Personal Artifacts

Sunday, February 19, 2012

I haven't been writing much for this blog in the past week. I've been making grocery lists and plans to write and essays on women writers in the early modern period and notes on hormones. I've been using my words in other contexts - writing and talking out feelings in order to heal. But I haven't posted much here because all of that background writing is the preamble, the extraneous detail before the heart of the material emerges.

I often hate that stage of writing - it's not a draft, it's somewhere before the draft even starts. It's the notes and the ideas floating about that must get captured in some mundane tasks. It makes me sane, but not inspired. In the good times, it feels less necessary. In the bad, however, it's all that there is.

I wanted to address the writing that we do in our everyday lives that feels like nothing more than making endless to-do lists. It's still a form of writing and a form of expression, oddly enough, and it will be the stuff that tells historians most about these eras once they have passed. In some ways, being a historian of your own life is the best way to gain material for creative projects or to heal yourself. I've been looking back on some of the writing I did in high school and the memories just come flooding back. It's not always fun, but it's interesting to look at your own lists and wonder "what in the heck did I need that for?" until you finally stumble upon an answer.

I recommend looking back at old journals and files whenever you're confused on where to start something. Whether that "something" is an art project or a reflection on how to better your life outlook, these are the things that get overlooked, but can often be the most indicative of inspiration.

At the very least, they can give you a good laugh.

Check out some other reflections on perspective.