A few years ago today, I wrote those five words.
Well, actually, I wrote a lot of words — six pages worth. I hadn’t kept a journal since high-school, nor had I really devoted much time to writing in general. But I needed some way to vent, to express what at that moment, was the pinnacle of years of frustration.
I didn’t get it, the outcome, what had led to the events of that night. How could something once so positive, be so negative… how could it have come to that? And how could it continue to be so negative, even years later? Amidst many tears, I sat down to write about it.
I wrote about what I did understand — why it hurt so much. How great the good times had been and how betrayed I felt by the bad times. I wrote about what I didn’t understand — why those bad times had to be so bad. And finally, I wrote about how it was time to move on now, to take what I had learned from each experience, but to forget about them otherwise. It was “the ending of a book.”
Turns out, it was the beginning.
Today is the anniversary of And then it Rained: Lessons for Life.
Not the story. As you can imagine, that goes quite a bit further back. But the 5000-word document I created that night formed the foundation of what is now an 80,000 page manuscript telling that story. Ask my editor and he’ll inform you that we’ve revised, updated, replaced, scrutinized, SCOURED those words a million times, yet so much of the original six pages is still present within them, there as the backdrop of the “lessons.”
On a night filled with confusion, I wrote with more clarity than I’d ever known, and in the end, figured out a way to turn the negative back into something positive. For me… and hopefully, for those who read it.
Do you keep a journal? Do you write when you’re sad? Happy? Frustrated? What’s the most poignant event you’ve ever written about?