I have been trying to practice what I preach. I try to write every day. I strive to find a few moments in the hurly burly morning rush and reach for my journal and pen rather than my smart phone. I scratch words on the page rather than update my Facebook and Twitter feeds. It isn’t always easy and sometimes I only manage a few scribbled sentences before life rushes in and carries me away on the tide of the day.
The simple truth is that my day, my mind, and my heart, are the better for this practice. I can vent my frustration and scream my rage onto the page without fear of frightening animals and small children or simply bursting my vocal chords. I have a lot of rage. I really need to vent it on a regular basis or I picture something hot and destructive pouring out of me to burn and bury everything in my path.
On a good day I have a few extra minutes to take the indiscriminate gibberish I have poured forth to shape into something fun, something creative, something inspiring. Sometimes this is as simple as a six-word story. Sometimes my thoughts inspire a meme. But often, I find myself shaping these ideas into a poem. This creativity is balm on my wounds and soothes my battered soul and inspires me to meet the day.
It is not that I am a wonderful poet, but creating something constructive and positive out of my struggle and pain is a way to make meaning from it. Playing with my words helps me understand what is going on in my life. Shaping those words, those ideas, those hopes, those fears, into a form gives me power over the words, the ideas, the hopes, the fears. This shaping, this control, allows me to set them aside with a lighter heart, because, at least for the moment, I am in charge. I have bent them to my will. I own those words.
There is something about creating something, even if it is not entirely from scratch (after all a meme can never really be original), that makes me feel as if I have done something of worth, something meaningful, something inspirational. I send my creation out into the ether in hopes that it will make someone smile or laugh, pause and reflect, or simply nod in sympathy and understanding. My simple act creates a connection between hearts and minds and souls, and that is never a little thing and there are much worse ways to begin the day.
Words have power. Never forget that you can harness that power for good or for evil. Have you ever tried writing each day to harness your rage and inspire your life? What is your simple plan for using writing to cope with the challenges of life?
Now go forth and write your way into or out of your day! Don’t forget to share your writing using the #JustWrite hashtag.
Artwork by Kevin.Sebold (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons