Writing is sensemaking. Writing brings clarity, consciousness and meaning. Some of us write to make sense of it all and some of us bring all of our senses to our writing. What a great process!
Anne Lamott is a marvelous writer. In her book Bird By Bird she describes her early years:
I started writing when I was seven or eight. I was very shy and strange-looking, loved reading above everything else, weighed about forty pounds at the time, and was so tense that I walked around with my shoulders up to my ears, like Richard Nixon. I saw a home movie once of a birthday party I went to in the first grade, with all these cute little boys and girls playing together like puppies, and all of a sudden I scuttled across the screen like Prufrock’s crab. I was very clearly the one who was going to grow up to be a serial killer…
Imagine carrying that self-image around until you finally make sense of it, or at least make good-humored use of it.
The process of writing about your life can illuminate the meaning. Sometimes there seems to be no meaning. It just is. There is acceptance of something inexplicable…but when the process works, you become aware as you lay the words upon the page. Something becomes alive, you become alive.