Writing To Let Go
There are countless people out there who will tell you how you should write. Who you should write for, when you should do it, how to gain an audience, how to lose one, what to write about, how to scratch an itch while writing, where the best pizza places are to order from when you can't think of another word to put down on paper...
I'm not going to tell you what to do or how to do it. I'm going to tell you how I write and attempt to find out why, though I probably won't know that until I finish this article.
The writing that I am most proud of is writing that I barely remember typing. The short poems and prose that show up on my computer (or my Facebook if I was really in a bad place) the morning after sometimes have a voice that only gets out when I'm most vulnerable. My mind connects thoughts with lyrics from songs from my iTunes, quotes from movies, memories of conversations, drinks, and relationships...and they end up on the page.
Generally, these bits of writing show up after a long night of bars, booze, text conversations (or the lack thereof) with my ex-fiance, and heart to hearts with my closest friends. The nights usually end on a couch, talking until 4:00am about how messed up my relationships are and how broken they've left me. On the nights that I don't have the luxury of a friend to spill my guts to, I turn to the next best outlet...my computer.
I call it "writing to let go." I'm sure that there are 1,000 articles, stories, how-tos, and opinions on this already, but I haven't read them. I just know that it works, that its therapeutic...that it's me. I'll usually put my iTunes on shuffle and just listen for a while. I keep my hands on the keyboard and an open window with a blinking cursor ready for whatever needs to come through my fingers. Inspiration always comes during these moments... from wanting to get out the feelings of heartbreak, loss, pain, anger, frustration...These emotions trigger thoughts and connections that somehow seem to explain how I am feeling and why. Once a thought gets started, the clicks of the keyboard fill my ears, the music fades away, and I get lost in the words. For an hour or so I am completely free to explore my thoughts and emotions though the written word.
Reading my own writing the morning after is like getting a transcript of the hazy, in-depth conversation I had with my best friend where we made a monumental breakthrough about the meaning of life...but can't remember it. All of my thoughts, connections, rationalizations and indiscretions are right there on the paper (or screen) in front of me. Most of the time, it doesn't make sense. The beauty of it is that I know that the night before, it did. The writing gives me something to come back to. Just tonight, I read some of these free form "letting go" pieces that I wrote over a year ago and found new meanings and new understandings.
Will I ever get these pieces published? Nah. Will they ever be more than ramblings? Probably not. Did I write these for anyone? Nope. Did they help me find out about myself and get into my own messed up mind? Yep.
Will I continue to write in this way?
Until I no longer need to let go.