I don’t know where but I write it anyway

Photo by Tirachard Kumtanom on Pexels.com

There are days that the blog posts write themselves. They pop up somewhere in between waking up, singing in the shower, and savoring that first cup of coffee. And then there are days that I just sit here.

I know the topic for the post or what the tone should be but, what medium to use? Is this something as short as a tweet, or is it something that cannot be seen publicly regardless of length, or is this a post that deserves space, headers, and photography?

I am frequently stuck.

Do I have enough to say to type around 300-500 words for a post or are we done in a sentence or two? These days, my writing happens either in a journal, in a few tweets, on my website, or here. But here’s the fun part, I start to either blog or tweet and then regret te choice of medium.

Why?

Anxiety or stress.

Depending on what is going on, I just cannot sit still long enough to type or write. I need the quick release of a sentence or two with the flexibility to tweet that from just about anywhere to anyone, even nobody I know. From the car (when safe, of course) or the waiting room at whatever facility, Twitter allows for that writing release in the absence of a desk with a computer or a journal and a fountain pen.

Writing is breathing

When I do find myself sitting down, I make the conscious decision to breathe and write. I have a subject in mind and depending on that subject it either goes on the website, the blog here, or in my journal. I find that making the decision to combine writing with consciously slowing down and deepening my breath, as we do in yoga, takes the edges off the anxiety that popped up.

Shape shifters

Depending on what I write and how e.g. venting, the stress may go away entirely. In other cases, especially when it is work related, the stress remains but changes shape.

It is not anymore in a powerful position to make me anxious, no. It has changed. I now have the determination to dig, research, and get answers. From there, the words flow and even if what I then produce is just a draft, I have laid the foundation for more writing.

Road maps

If I sat down with my journal, I find that I jot down thoughts and feelings that were simmering underneath the surface, eating away at my sense of self, and therefore giving me feelings of anxiety. The ink on the pages is not always in the best penmanship but they reflect what has been going on in my mind, my heart, and my soul.

I don’t immediately have answers or solutions however, I have a roadmap to get me out. I have turned on my GPS or Google Maps, and I can now actively see what is around me, in my street, and what is coming around the corner.

There are days that I sit here and don’t know where to write what I think. But, even if I have to cross things out, or delete tweets, or rewrite drafts, I write anyway.

Journaling changed my voice

Sakura Moleskine, fountain pen case, in front of homemade cork tray/Photography AdS

I have been journaling daily now for exactly one full month. In the picture above is the journal I am currently using. It is from the Moleskine ‘Sakura’ line. I had left that brand years ago for Leuchtturm1917 as the width of their journals suits me better however, I could not resist the Sakura line.

Writing daily has changed my voice.

I am calmer.

There is a difference between saying F^&* my life, thinking it, and writing it. It is in the tone of the voice.

When you say it, it comes out with a level of anger. This anger level can even be harsher when you think it because nobody hears it. It is all in your head, right? When I write it down and then read back to myself, something interesting happens, and it happens when I directly read it back to myself or, if there is a time delay. It is the split-second or moment to regroup.

When I put down the pen and read back even the most mean words, there is a slit-second delay. In that moment, my brain has changed tones. I calmed down a smidgen, and that makes the difference in my tone. How you speak to yourself, what your heart and soul hear coming out of your mouth, how you internalize that, matters.

What I angrily say or think out loud about a situation or myself, gets internalized in that angry tone. What I write, it is first seen and at that moment, my eyes make the spit-second decision to tell my brain to adjust my tone.

I read back what I wrote about various things that have upset me in the news these past few weeks. No need to rehash that here, you can all think of a thing or two. Every time I reread it, another voice pops up and counters the angry one: this happened, yes, now how are you going to respond to it?

Writing is a phenomenal way of venting frustrations and helps to sort out all possible reactions and actions you can take. Even if you cannot change a situation, you can decide to keep following it in the news to educate yourself. You can decide which news channels or shows to block, you can decide if there is one person or group to blame, and how you can reduce your interactions with them.

In other words, writing daily for a month has strengthened the other voice inside of me and has calmed the angry one. I still vent on paper but I say less out loud, and when I think it, I try to immediately write it down. If I don’t have my journal with me, I email myself a few words with my mobile phone or I use scrap paper. I then try to write down my full thoughts in my journal that same day.

Have you experienced this too when journaling?