Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Write Yourself Alive Course Progress

It's day 13 of Tyler Knott and Andrea Balt's 'Write Yourself Alive' course, and I can't believe it. Almost 2 weeks in, and I have quite literally wrote myself dead. These prompts are painful. Often, the prompt of the day left me staring at my computer screen for up to two hours, trapped in my own metaphors, unable to find the precise arrangement of words to properly convey what I was hoping to.

There's pain in honesty, in writing about situations that have scarred you, that you had managed to successfully bury deep for quite some time. There's pain in writing about people that hurt you. To put something in ink means to confront the situation, and accept it. That's painful, and sometimes, a self-induced death sentence. In order to move a matter to ink, you have to pull it out of the great depths of your soul, where it's been hidden for so long.

For Days 1-5 I was committed to honesty. I allowed myself to confront those situations that used to hold so much power over me. I was determined to confront my demons, release them on paper, then stifle them in ink. I felt empowered. I would write my responses to each prompt religiously before I went to bed each night. Writing at night, and writing in the morning is some of the best times, because you have the silence.

By day 5, I grew a sense of arrogance in my words. If I was writing about someone who hurt me, I wanted them to know it. You hurt me, it sucked, I sorted it out in ink. Let's move on. Of course, what's the fun in writing about someone who wronged you, if they don't know you did it? Reed it, and weep. What's the point of apologizing to someone, if they've never read it? You did wrong, and so did I, let's move past it. Each person I wrote about, I sent them the piece they inspired. While I didn't receive any responses, I was never expecting that I would.

While I promised I would open up my wounds, and release the pain, only for a brief moment, and then move past the situation, I submit to the pain. Have mercy. Some things hurt too much to be in ink. I created limits for myself- 'no write zones' so to speak. When you get even the slightest feel of heat when one of your limbs accidentally brushes the oven, you don't hold it there, you move your hand. You're gonna get burned. 

My schedule this semester is hectic, far too much for me, probably. Instead of allowing myself to enjoy 20 minutes a day of doing what I love, I submit to the chaos. I must get as much done as possible, as quickly as possible. I must not rest. I don't have the time to write. The excuses are our comfort blanket for taking action, that we know will change our lives. We are not ready to accept change. I am not ready to accept change.

What I realized is how good I felt after I finally gathered the right words, in the right order to convey what I had to say. I felt powerful. I felt the release. What a relief. I feel no better leaving the words trapped inside me, to flow through my veins, and dance around my brain, than I do cutting open the vein, and letting it all drip out. It may hurt, but all wounds heal. It hurts less to let it out, than it does to fight everyday to keep it in. Like John Mayer said, "say what you need to say."

Two weeks in, I may have tapped out a few times, kicked my feet, and threw my fists in protest, but I am determined to reunite with my keyboard. I owe it to myself to devote the time each day to do what I love. The hardest part is the first glide across the keys, than the hardest part is prying my tight, cramped fingers off the keyboard. If the name of the course is in fact true to the title, two weeks in is the point I should begin to write myself back to life, It only makes sense that in order to 'write yourself alive,' you first have to write yourself to death.

For these final two weeks, I promise to commit the time necessary each day to complete the prompts. I will break down my walls, and release my tongue to say whatever it needs to say the most to feel free again. I will not protect myself with the comfort of excuse after excuse, and let myself bleed as needed. These final two weeks I will be committed, honest, and fearless. These next two weeks I will write myself back to life.

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