“Just write a letter, mail it to yourself. Read it out loud but to no one else.”
From The Northern Pikes song “Hopes Go Astray”
This great line from a song by The Northern Pikes is something that rings true to me many years after first hearing it. It might make even more sense now. Writing can be a very powerful form of release. It can work wonders for clarity of thought.
An old friend from my school days recently contacted me with very kind compliments about the content on this page and my social media pages. He references me as having given him reasons for picking up the pen again. He’s working as an Actor on the west coast and paying his dues to get places. I think it’s terrific that in his pursuit of auditions and screen roles, he’s finding the time again to work on his words and how he wants to write them out.
When I say writing a letter to yourself, I don’t necessarily mean just writing a letter. It certainly can help you make sense of what you might be feeling and perhaps inspire something on a personal path to healing. I’ve found that sometimes being able to express those emotions to paper and screen can have the effect of sharing it with someone else even if ultimately it is kept private.
In writing, the notebooks and scrap papers of ideas are in a way little letters to yourself. Those inspiring moments are a reflection of what you are thinking at the time you wrote them down. You will revisit these things later on for a few possible reasons. One might be to glance back at yourself in the past-tense and reflect on something you were feeling. Another could be to check out what you look for previous ideas so that you can forge ahead and generate writing that will be read.
If you have not written something in a while, then why not try starting with writing a letter to yourself? See if you can free up any perceived word block that you may be experiencing. See if it allows you to move ahead in order to write more.
With thanks to my friend Heathcliffe “Moon” Scaddan for the kind words of support.