Everybody’s got a thing. You know, that thing that is so tightly wrapped and tucked away in the corner of your self-protecting part of the brain. It peeks out once in a while only to be tut-tutted back where it belongs far from the earshot of the logical thinking part of the brain.
As part of Brave Blogging, I had the privilege of listening to an interview conducted by Andrea Scher with her writing teacher/mentor/friend Laurie Wagner. Aside from the easy talking with my friend while she’s waiting for her flight style it was full of writing tips, gems and an assignment: The blog post no one will ever read. Wild write it, just go, pen to paper, no holds barred. No right or wrong, no is it good enough, just truth, this is how it is.
I listened to the interview several days ago and I knew it started to grow in me when I began waking up at 4 o’clock in the morning head spinning with pen in hand and notes strewn all over the bed. It became the perfect storm when the interview combined with a very matter of fact statement I heard from someone recently, they said, “I knew everything had changed”. I knew what I had to write, I knew I would fill a legal pad with several decades of heart wrenching examples of exactly how that one thing changed everything.
It’s easy to be brave at 4, 5, 6 in the morning, it is exhausting, and it is exhilarating to find and go to your edges. However, what you begin to realize is that at your edge lies the edge of someone else. If we are all connected then this must be so. It was all true, every word, and the truth indeed sets you free but I couldn’t find it in my heart to impact another with my truth even if they’d never know it. I wouldn’t take that chance.
Part of the interview addressed, “when it’s not your story to tell”. This isn’t someone else’s story, its’ mine but I’ve gained enough from just writing it, the need to publish it seems overkill or someone else’s spirit kill, or negating the good work of simply taking it out of its protective covering, showing it the light albeit 4am lamp light, and NOT putting it back.
My favorite sentiment from this interview, “…the way you walk through the world is the way you walk through the page…” Thank you Laurie I will carry this with me always, it smacks of building an ordinary legacy.
I encourage everyone to try this, writer or not, for your eyes only. Find a spot, a pad, a journal, construction paper it doesn’t matter. Your favorite pen, crayons, marker just NOT your computer. Let those new connections that are created in the brain run wild from you taking pen to paper. Just go, get out of your way, unpack that thing or one of those things that you’ve so securely tucked away and have at it. You may find your aches and pains subside, your anxiety abates (I spent 4 hours in a meeting at the National office, which I swore I would never do again, without a bit of anxiety), if nothing else you will feel lighter.
I ritualized this for myself by rolling it up and throwing it in the fire the following evening. Watching it spark up the flue doesn’t mean it didn’t happen it simply means I unpacked and let it go. Doesn’t mean I won’t remember it from time to time either, I’m sure I will. There is a saying, you don’t see things as they are, you see things as YOU are (Anais Nin). Surely this will make all the difference.
Suffice to say no one will ever see that post but the sentiments, lessons learned, truth of it and feelings about it may very well become fodder for the blog. My edges will be grist for the mill, my experience a resource and my integrity in letting it go part of my ordinary legacy. I am better for having done this…