Today the world hated me, or at least that is what my brain kept telling me, so I hated it back. I glared, stomped, argued, and spit my way through each hour. I mean, that is what I did until I managed to find a moment to sit and be alone with my pen. Turns out, the problem was me all along.
Sometimes, I just have days like that. I will wake up from a pounding dream bleeding the anxieties of yesterday into today. I will open my eyes, only to feel the creeping tenders of anxiety tighten as they crawl their way from gut to chest. On a good day, a long shower will be enough to refocus the negative ramble in my head. But on a bad day, well, on a bad day things just get worse. So, this is when I will write.
Though, let's be clear, this is also when I write crap. Mostly self-pitying, dark, dreary crap. But that is okay, because when I am writing during this moment, I am no longer thinking. And when anxious thoughts pervade, not thinking is a very good thing.
When I put that pen to paper, I spew venomous, ugly words across the page. I clear that dark cavernous dwelling in my head of feral bats and I project my crazy onto the page and soon return sanity to my world once again.
Wanna give it a try?
It is easy, really. Do you have that stash of pens and paper nearby? Remember the ones I said to put by your bed, in your pocket, in your bag, and in your car? Ya, that one. Go and get it.
Now find yourself a quiet corner to sit in. Just you. Tell your friends to piss off, your cat to find a scratch post and pull the battery from your cellphone.
Now, place your pen on the paper and close your eyes. Take a deep breath through your nose and let it out through your mouth. And again. Do this for as long as it takes you to centre your attention onto those thoughts.
Deep breath again.
When you are ready, open your eyes without looking around you. Look only at your paper and pen maintaining that centred focus on your thoughts.
Take another deep breath, let it out and breathe in again.
Now, when you are ready, when you can feel the words start to vibrate the tip of your pen, I want you to write. Let that pen run wild across the page. Don’t force it, but do let it go when it is ready. And, for gosh sakes, don’t stop until your pen slows and your mind quiets. Then breathe again.
Feel the difference?
Photo Credit: Marek Bernat
Jenn ‘Niffer’ Fryer is a mother, a wife and a writer, enthusiastically scribing her way through life as it continues to entertain her pen. Currently in her second year at Algonquin College’s Professional Writing program, Jennifer is actively putting her skills as a writer to positive and affecting use, both in her community and beyond.