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The difficulty is … that you’ve got to get something on paper. It’s the only rule … that you must get something down on paper so that you can look at it and start to work on it. All the writer’s block consists of is that sensory that happens before the pencil hits the paper … and that’s the hardest thing to overcome. but of course if you can get the shape of a song you can tell when it feels right and it’s just a matter of sweat and work to fill in and it’s a lot of sweat. … It’s all about getting the shape.

~Stephen Sondheim, in Anatomy of a Song Part I (here — you can see Part II here)

This is true of making sense of anything whether we’re trying to understand ourselves or our histories or our relationships. It’s hard work and sometimes it feels like we’re not getting anywhere. The reason why finding a listening ear — a friend, a therapist, someone to come alongside and report back on what they’re hearing — or dedicated journaling can make such a difference.

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