journals

she knows better than to write.

If a handmade journal buried under a decimated barn on the outskirts of the smallest town in a small state can be found, so can these words.

A fifteen-year-old girl cries on the inside, but can’t seem to manifest tears.  The secrets want to stay secret.  The child wants to be grown.

She is crying but her face is dry, and instead, she sobs ink.   A fountain pen, like her father’s, loops across the page.  An error is made and she puts a fine line through it, the way her mother taught her.

Nothing bad has happened.

Nothing bad ever happens because she is loved– loved by great people.  They can’t protect her from natural disaster, death, and disease, but they make those problems seem small.  They are giants, and she is their precious treasure, cradled safely in their hands.

Still, she weeps.  Each tear, a word.  Each word, a painful piece of a puzzle that she cannot understand.

An interruption.  Her brother.

She smiles.  Everything is gonna be okay.  She promises. She lies.  He leaves.

She cries her story out in full and locks it away.  She buries it– gifts it to the Earth.  The Earth who has the strength to bear it.

The next day the pond floods and crumbles the building around her words.   The next week, the remains of the old crumbled barn catch fire.  The next month, the area of land is scooped up with her words, and taken far away.

And a year later, or maybe it was ten years later, a kindly woman sends the words of an aching child back home to the one who bore them.

The words are haunting, humiliating, and undrinkable.

A cold, dirty glass of tears.

She tastes it– gulps it– and lives the story again for the first time in years.

The story is a happy one because no bad things happen.

But it fills her with emotion.  Every emotion.

And she does not have the strength of the Earth, or the will to ask such a favor of it again.

She is exploding, from the inside out, but there is no blood.

She is bleeding, but her skin is dry, and instead she bleeds ink.

She knows better than to write.

If a handmade journal buried under a decimated barn on the outskirts of the smallest town in a small state can be found, so can these words.

She knows better than to let them spread, but she cannot stop the explosion.

__________________________________________________

This is about my writing process.  A true story mixed with hyperbolic reactions.  I was in a strange mood today.  The sort of mood that makes you write things you regret one day later, or 10 years later, because you’re experiencing the emotions of the moments at a high.  I wrote a few posts that I knew I’d regret, saved them to draft, and then stumbled upon Trifecta’s weekend challenge.  They are asking people to summarize your writing process in just 3 words.  I can’t do 3 words for the link up, but I know the process goes a little something like this each time.  When I write, I overindulge my emotions, whatever they happen to be.  All my weird thoughts kept pointing to this story, and so I wrote it.

I came back to write this explanation just so no one worries or thinks I’ve gone bonkers more bonkers.

What’s your writing process?  Do you write at emotional highs for effect, or save those stories for later days?

85 comments

  1. I write everything in my head (poems, fiction, musings) and write it down later – so I get a cooling off period before it hits the page!
    Sometimes when I’m on an emotional… okay, not high, but slighter “more up” than “down” I write stuff in my head that seems good at the time.

    The posts often get written, but they’re usually toned down.

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    1. I usually write with a cooling off period, as well. Well, since I got a little older and realized that hyperbole at 15 reads like manic-insanity at 28. I try not to be too dramatic now for fear of not being able to read my words without cringing when I turn 50. 🙂

      Thanks for reading!!

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      1. When you’re fifty you’ll smile as you read, realizing the magnificence of discovery. Write away, in fact. 😉

        Wonderful, Raura.

        Meredith

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    1. Exactly! The story of my journal is one I use to remind godkids/nieces/nephews/etc to mind their words, because words are eternal! Words aren’t a secure place to house emotions because it just spreads from writer to reader… it’s always important to keep that in mind. Yeah. I’m the crazy aunt. 😉

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  2. Wow, powerful and interesting. It made me think about so many things on so many levels, for which I say thank-you.

    As for my writing process – I really don`t have one. I get home late from work, open my lap top to ùn wind`and wait to see what flows. Sometimes I`m grumpy, heard news that flicked a switch, but mostly I simply open the computer and watch what comes out 🙂

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  3. I loved this idea — inky tears. Beautifully imagined, Rara!

    I don’t think I have a process. Sometimes I just sit down and do a stream of consciousness. Then I look at it and say “this is crap” and start again. Sometimes I post, sometimes I don’t. But I think about stories and ideas all the time and often work out the best bits in the shower or the car. Then I manage to get them down!

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    1. Thank you, Elyse! 🙂 The shower and the car are great areas to get in the zone. Probably because that pesky keyboard isn’t around to confuse us there. 🙂

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  4. I think this is one of the best pieces you’ve written (well of all the ones I’ve read).
    Sobs ink – beautiful, A cold dirty glass of tears – superb.
    You might be towering geeky blogger rara but I think you’re really a writer 🙂
    xox

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  5. Beautiful words!

    My process depends on what I’m trying to write. If it’s a more serious, issues & ideas type piece, i sometimes write a rough outline and try to gather any links/quotes that I want to use before I actually start writing. These pieces usually float around in my head for awhile before anything gets planned or written, actually. Occasionally the words will come to me at super inconvenient times (like when I’m driving) and I have to stop (in the case of driving, literally pull over) and scribble them down to save for later. Then when I do get to writing, everything I need is there and I can just go into the “zone.” Then I’ll usually let it sit for at least one overnight before I go over it again with fresh eyes, tweak or completely mangle it depending on how I feel, until it feels ready. If it’s a lighter piece, like humor, travel writing stuff, or writing challenges, etc, I usually just go at it and might publish it right away once I’m satisfied.

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    1. I love the zone! 🙂 Thanks for sharing a bit of your process. It’s kinda like taking a tour of the inside of someone’s mind! And thanks for reading! 😀

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  6. I love this post. What a wonderful way to describe your process! It also speaks a warning to younger people who write everything on the internet – it’s easier to have your words haunt you down the line this way than a journal buried in the earth!

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    1. I know! That aspect of the story is entirely true and it’s one I re-tell to my nieces and nephews. Be careful what you write– Words always find a way!

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  7. My writing process? It’s like trying to untangle snarled string. I pick at a clump of ideas or images or people or events, trying to find a loose end where I can start to unravel the mess…and once I can find my way in to the middle of the tangle, I pick it up and try to knit it into something useful or decorative, or at least unexpected.

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  8. Imaging,sublime…”each tear a word”. Thank you for deciding to share that gem of a piece. My process is so much in my head until i feel done there and can carve out some time to type it out in one flow. Then let it bake a little longer and revisit it a few times. What i love about blogging is that i can go back months later and still tweek even after i hit publish.

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    1. I like to tweak, too… it’s the reader in me, I think. Something can always be a smoother read! Thanks for sharing a piece of your process, and for reading! 🙂

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  9. My writing often goes very very crazy when I write at emotional highs. It’s at those moments that I feel everything rising up all at once like some kind of volcano, with ideas spewing out haphazardly. Sometimes the final product is nice, but it is often skittish; the way my brain really is inside. I guess these spewings sometimes turn out kind of nice in an ugly way.

    But hyperbole? I LOVE hyperbole. I find myself using it a lot and have to rein it in a lot sometimes before the entirety of the story becomes one massive symbol for something else. My favourite writing mood is when I am calm and things are clear. Then the good ideas rise above the bad ones and I write something half decent…if I am lucky.

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    1. I also enjoy writing more in the “calm and clear” frame of mind that I think of as “the zone”. But when I’m at a peak, I fling myself into hyperbole wholeheartedly, 🙂 Your explanation of your writing process sounds very similar to mine! 😀 Thank you for reading and sharing a peek of the inside of your mind!!

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  10. I love the image of crying ink–would be a much more subtle way to channel emotions and I wouldn’t embarrass myself having to find a tissue every single time a Hallmark commercial comes on TV!

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    1. 😀 My mom is the sort that cries through Hallmark commercials, so I’m always partial to people who do. *hugs* But yes, I have my crying moments, but mostly… I channel it! 🙂

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    1. Ah, you have the gift of succinctness! I do not, but it is the writer’s characteristic that I most admire. “Emote, hide, revel!” – I love it, because it is exactly right. 🙂 Thanks for reading!

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        1. 🙂 To be succinct is the gift of “compact precise expression without wasted words”. Whenever I edit my pieces, I always think… I could have said it in half the words!

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  11. Ah, Rara, such sadness. I wrote a journal – among many – from 17-21, typed it up and gave it a title, “Once There Was Laughter.” I thought to save it for the day my 17 y/o daughter would shout, “You don’t understand!” Sadly, no daughter, but lots of people found something in it. A reminder of their times, perhaps.

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    1. I think around that age that we’re all in the same space, mentally. Some have more cause than others to be sad, but there’s just a tad of torment and loneliness embedded in the growing up process. I love the title, and I’d be interested in reading it one day should you ever decide to pass it on. 🙂 Thank you for reading!

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      1. You’re right. I am always astounded people want to go back to that time period. Not in a million years…. I’d be delighted to have you read it – there’s some wild bits and utter redundancy – just say’n. 🙂

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  12. Hmm… I like it a lot; I think it’s brilliant and wish it didn’t have the disclaimer, but it would make me uncomfortable to read if you were uncomfortable. I know that sounds weird, but I’m ok with that. My creative writing process? Is that I just write it, but I have written something I regretted and edited and regretted editing lol so I try not to do that anymore. I don’t want to hurt anyone. It’s just that I’m not ready to start hiding it in the notebook again. During interact, I write live.

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    1. Thank you, Meka! 🙂 Yes, I published it without the disclaimer… but then I’ve made so many friends on here that I didn’t want to them to worry about the abrupt change in tone. 🙂 “I write live” – love that! Thanks for reading! 🙂

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      1. Probably not very many of them. Probably most of them die for the same reason mine did. All the good things in mine were sort of weighed down by the tone of complaining!

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  13. It takes guts (avoiding the other manly body part name ) to put your pure,undiluted emotions on paper and exposing them for the world to see, no matter how hyperbolic…so, hats off you to Rara! It was beautiful, I loved it, the imagery, the flow, the emotions in brought out of me…us, all of us who read this! Awesome ! 😀

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  14. A thoughtful, well written piece that touched me in unexpected ways. Writers and poets have piles of work they don’t think deserves the light of day– it makes them better at their craft. It might do for all writers to take a look at the pile and see jewels.

    So glad you wrote and posted this.

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    1. Thank you, Dannie! I appreciate your words and your insights. I like the idea of searching in our hideaways for jewels! Thank you for reading. 🙂

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  15. I write only when I feel ‘sober’ and ‘sane’. I admit that it’s not ‘me’, but by trying to reason the emotion through writing soberly, I learn to overcome.

    But I like your sharing, ‘bleeding with ink’ is something I need to learn, too, perhaps 🙂

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