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When Writing is an Act of Hope

I bought a new journal last month.

It’s a terribly ugly little thing – a ghastly shade of green with a thin, tight spine. When you look for a new journal during the first week of back-to-school, the options are few.

But it does the trick. Over morning coffee, the pen bleeds across those black-and-white lines as I try to make sense of the swirling chaos inside my chest, and that’s all that matters.

I’ve owned half-a-dozen journals in the past decade. The last one took six years to fill. Somehow despite my best intentions, I never got around to writing consistently. Until now.

That ugly green journal? It’ll be full in a few weeks.


I was working in a coffee shop a few weeks ago when a Mumford song came on the radio. I’d forgotten all about it — after all, listening to Mumford is so 2012.

But I haven’t been able to get one line from that song out of my mind ever since:

“there will come a time, you’ll see, with no more tears and love will not break your heart”

So I opened my new journal to the first page and scrawled those words tall and awkward across the whole thing.

I wish I could believe them.

Sometimes, for a few moments, I do.


Writing is an important part of my survival and healing process.

I put words onto paper to get them outside my body, to grasp at what’s really in my heart, to understand. I write to pass time. I write so I can breathe again.

In a sense, this ugly green journal is a lifeline; the act of writing is itself an act of survival.

But also, it is an act of hope.

Only god knows if I’ll ever spill the words from those pages onto the Internet, or into a real-life book.

So I am writing in the dark, writing these chapters that don’t resolve. Bleeding every word I can.

Because someday I will look back and see that it is truly a good story. Even this fucking day, this moment right now. That it is not meaningless.

And when I’m able to look back, I want to remember every bloody page I had to turn before the story began to arc back toward the light.

So today, I’m writing. To make sense of the madness, yes.

But also, for hope.


published September 12, 2014

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