I’ve been writing since I was able to form words. I was taught to put pen to paper, using actual words at four years old and haven’t looked back.

I never knew it would save my life.

We’ve all had traumas… we’ve all lived through the depths of despair, disappointment, triumphs, amazing things and the elation of happiness.

I am one of those people who has a difficult time verbally expressing exactly what’s going on inside of me, and trust me, it might not look like it from the outside when I put on my mask (that’s another blog in itself), but there is a mire of emotions tumbling around most of the time. Sometimes volcanic, sometimes zenlike a lot of times somewhere in between. Depends on what’s going on in my life.

I’ve always used writing as an outlet. I think even before music, and we all know how much that means to me, I guess I found a lot of power in expressing myself through the page and then either singing it, putting it to music, or in poetry or stories.

And then there’s my journal. My deepest darkest. I started keeping a journal when I was trying to write for my second album. You know, you spend all your life writing for the first and then when it’s time to do the second it’s like….shit, now what do I do? I’ve been too busy to write because I’ve been promoting this project. Using every ounce of effort and energy for everything that involves. I believed it was a writer’s block. I struggled with it for longer than I cared to admit until I was introduced to the Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron. Now I believe writer’s block is a myth. It’s ego more times than not that’s doing it because we don’t want to see the crappy words that come out of our heads. We expect stuff to come out perfect or not at all. For a while I decided not at all. Then I read about the process of writing and the idea that whether we feel like it or not, just show up to the page.

It’s served me well.  Many times.

When I broke my ankle, I ended up writing Monsters in a roundabout way. As I dealt with the crash of the music industry as I knew it, and my rejections and disappointments and all the good stuff that goes along with being human, I wrote about it. Whenever I had a loss, a death, or a success, I wrote about it.

I write about everything that I need to sort out in my head and my heart, and as I look back, I always have. Whether it was journals, or songs, or stories…it was something I just did, and still do. Almost every day.

Through grief and frustration and happiness and just trying to figure out who I was and why I am on this planet at this time having these experiences, writing has given me a different perspective. It’s helped me through many dark times and many anxious times.  And when life gets busy and I’m working lots or stuff just gets me away from the paper or my baby laptop, I feel it. It usually manifests as anxiety. Unbalance. Anger…and dare I say it (I hate this word) depression and sometimes it even manifests physically if I let it go too far.

As I write this, I have just spent three days in overwhelming grief at the sudden loss of my child and furbaby Rayven (and no, she was not just a dog. I loved her every bit as much as I would a human child). I feel like the tears are never going to stop and I feel like my heart is broken into a million little pieces.

But now, on day three, when all I want to do is something where I don’t need to think, or remember, or feel, I’ve picked up the pen and gotten back to my laptop. Even when I can see my grief reflected in Lee’s face every time I look at him and we look over at the empty spot on the couch or go to do anything… she was such a huge part of our lives.  Writing reminds me of the strength I need to have not only for myself, but for my partner who is pretty much the strongest person I know, and needs my support at a time when we’re both raw. I’m sorry to be a downer (I’m so Canadian), but in order to keep myself together, I must write.

Or die.