It’s been a long time since I last blogged. I have been dealing with some big personal problems since March and haven’t had time for technical work or the will to blog on anything. I have however been doing a lot of private writing or journalling. So I would like to talk a little about writing as therapy.
So far I have written 73,000 words in 5 months in a private journal. According to the wikipedia entry on word count that is nearly enough words for two full length novels.
Every day I open a text editor and write about what has been going on, what I have been worrying about, and in particular – how I have felt. Some times I combine the writing with exercise, like riding my bike to a cafe with my laptop to write and think. If I don’t have my laptop I jot down a few notes on paper as thoughts enter my mind, then type them up later.
I think it helps. Perhaps getting the thoughts down means getting them out of your head. It makes you express the ideas clearly, rather than half formed thoughts. It’s really interesting to go back a few months, read what you wrote, and see your thoughts and emotions evolving.
Another useful technique is writing an email that you don’t send. When there is a lot of tension it can be really difficult to write an email. It’s easy to tie yourself in knots trying to get the wording right. It’s hard to write while trying to avoid offense or unnecessary hurt. But the problem is you really need to express the bad stuff. Unfortunately if you say what you really feel, or even just mess up the wording, it can make the situation much worse.
So I have gotten into the habit of writing what I really feel, then not sending the email. Sometimes it helps to print it, or just save it as a draft. Tip: remove the intended recipient from the “To:” box – avoids embarrassing accidents.