Savvy Word Slinger


Posts tagged free write
Writing What I Felt
Writing What I Felt.png

I needed to write, but I was experiencing blah. Was that an emotion? It was my form of exhaustion in every way, shape, and form. I am not proud of it, but I have found a lot of my days lately have overflowed with stress. I sat in the morning pondering if I was going to write anything because I have been in a funk. I didn’t feel like writing at all, and I was not sure about the extensive project I promised myself I would finish.

So, what did I do when I didn’t feel like writing? What every good writer does surf the net. I realized email was an excellent place to start my procrastination. I was sent an email for Camp NaNoWriMo, and it was very inspiring for my moment in time. Write what you feel email  by Kat Yeh said: “Some people say write what you know—I say write what you feel.” 

 Through my academic circles, I had studied plenty about writing what I knew, however writing what I felt has been felt out.  I had not heard someone approach writing what you feel this way before. When I have been looking up ideas about character emotions, I have come across a lot of writers and artist taking a sharp memory and writing from the feelings you had at that moment — this type of writing I can do with ease. There are days, weeks, and sometimes months when I have struggled with writing. When the thought of a book came up, it felt more like a chore than something I wanted to do. The writing honeymoon was over, and it only took three years. 

I am not ready to divorce writing or my muse. However, I needed to know how to work on my relationship when I didn’t feel like being in it.  I heard from people give up writing and do something else with your life. What people have not witnessed was how great writing had been the one thing that had carried me through the darkness, and joy I felt in creation. I was at least staring at my screen, I got my butt in the chair, and I continued to watch the blinking curser. How in the world could I write what I feel when I didn’t even feel like writing?

In these moments of blah was when mind dumping and free writing were my lifesavers (suddenly have a candy craving). The email I had read said to take a few minutes to just writing whatever it was you were feeling. Sometimes I need to vent, and there was no one else to listen. So, I vent to the computer screen. With the beautiful world of dictation, I can yell at my device, and it will record every word I say. However, just like humans, it has continuously got some of it wrong. 

I decided to do a little therapeutic writing, getting all of these emotions and thoughts onto a page for about 5 minutes. This was when a light bulb turned on for me. I have heard many times from many people, even in my academic writing circles to write what you know but what I knew at that moment was what I felt. 

Then from the instruction of the email, I began to write a character in a funk about life and feeling in some way, it will never get better than this. This woman couldn’t see the future for all the things going on in her life right then. They couldn’t see the joy of the light or the relief of the rain. They stared off into the darkness, and it consumed this character like a moth to a flame. And just like that, the main character for my next book was born. 

The moral of this story is to just write.

When Writing Helps
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I grew up in a place where my closest friends were imaginary because there were no kids around in the country that were my age. My home life had its ups and downs, just like everyone else. In my darkest times, I started to write. When I was young, I remember how cool it was that I could have a diary, but I never really wrote in. I didn’t have siblings trying to get it, but every time I started to write, I kept thinking how dumb it was to write all these things in here. 

I played imaginary games with made up people a lot. I played Thunder Cats a lot and X-men when my little brother wanted to play with me. When we played X-men, he was always Wolverine, and I was Storm. On my way out of town, there would be little creatures I made up that would run alongside the car. No, I wasn’t really seeing these things it was all in my mind, and they never became more to me than my present reality. They were a way for me to process being lonely and the case of isolation. 

As I grew the stories about these places poured out of me, and the life I was living was hard. Many times, while I was taking care of cattle stories, would just come into my mind. There were no notepads in the slop with the cattle, so I would use word association to remember until I could write them down, which was always before I went to bed. 

I wrote on a lot of school bus rides to and from school. Which I hear now you can’t even do. I scribbled in my notebook about my crushes and how they never knew me. I wrote about being hurt by friends. I wrote poems about things in my life that I couldn’t understand. I cried a lot when I wrote, but I didn’t have people to talk to so I turned to the page. I spoke to the pages when no one was there I wrote to get through things. 

In college, I wrote to process the death of family members. I wrote to be creative too. I opened the doors of my mind to things in the world I had never been exposed to and ideas on the darker side of life that I never explored in stories because I was living it. I thought the writing might too closely intwine, but I found it helpful in moving forward in my life. 

I started to do morning pages later in life as a way to empty out my emotions on the page after beginning to read the Artist Way. It was a great way to mind dump my feelings that had been building up again. This was caused by living a life much I did as a child in isolation. It is not my purpose to live this way, but it just seems to be the season I am in.  I have used this journaling for positive self talk though it looks like a lie at first there is something to be said about writing in that way. It has changed me and moved me to a more positive place again.

I have also felt a sense of peace after having sat down for a session of writing. It is almost as though it a religion, but it is not for me. The type of paper doesn’t matter if it is just a journal entry, free writing for 5-10 minutes, or maybe I work on my book. Another significant benefit for me it that it is moving toward the things I really want in life. I want a place where writing is part of my future, and to be a positive person. For me, it is more about allowing myself to finally spending time on myself and allowing me to be who I was always meant to be ultimately.

On the days I don’t write something I feel like I’m off that day. Sometimes I am a little irritable and not easy to get along with. There is something I think to what everyone does in life if they really love what they do. It doesn’t seem like work, and sometimes it becomes the thing that makes life a little easier to deal with.