Wednesday, July 6, 2016

The Power of Writing!

I write...a a variety of forms and for a variety of purposes.  And there is power in writing.  Through writing I can express a thought in my head, and share it with people across the globe, and for future generations.  As long as my words remain, my voice can be heard. 

But writing is also a huge part of my practice.  I write to help myself learn, I write to help clarify ideas in my head, I write as a form of devotion and I write to share ideas.  Each type of writing serves a different purpose and role in my practice.

I've written before about magical bookkeeping, and my stance on that is still mostly the same.  I am not really a fan of writing down the details of everything that I do.  However, there is a benefit to writing about what you have done.  Not necessarily in a step-by-step instruction manner (although, for some workings this is very helpful, and it can be handy when you are first starting out, or if you intend your BOS to be handed down to another), but in a more introspective manner. 

Often, when we do a ritual or spell, we have a reaction to the working itself.  Especially if the work involved some sort of meditation or visualization.  It can be very helpful to jot down some notes about how we felt after the ritual, as well as any major things that came up in the visualization.  When we come back and look at what we have written, we often find further insight into whatever the problem was at hand (the purpose of our working).

Another major way that I write is to copy down information for myself.  When I read a book (especially one I have on loan and do not own myself) or some information on line, if it is interesting to me, I like to take notes, so that I can have the important stuff on hand.  Also, by putting the information into my own words, I can make sure I understand the is much harder to take notes when you don't quite get a topic.  I try to avoid copying text directly, except for specific and relevant quotes, as I don't feel that helps me as much.

I find that writing things for other people to read is sort of an expansion of my note taking.  When I am gathering information for a blog post, article or other piece that is intended to be shared with the world, I not only want to make sure that my ideas are clear in my head, but also that they are clear in a way that is approachable to the reader.  For me, this often means that I really have to be clear with my words...what might work for me as a note, wouldn't work in a public piece because I might use little phrases or comparisons that don't make sense to other people.  I find that when I write for other people, I often clarify ideas for myself as I really am working to make sure that I am expressing myself well.

On almost the other end of the spectrum is real introspective reflections.....or more traditional journaling.  Many times when I go deep and journal about something, I'm not thinking about whether or not my words are 'right' or if my meaning is truly clear.  Sometimes, I'm not actually sure where I am going with something as I write it.  It isn't until later, when I go back and read what I have written, and think about it, that the meaning becomes clear.  But this kind of writing really taps into parts of my brain that don't often get to speak.  Sometimes it is a matter of taking a symbol, a dream, a picture or some wisp of thought and trying to express it in words.  There is a crossing of a barrier here, and tapping into that deeper part of myself helps me to uncover things that I don't get to by just reading and thinking.

Then there is more artistic styles of writing.  I find that writing fiction allows me to explore different perspectives, to play with ideas or things that might not be physically possible for me to experiment in my daily life.  It also allows me to take multiple perspectives on the same topic in a way that shows how the same idea can be approached by different people.  I find it really a great brain exercise to write from the point of view of someone who isn't me.  It is a great tool for trying to bridge a gap or understand someone who is very different from you:  sit down and write out the situation from their point of view, as if they were trying to explain it to you.

Stories are also a great way to work through memories or trauma that is bothering us.  Sometimes, just getting the words on paper can help.  And, we can make the character someone that is not us, which helps us take a step back and react as an observer instead of the victim.  We could write ourselves in as the hero, or the helper, or any other role that we think might help us.  Or, we could simply allow ourselves to put all those feelings and thoughts we have about a situation down and get them out of ourselves.

And finally there is poetry.  I think that poetry of all kinds lets us break the rules of speaking.  We don't have to use full sentences or talk in complete ideas.  Poetry lets us speak in riddles or comparisons, to spend an entire piece focusing on emotions or sensations.  I find poetry a really good way of expressing deep emotions.  I also really adore poetry as an offering or worshipful act. 

The one thing I will say, is that everyone is a writer.  Whether you choose to write for yourself or for others, whether you write fiction, fact or whimsy, you can write!  There is no wrong way to write (at least not in my book), and if you don't feel confidant at first, then just write for yourself.  Let yourself play with words, secure in the knowledge that you never have to show them to anyone else if you don't want to.  Let words help you work through your problems, explore deeper parts of yourself or express things that you have inside of you!

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