Writing Out the Crap

I know, I know, I know. It’s been awhile since I’ve written a post. Or maybe you didn’t notice, which is okay. I still love you. Why wouldn’t I? You’re my people!

All week long I’ve been mulling over ideas of what to write. The ideas seemed to ebb and flow with my moods as disappointment and challenges kicked in during the week. Some days I was ready to  dig in my heels and write an uplifting post, still other days I wanted to get up on my soapbox and spout off a little. You see, I have a real problem with all the unfairness in the world, of people behaving badly, or simply not having a thoughtful bone in their body. It bugs me and, honestly, sometimes makes me want to retreat from the world and pull the blanket up over my head.

But I have a secret weapon, one that allows me to work through the crap in my life. Yeah, you’ve got it—writing. I know that’s what you’d expect me to say—me being a writer and all—but I believe that we all need to give voice to some of the things that are troubling us from time to time. Some people are verbal and can articulate what’s on their mind very well. Other people are verbal and well…Maybe they need to give writing a try because it just gets a little messy otherwise.. You don’t have to be a fiction writer and make up stories, just writing down the everyday can often help. I don’t mean the I did this and went here and did that’s. I mean really, you’ve got to get into the meat of things, the stuff that bugs you, the people who ticked you off, the ones who broke your trust or were mean or simply haven’t got time for you.

I mentioned this to a teacher friend recently, this writing out the crap thing that I do from time to time. It helps, really it does. It frees me to come to a clean page and start a fresh new writing session when I’ve got things bugging me that I just can’t shake. I mean, how can you allow the words to flow when you’ve got a swell of emotions damned up inside you? Many times we keep churning that crap around in our heads all day. Some people do it at night. Some people do it all day and night. For me, there’s something powerful about writing out what I’m feeling when I’m encountering life’s disappointing times. And since no one is ever going to read it, I can whine and complain and lament to my heart’s content. Because seriously, if you live in the world, you’re going to experience some crap in your life. I don’t care who you are. Even if you appear to be the most happy, bubbly person in the world. And remember, when crap happens in your life you can have a secret weapon too! Try writing out that crap and see how you feel.

While I think of it, I love the lyrics to the song “Bleed Red” by Ronnie Dunn.  I’ve added them below. It reminds me to keep other people in mind as I go through my day, good or bad, and that I’m not the only person who’s having a crappy day. “We all bleed red–the words get stuck in my head from time to time when I’ve got things on my mind. I hope they resonate with you in some way, too.
 

Bleed Red

Let’s say were sorry, before it’s too late, give forgiveness a chance
Turn the anger into water; let it slip through our hands
We all bleed red, we all taste rain, all fall down, lose our way,
We all say words we regret, we all cry tears, we all bleed red

If we’re fighting, we’re both losing; we’re just wasting our time
Because my scars, they are your scars and your world is mine
You and I, we all bleed red, we all taste rain, all fall down, lose our way
We all say words, we regret, well cry tears, we all bleed red
Sometimes we’re strong, sometimes we’re weak, sometimes we’re hurt and it cuts deep
We live this life, breath to breath, we’re all the same; we all bleed red

Let’s say we’re sorry…
Before it’s too late…

We all bleed red, all taste rain, all fall down, lose our way,
We all say words we regret, we all cry tears we all bleed red,
Sometimes we’re strong, sometimes we’re weak; sometimes we’re hurt
It cuts deep; we live this life breath to breath; we’re all the same
We all bleed r-e-e-e-d-d-d

Oh, and to my Canadian readers, Happy Thanksgiving. If you’d like to share something you’re thankful for in the comments that would be great.

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31 Comments

  1. Thank you Laura. I haven’t written out the crap in ages but I have done so in the past. When I was still in the workforce, I’d write about what bothered me before leaving for work. It felt like a breath of fresh air.
    Happy Thanksgiving to you as well. Right now, I’m thankful for your post. ❤

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    • It really does work, doesn’t it, Tess? And I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who does this. I go through times when I forget how helpful it is but eventually turn back to writing out the crap. I hope you have a great weekend. 😀

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  2. I was given a diary in my teens but once it was filled, I stopped writing. It wasn’t until I was married with teenagers of my own that I started filling scribblers. It proved to be the perfect therapy for me during a particularly difficult time, and I’ve continued to fill journals ever since. My journals took on a different purpose when I began writing fiction — sometimes I wrote about my frustration or discouragement, and other times it was plot ideas and character development. Whatever the topic, I agree writing is wonderful therapy.

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    • That’s kind of what I love about this. There is no right or wrong way. It doesn’t matter if we whine or plot. The page is ours to love or to hate, but always to help. It helps us discover things about ourselves as well. Yes, great therapy!

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  3. Thoughtful post, Laura, and one that resonates with me. I write a lot of things down that are for just my eyes, but I also sometimes find the thoughts that get written on the page (or on my screen), can be reworked to become more universal than personal, so that is a bonus, right?
    Happy Thanksgiving to you–I hope you enjoy a peaceful, thankful weekend with family and friends.

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  4. Dianne

     /  October 9, 2015

    Wise words Laura,we all need a place to express ourselves. There are so many times I wish i could say what I really felt. Thank you,Now to business,you best(pardon the pun) soon publish a new book as my bookmark from your last book is getting pretty worn and maybe a bit chewed on from my lovely great neice,lol

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    • Thanks, Diane. Yeah, I know. I’m a slow writer and I happen to jump around a lot. Wish I had more bookmarks I’d send your great niece a new one. 😉

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  5. I’m glad we’re given ways of expression to rid ourselves of the ‘crap’ in our lives, be it through writing, or dancing, or singing, or drawing, or painting, or building, or gardening, or running … or any number of things. I think writing is one of the best ways. though, because you can recreate the ‘crap’ in words and then destroy them. (just my opinion)

    I’m thankful for SO MUCH. A recent major “thank You, Lord!” is my husband retiring October 1, pre-65.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Laura!

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    • Writing certainly does it for me, especially those time when you know a verbal response will only get you in hot water. 😉 Congrats to your husband on a early retirement. Wonderful! 😀 Happy Thanksgiving, Lynn.

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  6. I’ve written out the emotions, too. And you’re right. It makes a big difference. I’m thankful for so much–family, friends, health–but lately, as a big birthday approaches, I’m thankful to be following my writing dreams more positively than ever before. I don’t think I’ve ever been so creative as I have in the past two-three years, and it’s pretty cool.

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    • Isn’t it wonderful when we go through a time when the creative juices keep flowing. I love to hear this and here’s to continued success. Happy Thanksgiving, Heather.

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  7. I am very verbal and until recently, always had friends and family around to talk things out. Since I moved to Spain, I miss that. So I am now writing it out more and find it very satisfying. I am thankful that my younger brother is recovering well from his third brain surgery. Have a fun and Happy Thanksgiving Laura!!

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  8. Thanks for the post, Laura. I really learned the value of writing out the crap when I was working through grief. (By the way, I like calling it that much better than “journalling” or “morning pages”.) Lynn’s comment above also reminded me of a cool tradition that we did at a New Year’s party. We got the idea from some fictional culture on Star Trek. Anyway, the idea is that to start the new year, you write down all the crap from the previous year on little pieces of paper. Then you have this ceremony where you burn each one. It was fun.

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    • Oh, I like that idea, Deb. Words are so powerful, especially the written word. It’s more permanent, at least that’s the way I see it. And a great idea to burn all that negative crap from the year past. Hope you have a great Thanksgiving with lots of love and pumpkin pie! 😀

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  9. Ah, Laura … yes we all bleed red and nature “thinks” in glorious colors. Flowers, animals, the landscape of nature fills me to the brim with awe. We are nothing if not one pixel in the vast universe yet we delude ourselves into thinking we are so important that nature cannot exist without us. Carlin once said that the problem with the planet is people. Every other piece of the puzzle fits snugly into the other pieces but we struggle to squeeze the square peg into the round hole.

    A late freshman in college, I called a series of my journals “Ramblings.” It became the foundation of my blog. Twenty or so years after the kids were grown and gone and I was on my way to a new life in South Florida, I read some of them and laughed at what I once thought was so important. Maybe I think the journals level me, give me a direction to aim my life. Maybe I put all the hurt and loss there and dumped all the “crap” where it would do no harm … or maybe … just maybe … it was me trying to understand the inhumanity of human nature. Stuff of late has reminded me how horrible we can be and then I remembered what I read the day after the last mass shooting. It said celebrate the hero and not the zero.

    I still dump my crap on pages no one will ever read and they still remind me that we can be better and do better 🙂

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    • I like what you had to say about deluding ourselves into thinking we’re more important than we are and that nature cannot exist without us. So true. Also true is what you said about the things that seemed so important to us in years past and how trivial they seem now. I guess it’s a natter if growth.

      You’re back blogging I suspect and I’ll pop over and visit. I hope you had an enjoyable break!

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  10. Great advice. I’ve heard from other writers who shut down when too much stress enters their life. I’m the opposite. I must write to survive it.

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  11. that makes sense – once you write out any unwanted junk, your head may be ready for real writing, or at least, there’s less clutter. but you probably should hand write it instead of typing on a computer, I think the physcial action of actually putting pen on pencil is better, that’s what I’ve heard. though in reality, any method probably will do.

    have a lovely day.

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    • Yes, I agree, Lissa. When I’m writing out the crap I always use a pen and notebook. Writing is one of those things that is slowly being lost and that makes me a little sad.

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  12. Judi

     /  October 12, 2015

    I wish I liked writing I have a lot of “CRAP” that I would like to get rid of. But I find writing very hard. I did start writing down all that was happening that bothered me but I was not able to find the words to express myself. I guess I should come up and get some pointers from the expert, maybe then I could do something. I understand what you are saying but I find it hard to follow through, (maybe it’s because my spelling is so bad).

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    • Judi, it does help, and it doesn’t matter how bad your spelling is. No one’s going to see it. Even it you never look at it again, you’ve used that time to set down what your thoughts and emotions are. Better than letting those things build until you eventually explode. That can be …as you know!

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  13. Great post. Have to admit I don’t use writing to vent most of the time; maybe I should. Don might prefer that to having to listen to me vent:) So, I’m thankful for my husband (who at least appears to be listening most of the time), and, of course my kids – who I’m excited to see on Friday!

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  14. I definitely agree that “writing out the crap” helps reduce its weight on my mind. I’m curious, do you, Laura, or anyone else who journals with personal rants and ramblings, go back and re-read them? Or do you write it out then toss it at some point?

    I read somewhere that it’s better to write it out then NOT read it again. Something about re-reading it actually reverses the effects of having written it out / let it go.

    On the other side of that theory, re-reading through our stuff might actually help us toward better self-awareness or, even better, discover a forgotten idea, creativity.

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    • I don’t go back and read my childish rants.I eventually burn them because I hope not to go back to that place, but to move on. I do also have another type of writing where I start with a question, something that’s been on my mind, and then write whatever comes in my head to write. Those writings I usually go back to at a later date. I usually find small bits of wisdom embedded into the writing. What I write always makes sense, is always encouraging and kind. When I go back and read it at a later date I’m sometimes surprised by the things that have come to the surface and just how much truth is in it. Hope that answers your question. Nice to have you visit, Leah!

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  15. Sorry I’m late, Laura. I was writing. I know–awesome! But enough about me. Your idea is perfect, and the reason I’ve been keeping a journal since I was eight. Which is a lot of years. My problem is I only write in it when I’m ticked off, upset, or bored. Miserable. Cranky. Bitchy. I had the urge to insert every 50 pages or so a huge SORRY to whoever ends up reading it. But if my great-grandchildren are anything like me, they’ll understand, right? And maybe keep a journal. It’s about being kind to others, I think. I hope. Let’s sit down and write our bad talk on paper rather than upsetting the world with our bad mood.

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    • You’re brave to save all those journals, Joylene! I always destroy my rants. But you’re right, best to rant on paper than in person. 😀 And hey, glad to hear that you’re writing. Lately, I have hardly been able to scrape out any time for writing.

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