As wonderful as it is writing those perfectly flawed first draft scenes that give me butterflies, there’s a more serious reason why I write. This one focuses away from writing fiction and onto my zines and especially my journals.
This is that struggle I mentioned in the first part. This is the negative (yet ultimately positive) aspect to why I write.
It feels like it takes me forever to fill a journal; my last one took a little over two years, and I’m still not quite there (I counted, and there are about ten pages left). The pages are usually full of sorrowful thoughts because I don’t expect anyone else wants to hear them. I don’t even want to hear them. But when they don’t go away, I write them down and work through them. I make myself face them, even if I’ve written them a million times before because it’s what I have to do.
I think the struggle of writing that’s often talked about isn’t the process of writing, but the process of having to face yourself (at least for some of us). And I don’t always feel better when I do. It’s not that I’m writing to feel better; rather, I’m doing it to be truthful. I believe so much in honesty in writing, even if it’s kept to myself in the end. Sometimes it’s just as hard to be honest with myself as it is to be with others.
I write to acknowledge that these moments happen and to record them and to be able to look back when I have good days and remind myself that these things aren’t permanent. These feelings aren’t permanent. It’s all part of a cycle.
When I’m writing in my journal, I’m not writing for others. Sure, it might turn into a scrap of something that turns into a piece for my zine or blog, but that first, basic experience of writing just to write and get it out is all about me. It’s an act of self-care that I need to encourage and nurture myself.
I write for understanding and survival. I write for myself and my health. I write to form my thoughts and feelings into something I can understand because when they’re in my head they’re nothing but an ugly mess. I write to find the truth in my life and the ways I feel and to tell myself that it’s all legitimate. What I feel isn’t wrong; there are reasons for it. Sometimes I can work through them, or with them, and sometimes I just have to let them be.
If you haven’t, check out Part One.