I’ve been writing, as a form of expression, since I was a kid.
First it was short stories, then it became poetry – I mixed in some lyrics from time to time – then mostly back to poetry, with a brief infusion of reflections, some technical stuff, and even company processes and newsletters.
It’s what I do.
I even have a minor in it.
… and American History, with a strong focus on Native American studies.
I am a writer.
At some point in high school, when I was fording the waters of emotions and angst, I would get a few beers in me on the weekends, and type my creative thoughts down – with the intention of writing them in my journal the next day (for posterity).
The Word file on my computer was titled “Write When Sober”.
Eventually I realized that posterity was overrated, which coincided with the worldwide adoption of electronic devices that you could store in your pocket and write whenever – so I completely gave up on writing these musings down and just stuck to my, ever-growing, Word file.
That file is over 200 pages long and currently lives on a computer which I can’t access for numerous reasons – but it’s still here, waiting for repair.
That said – I find writing to be the best outlet for anyone looking to get an idea or some emotions out.
Sad fact, it goes hand in hand with drinking – and some folks even think they’re better off – as writers – when they’re a little banged up.
And some are.
Fact is, though I have benefited from moments of levity while drunk or stoned, I am at my best when I am myself. I have realized, at almost 40 years old, that everything I am trying to say when I am under the influence is already there – I was just using chemicals to make it easier to get out of my head.
If I’m being honest, my writing has become more constant and consistent since I sobered up. I’ve always remembered the reason I wrote them the next day, but with this unending supply of clarity, I can now get my point across without getting to out there. Because, believe me, some of what I have written is out there.
Brass tacks: I am an introvert trapped inside of an extrovert. So writing has been a godsend.
I have long struggled with sharing my deep down feelings because I didn’t want to upset the flight of the cosmos – but in reality, what do you have to lose? Why not just get your thoughts and feelings out there and see what bounces back?
In short – say what you need to say and let the chips fall where they may.
If you can get through an awkward situation, sober – you can walk through fire without getting burned.
… That’s metaphorical, don’t get weird.
Approach it this way – keep a journal and don’t think of it as you trying to write something, because then you get caught up and start to think that you don’t know how to write.
Just express yourself. No one has to read it unless you want them to. But you should be expressing yourself.
No one was meant to keep all those thoughts in their head – good, bad, and otherwise.