Posts Tagged ‘ writing ’

Writing as Therapy

In case you haven’t already noticed, I pretty much love writing.

My relationship with writing has been an interesting one. When I was a kid, I hated writing. I did everything I could to avoid school writing, and I harbored a bias against it through most of my teenage life. It wasn’t until I took writing 121 that I realized how valuable the writing my mom had required of me had given me a foundation to succeed at literary pursuits, and once I got the nudge from writing class, that was it.

I’ve been hooked ever since.

Recently I’ve been mulling over the therapeutic powers of writing. Last Friday night, when I was writing about my dance journey, I discovered some conclusions that I didn’t know needed to be reached.

And last night when I was trying to draft a blog about some of the conclusions I discovered, it turned into page after page of me just letting some thoughts out into the open (most of which I’ll never publish, that’s for sure.)

I’ve decided that writing is such effective therapy for me because I have difficulty opening up and talking to people about difficult times. The issues I was journaling through last night were leftover from about two years ago, and at the time I wouldn’t talk to anyone about them– I only talked to my brother, once, and that reluctantly. He and my sister encouraged me to find someone to talk to, but was so self-conscious about burdening other people with my issues, and I was prideful enough to think I could deal with this hard time by myself.

I thought I had long ago made peace with these ghosts, but while I was mulling over the message from church last night I realized there were some pretty dire sins I had committed during that phase that I had to release from my mind. The redemption is already received, but the sins had never been confessed or even acknowledged.

Surprisingly, I feel an intellectual freedom about these issues and neuroses from that time of my life that I’ve never felt before. Suddenly, if someone asked I could talk about them– and this just from writing about them. I wrote my story, remembered some painful memories, acknowledged wrongdoing and stupidity, and suddenly they don’t matter.

All of these were things I vaguely mentioned last week when I was talking about time travel, and now even more than then I would not go back to change a thing.

I’m mostly just glad that I’ve finally and concretely figured out why writing is such a release for me.

Is writing, art, or music a form of therapy for you? Do they at all measure up to actual counseling? I want your opinions– let me know in the comments.

Why Cover Letters are Awkward.

I think I’m funny. Today I’m blogging early because I’m procrastinating on writing cover letters.

Getting one job done while procrastinating on the other is something  I’m an expert at.

Unfortunately, I find cover letters (and job interviews for that matter) to be rather awkward. What you basically have to say is, “I’m awesome, and here are the reasons you should hire me,” and with all my confidence and finesse I still find it difficult to write or say those things without sounding insufferably egocentric.

Job hunting is something I’ve always despised, and it only gets harder the older I get.

For some reason when I was fifteen, going to places and being like “Hire me!” was a lot simpler. I didn’t have to write cover letters– Heck, I didn’t even have a resume put together. Somehow, suddenly, I landed a job at a candy store. Go me, right?

But now I’m twenty and I want a real proper job. Suddenly I want more than minimum wage, and suddenly it takes work to acquire work.

Being a grown up person is full of lamesauce and fail.

I feel sad that I am struggling with writing a cover letter when words are supposed to be my specialty. Just last week I was exulting in my newfound ability to make people react to my writing how I wanted them to react, so I guess I just need to communicate that superpower into my cover letters, like a Jedi Mind trick.

Still, it’d be a lot easier and a lot less awkward if I could use the Force to make potential employers understand why they should hire me.

Why Central Oregon gives me Writer’s Block.

So as anyone who’s been following by writing may have noticed, I’ve been writing a great deal more since I moved to Portland area. I noticed too, and have obliged myself by moving to a Monday, Wednesday, Friday blogging schedule.

However, I’ve learned something strange.

Whenever I’m at home in Central Oregon, my newfound wellspring of literary creativity dries up.

I am dumber at home.

Since I hate feeling dumb, I’ve come up with a few theories as to why this may be the case.

In Redmond, I have a lot of people to have conversations with. When I have conversations, I’m bouncing ideas, solidifying opinions, and airing complaints. All of those are things I write about, so when I’m saying them out loud I never get around to writing them down, and then I forget the specifics.

My second theory is that Redmond is just too normal. The population is significantly smaller, so there are just not enough bizarre and fascinating people to observe and write about. In Redmond, I’m not going to see an old man falling asleep on the bus, or a black-clad twenty-something male screaming song lyrics in the bus shelter.

Thirdly, life at home is just straight up easy. Writing is a way for me to sort out struggles in my brain and heart, and when I’m not struggling at all I don’t have much to say. I don’t have to.

Fourth, when I’m at home I have an active enough social life that I don’t block out time to write, especially when I’m here for a short visit. For example, I’m at home right now, but since I’ve only been here to work for three days, I’ve been spending all my free time talking with my family or my friends (see theory number one,) and right now I’m stalling my friends just so I can get this published.

My last theory is that there is just too much sunshine in Central Oregon. When I have sufficient levels of Vitamin D in my system, I don’t worry as much, so I don’t think as much, so I don’t write as much. Rain always puts me in a contemplative mood– that’s part of the reason I chose Portland, and contemplative moods for Bethany is equivalent to a writing mood.

Therefore, I am going home to the rain and large population tomorrow, and hopefully the strange people and vitamin D deficiency will jump-start my fount of literary blessing.

Adios, Sunshine!

A post! Against all odds!

Every time I take keyboard in lap to write a new blog, I think to myself, “This is going to be the best blog yet!”

And then, like a bolt of lightning, it hits me.

Writer’s block.

I always imagined writer’s block looking something like this.

In case you couldn't tell, I just drew that.

As in a giant block with discouraging, taunting words written all over it, sitting atop my desk, blocking my from my keyboard/computer monitor/writing implements. (Since I no longer have a desk or a mouse this drawing is rather innaccurate to reality, but right now that is irrelevant.)

Whenever I’m struck with a particularly bad case of writer’s block, the old adage comes to mind– “Write what you know.”

I don’t know about you guys, but if I wrote what I know it’d be as boring as my grandmother’s monologues about which doctors she met at church this week.

Can you tell I'm on a pen tablet kick?

See? This blog is what happens when I write what I know. I think that my horrible drawings are all that are redeeming this.

Writer’s block sucks.

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