I was chatting with someone over the weekend at San Diego Pride when I realized an interesting habit I have that might influence the way I perceive the world. We were talking about using writing as a way to process vs as a way to preserve memories. It’s a favorite topic of mine so apologies are extended to those who have suffered through my ranting. While I was thinking out loud, it dawned on me to ask:
“Do you write in the mornings or in the evenings?
“Do you write about the day ahead or the day before?”
“Usually the day ahead unless I’m having a hard time getting over something from the day before.”
UGH this was my rookie mistake. I write at the end of the day. I always have and very rarely write in the mornings unless it’s recapping a trip I took which is still obviously in the past. I’m also a chronic ruminator – it could easily be my middle name. I wonder how much of that has to do at the time of day when I write? If I switch to writing in the mornings vs evenings, how will my writing change? Will I write more about the future and less about the past?
I’m not sure but you better believe I’m going to try this out.
In the same conversation, I shared the idea of having your “rational” self speak to your irrational self via written word. I recently developed this strategy in the last couple of years – I’ll write down thoughts, statements, affirmations when I’m in a really good headspace then read them over when I’m quickly losing the grip on my mind and emotions. Reading over my own words and remembering that I was once in a frame of mind good enough to write them helps me hold on. It helps me remember that calm, rational state of mind that I can get back to. For most of 2016, I had a running document of “rational Anne” thoughts that I repeatedly turned to and edited as I ebbed in and out of more chaotic emotions.
While my rational self is more calming to read and far more structured, I adore my irrational, racing thoughts that I manage to scribble down from time to time. They are the thoughts that fire me up, make me think, and push me to the edge of myself.
Thinking about these 2 different dimensions (reflecting on the past vs future and irrational vs rational thoughts), it’s interesting to think about how I can mix and match. What does rational Anne write late at night? What does irrational Anne write in the morning? Crap – what about writing in the middle of the day?!
If you need me, I’ll be sitting in the corner of my apartment checking in with my emotional state scribbling down words 😉