I write to make sense out of life. Perhaps Flannery O’ Connor said it best, “I write because I don’t know what I think until I read what I say.” Amen. There’s nothing like just getting it all out there on paper or a Word document to make me realize how I feel about a situation. Freeing the words from spinning on the hamster wheel of my mind makes them manageable, right-sized. All of a sudden the situation that seemed impossible or bizarre or hurtful or confusing just a moment ago actually makes at least some sense after writing about it. As I write, more is revealed to me in each word, sentence, paragraph and page. By the end I might even have a plan to address the situation. Most of the time though I realize it just has been addressed. It’s effectively over in my heart and in my mind. Simply writing it out stripped it of some of its power. Sweet freedom.
Now if that’s not a good reason to try writing, I don’t know what is. I mean, whom among us doesn’t deal with times of the same tired old three or four thoughts circulating around and around and around our heads with no relief in sight? I’d encourage you to just start writing the next time you can’t sleep or are distracted by what someone did or said or find yourself irritated for no particular reason. Don’t edit, just write. And get specific. Write the dark, the dirty, the unsavory, the fears or suspicions you wouldn’t ever say out loud. No one has to read it. Heck, you don’t even have to read it afterwards if you don’t want to. In fact, you probably won’t want to because IT WILL BE OVER.