January 8, 2014
“I have nights every now and again where I’m just laying there in the bed and thinking, ‘I gotta get up. I gotta get this idea down for a song.’ I still use a pen and a pad because if I get an idea I gotta write it down right away.” —Eminem, from Rolling Stone issue 1197, December 5, 2013.
This is so true. Years ago I went to a counselor because I was having prolonged insomnia. She told me to make sure I keep a pad and pen on my nightstand so that if I have a thought I can just write it down and be done with it and go back to sleep, instead of lying there while the thought spins around and around, keeping me awake and panicked.
I have been picking up the pad and pen a lot in the last couple of weeks, despite my writing hiatus. It has a little to do with the holiday blues and post-holiday blahs. It also has a little to do with this Brainpickings article I saw (thanks to Dani Shapiro) on the 2013 best books on writing and creativity.
It’s fantastically overwhelming, the wealth of information contained here. One thing that stuck out for me, though, is the power of journaling.
I’ve kept diaries on and off throughout my life. I’ve also shredded a good chunk of them, after re-reading them and wanting to pitch head first into catatonic depression from remembering how messed up I really used to be. And if anyone else ever saw these crazy scribblings, well, that would be real cause for an act of self-immolation. It was enough to make me wish I had a backyard fire pit so that I could toss the cringe-worthy contents of those notebooks into the flames, then blissfully watch them turn into ash, float away into the sky, and disappear forever.
After reading the Brainpickings article, though, (see No. 5, Maximize Your Potential), I picked the journaling habit back up again. It turns out that even though I have better coping mechanisms and a healthier ego than I did at, say, fifteen, and nineteen, and twenty-one, life never ceases to present conflicts, dilemmas, and just general angst. Getting it all out of my system and being forced to look at it from a new perspective has been my saving grace lately.
Hmm. I think I’ll start looking for sales on fire pits.