Journals and writing

I love writing in a journal. People who know me well know I’ve always kept one. I’ve even found scraps of paper, tucked away in secret drawers, scribbled with the feelings and angst of my grade-school self. The need to put my thoughts into words has been there a long time, and even now, I feel a sense of panic when I get to the end of one journal and discover I don’t have another one on standby. Journal writing has always been there for me, like a safe haven.

For me, writing stories is something different entirely. It ain’t no safe haven. When I write stories, I feel like I’ve sailed into a wild sea with no idea which way is north. The process tosses me around, submerges me in dark waters from which I sometimes feel I cannot surface.

Yet journal writing has helped me with story writing. When I started writing stories, the process of putting the thoughts running around in my head onto the page was a familiar one. Rooting around in my brain for just the right words, trying out different phrases to fit exactly what I needed to say, and the patience and persistence I sometimes needed as I circled the elusive thought was something I was used to. Journal writing helped link my head and my heart to my pen, and it carried over to the keyboard.

Maybe writing stories is hard because I don’t feel a sense of control, and sometimes I tend to try to control too much. I don’t try control my journal writing, I just let the ideas flow with no sense of responsibility. Perhaps I could learn again from journal writing and let up a little on that pressure that the writing has to be something. Maybe letting up will give the writing the actual freedom to be that something.

Or maybe writing is just damned hard, and I should just suck it up. Maybe if I do that I’ll feel less angst about it.

Hmmm, something to feel angst about. I should write about this in my journal! 😉