I imagine that writing is probably the second oldest spiritual tool in the box.
It is a suggested practice by many spiritual schools (and spiritual teachers).
Ultimately I don't think there's a wrong way to do it -- though when it comes to examining my resentments -- and my part in them (talk about an 'inconvenient truth!') -- AA's column based inventory has been perfect for me: Simple yet involved, flexible but structured and ultimately enormously insightful and eventually healing.But of course writing is sort of lumped into that "Good For Me" category which, like eating kale and going to the gym, is always something I mean to do more of but is so (very) easy to put off.
And writing smells like homework to the juvenile, alcoholic, instant-gratification-based King Baby inside who is constantly trying to grab the wheel and drive (and when I let him, boy, am I ever driven).
Real writing, the writing of self-examination -- inventory writing especially -- has always had the triple benefit of getting something out of me (who doesn't love a good purge now and then), slowing my thinking down to the speed of a pen moving across a page (or fingers on a keyboard, but the pen is better for me) and offering a bit of distance, which can lead to a desperately needed new perspective.
After I write an inventory, after the glare of insight and the sting of taking responsibility fades, I get to feel that fat little frisson of smug which anyone who has done something "good for them" gets.
So many excellent reasons to write.
And yet.. the pen weighs a thousand pounds (though it's weight is directly and inversely related to the amount of pain I am in at any given time).
I suppose in part it is that dustiest of old AA jokes which explains how this can be:
What's the only thing an alcoholic does in moderation?