Scrapstorian Stream of Consciousness

I emailed Shar and Brande yesterday and told them this:

“I think I need to write more and I would like to be more open on the blog. I started a timer and just wrote for 15 minutes … I haven’t done this in a long time. Please be kind. 🙂 I want to hear how you guys feel about having more of our stories on the blog before I consider publishing this.”

Part of scrapping our stories and owning them is telling them out loud. I used to consider myself a writer, or at the very least, I wanted to consider myself a writer. Well, I can’t be a writer if I don’t write. So consider this the inaugural Scrapstorian Stream of Consciousness. (Many moons ago, in another incarnation of this blog. I did this often and linked up with Stream of Consciousness Sunday at All things Fadra.)

Here’s what 15 minutes of free writing (no editing, except for typos) turned into:

I’ve been dreaming about writing. Fully formed thoughts/posts/responses/poems come to me in that space between asleep and awake, that time of the morning when your brain is trying to being the day but your limbs are still heavy, weary. I half-dream that I am reading long pieces of prose, which I see word for word in my mind’s eye. I don’t know what they say, only that I wrote them. It’s as if I have some sort of perfect memory that records these words and plays them back. But is isn’t memory. It isn’t real. When I fully awake, the words are gone. The idea of them remains, but the words, however good or bad they might have been, are gone. I don’t know what they wanted to tell me. I don’t know what they wanted to tell you. I don’t know if they’ll come back. I don’t know how to get them out. I only know they are in there, somewhere under the grocery lists, school schedules, workout plans and song lyrics that clutter my brain. They are hiding, just under all those bits that cover the spaces between where I am and where I want to be. They are quiet, lurking, barely out of reach. I can’t predict when the dreams will show them to me. I can’t guess when I will “read” them again. I can only write, again and again and again and hope that I make space for them to appear.

I just read Glennon Doyle Melton explain that reading and writing are her ways to inhale and exhale. I used to know that. I used to spill my soul in ink. Bad poems and rhyming couplets got me through high school. I wrote because I wanted to and everyone around me expected me to. I wrote because I was good, I thought I was, I was told I was. And then …

I let go of my relationship with/dependence on/joy of writing years ago. I found other creative outlets – scrapbooking, art journaling, mixed media art. I told myself it wasn’t what I wanted anymore. At some point, I started believing that. Friends and family stopped asking when I would write a book. I stopped looking back at old poems. I stopped carrying a notebook everywhere I went. I stopped waking up to jot down the bits and pieces of prose in the middle of the night.

I used to completely get the Hemmingway quote, “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit at a typewriter and bleed.” I swear, I felt it in my bones. I used to bleed. And then I was afraid to bleed, afraid if I started to bleed, I wouldn’t stop. Afraid the wounds wouldn’t heal and everyone would see my scars. And yet, here we are. I am bleeding, to the extent one can on a 15 minute timer. I am opened up, I am wounded but I am here.

This is more than I thought I could let out in a 15 minute stream of consciousness. It feels jumbled and hurried and necessary and amazing all at the same time. It feels heavy handed and dramatic and as true as I can make it. It feels weird and uncomfortable and honest and raw and crazy and maybe I am all of those things.

Time’s up.

Scrapstorian-sig-cher

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7 comments

  1. I felt every word. . . I’ve had a similar love, hate relationship with writing. Have delved into other creative substitutes thinking it would bury the urge for writing. It has not! For me it has been a lot about thinking it’s never good enough. . . judging it before I even give it a chance. I so appreciate you making yourself vulnerable enough to share your heart. It has given me the courage to forge ahead with this buried desire. . . Bless you Cheryl and keep on writing 🙂

    • Yes! The not good enoughs come up, always. Thank you Gail for reading and for reminding me that I’m not alone. Please come back and let us know when you’re ready to share some writing! We would love to read it.

  2. Wow, this confirms you are my hero – both in the courage to put yourself out there AND in your exceptional grammar and punctuation skills. An awesome read Cheryl, thank you for sharing.

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