Retro Post: My Thoughts on Why I Write

The following is a post I made on an earlier iteration of the CrushedMuffin site. Below the post, I will toss in my current-state two-cents; what the “now” me thinks about what the “then” me wrote.

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My Thoughts On Why I Write

POSTED  10-AUGUST-2002
I think I’m a writer at heart, or rather, soul. As my current project I was was going through my filing cabinets, purging things I’ve had tucked away for who-knows-how-long, and I have found a lot (several folders full) of my creative writing. I also have, elsewhere (another project to go through) a box of journals. I think I started keeping them off and on around the fifth grade. I began to wonder why I write so much. I think it is in order to explain me to myself.Skimming my poetry, and setting it aside to type and save on a CD ROM disc (another new project) I see some creative imagery, but also a lot of introspection. I have, in the past, tried meditating, feeling it was important to try to find the inner me, what I mean to myself, my beliefs…my core. It never seemed to work. It has just occurred to me, 25 years into my life, that perhaps I don’t need the candles, the quiet music the lying still on the bed trying to relax my entire body and clear my mind. Perhaps I just need a pen and paper. I write to release my soul, to discover who I am.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not closing my eyes and doing that automatic writing exercise, where you let the pen do what it will, calling on whatever may be present in you. Rather, I figure things out on paper. I go through my thoughts, my mind, my soul, step by step I pick up the pieces, turn them over in my hands as I examining them in words, and place these pieces in a (hopefully) logical place in myself where I can find it again later. I write to get to know me.

Well, I’ve decided, once I begin that monumental task of typing all my handwritten prose, I’m going to select bits of my soul that I don’t mind sharing, and placing them on my writings page. And this writing- it started out as a write for myself, but I decided to invite an audience. Welcome to a little piece of my soul.

I think I’m going to try to write something, anything, for my website and change it out every week or two. It may be soul-searching, it may be a strong statement of my beliefs, it may be silly prose I come up with on a bad afternoon, but I have decided to invite you to join me in my life-long quest to understand myself.

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Current status: Well, I now have a two-drawer file cabinet full of folders of fiction, no fewer than eight three ring binders of novels and one of poetry (those are the ones correctly shelved, though I’m convinced I have at least one more novel somewhere). Additionally, I have electronic versions of the same stories, and of stories I’ve not yet had reason to print – on my computer, in the cloud, on flash drives and CDs.

I still journal, though for a while I was concentrating on the Morning Pages model from The Artists Way. I still have all these journals – stored away in my office in tubs and boxes and sitting on shelves.

I don’t recall how far I got typing in the handwritten pages, though I’ve had that thought (or scanning them) enough times since then that I think I didn’t get very far. At least not with the straight up journaling – A review of the old contents of crushedmuffin.com tells me I did manage to type up a significant portion of the fiction and poetry.

And I have considered traditional meditation again and again in the 13 years since this post (honestly, I was surprised to find that I had been trying it, or at least considering it, for so long – it feels like a more current development in my life). I think in some regards the younger me had more insight into how my brain works, or at least, more self awareness.

The idea that writing is how I explore my self, and come to know myself better feels both foreign (like it wasn’t my idea), and right. I wonder what has happened in the intervening years that made me lose sight of this – what convinced me that I need to seek other forms of meditation? I’m not discounting the fact that people change over the years, and how they interact with the world can subsequently change, but am opening myself up to the idea that maybe the younger me had some wisdom worth re-examining.

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