I started writing again. After a few years of starts and stops, too much self-editing, doubt about the value of my work and words, and significant depletion of resources – time and emotional energy. Honestly, the time I could have captured, it was the emotional energy to make it a priority that was the issue.
In my “I’m not a scientist” interpretation, stress affects our synapses, the neurotransmitters in the brain, essentially disrupting communication between cells (https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/stress-physically-alters-communication-in-the-brain). So, as my stress/survival mindset has shifted, and with the help of an amazing therapist, I am rebuilding the synapse in my brain. And making my way back to writing.
I signed back on to my blog (thank you for reading) and my attention was drawn to my “Drafts” folder: there were 16. To say they were incomplete drafts would be an overstatement by a lot. They are more accurately 16 thought fragments that popped out of my head and fell on the page. Splat! Is that all you’ve got Amanda? Yup, that’s it. Nothing to see here folks, let’s move that into the drafts.
I decided to dust off the drafts and construct complete thoughts and sentences and maybe use some cool words. Whenever I use cool words, not “splat” but real words, I think of my 7th-grade English teacher, Mrs. Blinn. She introduced me to the beauty of cool words. I still think of myself as recalcitrant, as she would describe me with a laugh. And, by the way, still true.
I also decided to dust off the things that were holding me back from sharing my writing. Who would read this? What will they think of me? Do I have anything of value to say? Guess what? It doesn’t matter. For me, writing is like exercise – I do it for myself. Unlike exercise, I enjoy it. As I recently shared with a friend, without language and words, my thoughts just ramble around my head looking for a way out until they become so exhausted they just wither and die in loneliness.
So here is my charge to you who love to write and are held back by fear, stress, sadness, time: undraft the draft. Put your words and thoughts out into the world. As I have discovered this week, someone may need to read what you have to say. You don’t have to write a book, start with 500 words on something that matters to you.
In the words of the amazing Toni Morrison, “If there’s a book (blog, essay, song) that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
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One Reply to “Undraft the draft”
What a pleasant surprise to see this! Thank you for splatting and cool words. 🙂
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