, the more I talk to people about my writing, the more I realize, I’m not alone.
We all, in some way, have a hard life. Relatively, because I am sure life’s experiences are relative -or at least that is when I remember to let it be relative. Right? Over time I’ve learned my writing is a practice not a perfect. When I was first journaling, I spent hours writing angry poetic prose, and it was in a secret pocket-book I kept with me at all times. I don’t want to judge it, but because it is my creation, I can say this, the spelling is terrible, the grammar is terrifying, and let’s just say, I don’t know how I ever graduated? I’ve come a long way, just like everybody else.
Writing is my work, and for me, the writing happens when it happens -when I am ready- and I know that it sounds really corny but, I never know when that will be, and regardless if the writing is fiction or memoir, I know there is tough writing ahead, lurking in the shadows, waiting to challenge me. Because writing, specifically memoir writing, is retraumatizing yourself.
On a good day, when I come into contact with tough writing, I know I will take longer, and intuitively I will start to write in short spirts, with no guilt, no shame, no judgment; On a good day there is no right or wrong, no pass or fail. I take lots of breaks, give the writing time, and space. On a good day, I write it knowing I am perfectly imperfect.