The Process

I am on a journey to write it all down. To write about my life, my feelings, my experiences, my emotions, and to do so more honestly. To create a thread, to weave a narrative, to allow others to follow the story and to connect my voice to theirs. 

As an institutionalized and studied writer, this should come naturally, but it’s much harder than you would think. I worry about confessing too much, and then I fuss over sharing too little. I go back, I go forth; I delete, I insert. I copy, I paste. And on and on and on.

It’s a balancing act, I know, to use or not to use my filter. 

This year, I learned how the art of creation becomes a practice, like a chore: it’s an act I must rehearse daily to improve. When sitting down at a desk, putting a pen to a piece of paper and creating something unique, insightful or passionate doesn’t come easy, I draw upon my city, my neighborhood, my community for inspiration. 

On Saturday evening, I received this type of spark from “Spring Awakening,” a musical about questioning the pillar themes of life. It’s a coming of age story in a time when society told people how to behave and what to think. It’s also a story about love, sexuality, maturity, abuse, and loss. 

I had no expectations before the show began. I knew about the Tonys, had heard some of the music, and had seen the posters around town. But I had no idea how closely this production would mirror many of the topical events occurring right now in today’s world, nor did I expect it to mirror my own life so acutely.

The story weaves its central narrative through rock band style performances and direct to audience monologues, and at times, the actors talk and sing about sexually explicit acts and even disrobe on center stage. Several days later, the impression the show left still lingers.

Only now, during my quest to be more free and vulnerable with my own art, can I begin to appreciate what it takes be completely bare, literally and creatively, in front of others. To put yourself in front of a crowd and allow others to view this vulnerability is a brave, bold step in the process.

Naturally, I wonder about the journey of other artists and the agony and stress they encounter along the way. I think about where they begin their creative process and what they feel when they find themselves at the finish line because I want to know how mine compares. 

I aspire to be like those actors on stage, baring it all, for the entire city of Los Angeles to see.

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7 thoughts on “The Process

  1. Ryan, I love your writing and your thoughts, and I mean no disrespect…just trying to understand. Why is it so important to be so vulnerable, to be “naked” emotionally before others? What is the goal, i.e., what are you hoping to gain from that experience?

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  2. WoW! Ryan, I completely understand what you mean. I would love to see the play. I listened to their songs on the website. I have a couple of the songs in my head now, so thanks for that. 🙂

    To Mary, For those who write constantly, sometimes never talk about them selves if they are so use to sharing other stories, other adventures, or possibly showing their creative side such as: taking pictures, writing poetry, video taping others. To be vulnerable it takes a lot of work to put yourself out there because you want others to see you or you may want to learn a few other things in life. When writing it all down on paper, sharing your inner thoughts for all to see, is like baring your soul. As for being “naked” sometimes for someone to shed what is maybe eating inside of them that they need to just let it go by writing it out instead of speaking. They need to shed their cloths to feel naked, to feel the vulnerability. Sometimes for me personally, if I have to confess something to a friend that has been eating me inside. I usually write it all down, sometimes I have to let it go, to shed my cloths. Its easier but also hard to write it down because many such as myself, also seems for Ryan, too. That you are never to sure what someone is going to think, say or do.

    Now I have been on a Journey similar to Ryan. Right now for me its easier to write, yet it did not begin that way. I had to sit myself down in my room, door closed, light music on, and write till my pen knew it was time to quit, but I also came back to what I was writing, scratching everything out, and always rewriting. Sometimes, The first draft is usually not what you wanted to say, because there is always more to say than what you first put down, yet is usally the same thing, just different wording, with more expression more vulnerability. The second try is also when you shed your tears, because for you will know that is what you have always wanted to say, but maybe have felt that no one was really listening. Yet, when you show your life, emotions, and your voice on paper; You will know inside yourself if you need to post what you wrote or not.

    Good Luck, Ryan. I wish You the best. I am sure this has got way to long. LoL 🙂 If you need to talk I am here, as so are the others.

    ~Lesha
    PS. Yes I know I have some run on sentences. My College Composition class in High School, there was always marks on my pages to fix it before the final copy. 🙂

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  3. Oh, Ryan, you handsome one, please let us know when you plan to have your Spring Awakening (bare it all for LA)
    PS Sorry, I just couldn’t help myself.

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  4. Mary – For me, writing an essay about something in general is much easier than writing something personal and truthful. To write openly and honestly is like sharing my inner thoughts with a therapist.

    Getting to the core of an issue or revealing something I rarely share with others (through my writing) is like healing apart of myself, and to say it out loud or to share it with an audience makes is real, permanent and authentic.

    Because writing is a direct extension of one’s thoughts, insights, feelings, and emotions, it’s not easy to write something, share it with others, and have them not like it; or better yet, criticize it.

    I believe the more honest I am with myself (and with others) the more people connect with what I’m communicating.

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  5. I think I have the opposite problem. I write about my everyday life. If something itches my brain and I think about it too long I must write about it. It’s like a song, an annoying ear-worm, that won’t leave your brain until something else replaces it.
    I am not a professional writer. I write to sort out my thoughts in whatever form they choose to present themselves. I write to clear my head. I write to pass the time. I write about how it bothers me that people don’t have private phone conversations anymore. It bothers me (it probably does not bother everyone) but I write about it anyway. I wrote about the pain my family was suffering when my father-in-law passed away. I write about how hard it is to go back to college at 35 and be a wife, mother, and full-time worker/traveler. Some people like to read it, some not so much.
    Then to sit down and write a formal APA paper for school I struggle. It took me a while to put my writing back into form when I am used to be so spontaneous with what I write. I didn’t like it.
    I think it’s different though if you are writing to please an audience. There so many variables to consider. It’s a tough road to travel down. But, if you write about what is true to you and what you feel in your soul, what does it matter really?
    If you were a painter, you would not worry about where you put your red or how you mix your yellow. You just do what comes natural and let the chips fall where they may.

    Namasté

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  6. To all of you, and especially to Ryan and AleshaSD who replied to my specific question, thank you. I do get it. I’ve been in therapy forever, so how could I not? I guess the difference is that I am telling my “truth” to one person, not writing it for all to see. That’s probably why I wasn’t understanding the need to stand “bare” before all. It’s validating enough for me to tell just one person, but then, I am not a professional writer (though I do write poetry when emotionally moved). I can see how it might be difficult to make the switch from writing more objectively about others and other things to writing subjectively about oneself, especially the deep, true stuff. So, thanks for the elaboration. I liked what Chriann said about a painter not worrying “about where you put your red or how you mix your yellow”, but painters probably have to get to that place where they are wiling to risk the criticism, too, even about their red. Best to all.

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  7. Hi Ryan!

    I just love the way you write. It’s so discriptive and I can see the things you are writing about infront of me like a painting. It’s such a delight to escape into another world for a bit.

    You are so talented and I hope we get the pleasure to experience your writing for a long time to come.
    Keep up the good work!

    /Camilla

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