Sunday, January 25, 2015

Why I write

I've kept a journal for as long as I can remember. I started writing down my thoughts from the time I was in grade school and kept journals through my mid-thirties. My writing changed when I started this blog. No one, not even me, would want to read the sort of drivel I wrote in my journal on a daily basis. Nonsense, ramblings, internal drama that I needed to work out. It was cathartic at the time, but as a general rule I don't like reading back over my journal entries. The exception to this is when I wrote while traveling or living abroad - my journal entries take me right back to a camel ride in Cairo, a trail run in Vienna, a bottle of wine sipped underneath the Eiffel Tower...

I purchased these beautiful journals while living in Florence. They make me want to return to pen and paper. 

For me, writing blog posts is very different than writing in a journal. There are pros and cons and I waver back and forth as to which forum I like best. I am careful about what I write in this space, while I had zero filter when I wrote with paper and pen. I edit, rewrite, and sometimes censor my own thoughts and words on this blog. I stay true to myself always, but I think twice about revealing certain things or about how a particular story might sound to others. And unlike my journals, I enjoy going back through my blog posts and re-reading them now and then.

I came across this article the other day that considers whether the power of writing your personal story can lead to behavioral changes and improve happiness.
The concept is based on the idea that we all have a personal narrative that shapes our view of the world and ourselves. But sometimes our inner voice doesn’t get it completely right. Some researchers believe that by writing and then editing our own stories, we can change our perceptions of ourselves and identify obstacles that stand in the way of better health.
There are times when I am just itching to write about something that happened - knowing the process will bring clarity and resolution. I write about my struggles with balancing career and family on this blog often because the process of telling my story, even if no one reads or responds, helps me find perspective. Writing about a challenge or an unexpected triumph helps me learn and continue to grow. Writing ensures the experience doesn't leave me but continues to exist, stamped in time. 

These writing interventions can really nudge people from a self-defeating way of thinking into a more optimistic cycle that reinforces itself......Writing forces people to reconstrue whatever is troubling them and find new meaning in it.


If you've never written your way through something that is troubling you, I highly encourage you to try. It can be for your eyes only, or you could find your brave and send your thoughts out into vast cyberspace. You might be surprised by how it feels to write and rewrite your story.

1 comment:

  1. i remember you writing. those were good times!

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