Both of the next two routes are basically the same thing, but have entirely different effects on me. Two – Depending if I’m very emotional about something and my mind is feeling mixed and unsorted, I tend to set myself up to bleed. What I mean by that is, that I will wait until it’s nighttime, when there are no sounds and no one to bother or interrupt me, and I setup the mood. I setup a date for myself, with all lights off and candles lit, my favorite whiskey (and sometimes a smoke), along with my laptop, which is setup and ready to record my pains and procure my bleeding sentiments. If my mind feels torn and clogged, I will begin writing to no one, as if I was documenting my own thoughts for God himself. I won’t follow any sort of protocol or writing rules, and I’ll have no specific subject or aim – I write free-flowing, as a true writer should. This helps me free up my mind and say the things that I may not be able to say to anyone else, or able to figure out and clear what’s in my tangled and torn mind. There’s just something about the dark and moody atmosphere of a candle, joined with a couple of mind-altering substances that puts me at ease and ready’s me to bleed into my typewriter. “There is nothing to writing, all you do is sit down at a typewriter, open a vein and bleed.” –Ernest Hemingway (modified).
Three – And then there’s the more sober route, but as I said before, the third option is relatively similar to the second. I quite literally escape. I go somewhere new that I’ve never been, somewhere either really, really quiet, so I can be alone with my thoughts, or somewhere really busy, where I feel as though I can wander unnoticed and undiscovered. Road trips are brilliant for escaping peacefully. I also love the countryside for its peace and quiet, somewhere above where I can overlook a scene below – perhaps a tall hill or if in the city, I like to scale buildings and sit at the top on its edge to get away from it all. There’s something about being high up that helps me relax and put things into perspective. Possibly that’s because I’m above it all, viewing the ‘big picture,’ and realizing modesty in my role upon this world. Whether you’re walking through a busy city or tramping through the wilderness, you can find peace, no matter how difficult things may be. Although, if I’m really upset, I have to admit that letting my emotions flow freely allows me the ability to fully release and then accept – sometimes a cry can be very therapeutic. And then, if you’re not upset, but are still blocked – the best thing to do is to find the unfamiliar and the uncomfortable, as it’s the best thing to spark one’s creativity, as well as assist in helping find one’s self. When I rely on this option, I’m looking to clear the feelings in my head and balance out my perspective. I recently wrote a piece called “Challenge: Shut up, breathe and be overcome,” where I talk about how it’s important to “take moments each day, where you stop and shut up, turn off your mind and close your eyes, and breathe in deep for sometime. Let yourself be overcome by the simple things. Take this time to shut down and be born anew, by slowly opening yourself up to listen to your surroundings. Open your eyes again, slowly, to see the world differently than you had moments before. I like to call this a ‘moment of refresh.’” and that’s exactly what I do.
(Photo by Trey Ratcliff)