March is here and I’m feeling very introspective. I think my favorite way to describe myself is a work in progress. I am an imperfect human being. I don’t always say or do the right thing, the best thing or the smart thing, even though I am always striving to achieve this illusion of perfection. Someone who can do no wrong, who never gets it wrong, someone who has the answers for everything and is never lost or unsure. I am not flawless, and maybe that’s why when reading I identify quickly with characters that share some of my own imperfections. No one likes a Mary Sue.
When I’m writing my fiction, it’s been remarked before that there are reoccurring traits and/or themes. I pause. I never consciously tie a similarity around an aspect of my writing but I guess they do creep in once in a while, and I think that’s because writing is a very healing process. I won’t be the first to say that writers borrow things from their own lives to inspire them.
Thinking about this lead me to ponder the ways different types of writing are healing, maybe more than we realize. Just because you’re not a writer doesn’t mean that writing can’t be beneficial to you. If reading is an escape, a way that we disconnect from overwhelming parts of living, then writing is the opposite. It is the purging of the darkness in our psyche, a catharsis, a way to connect to life and those around us. Here’s some ways that writing can be healing:
As a child, and even now, I bought and received a lot of notebooks. Journaling is sometimes perceived as something you have to do daily and therefore many people are hesitant to try it. Journaling is perfect because there is no wrong or right way to do it. You don’t have to worry about how you will be perceived. There is no one to judge you or to criticize you for what you think or feel. Journaling let’s me reflect on a time or an event and as much as I’d love to be able to do it every day that isn’t the case. I have many half-empty journals, and I go back and forth between them at my own discretion. Also, I like to memorialize moments in my life and journaling gives me a way to do that.
Your journal doesn’t have to be written by hand. You could keep an electronic version or start a private blog, but I would suggest backing them up or printing them out. Nothing lasts forever, but I see technology as slightly more vulnerable than ink and paper. Speaking of private blogs…
As many ways as there is to journal, there’s even more ways to keep a blog. They can be private or public, you can use them as personal journal, to give your opinion on a subject, to review an event or product. As you’re reading this, I’m going to assume that the majority of you are already familiar with blogging. If you aren’t and want more information The Daily Post here at WordPress is a great place to start and you’ll find of lots of articles with your preferred search engine.
Blogging is just one way to connect with others through writing. There is a built-in community here at WordPress and that’s a wonderful thing. While there may not always be agreement with your chosen subject, from the minute you push publish there is strong chance that someone is going to read what you write. This kind of support is healing to people who want to share their experiences and gives you a way to meet new people. Blogging (and the internet in general) gives you a way to be anonymous and only share what you want others to know.
Hand written things are very rare these days, but they are also very personal, unique and valuable. (Why else would we clamor to get autographed items from our favorite artists and authors?) Letter writing is something that is done less often now that there’s email, messaging and texting but I treasure handwritten letters, notes and (post)cards. They’re easier to save than texts and they’re somewhat warmer than an email. Each person’s handwriting is unique to them and with different choices of paper, ink and personalization letter writing can fun and creative.
Letter writing can also be a way to heal emotionally. When someone you love passes away or you’re angry with someone but you know that talking won’t do any good, sometimes it helps to write out a letter with everything you wish you could say. Like journaling, it is a way to get everything out and on paper. With all the distractions and time constraints of today, I don’t always get a chance to write a letter but I love to do so. It is a deliberate and let’s that person know that I was thinking about them.
Poetry is probably my favorite way to vent. Everyone writes poetry differently. It can long or short. It doesn’t always have to rhyme and it doesn’t always have to stick to form. (Some people are going to disagree with me, I know.) With things like found poetry becoming another way to construct a poem, it is more accessible to learn than ever. Poetry is a type of writing that no matter what you write about, it always connects to emotion. The goal of poetry (in my opinion) is to feel as much as think. Some people share their poetry and others don’t.
I’ve mentioned before that I write poetry under my real name, but if you want to check out some poets that I think are great look no further than Amber Jerome~Norrgard, Ben Ditmars, The Strivers Row, Sarah Kay or Andrea Gibson…I could go on forever but that’s just off the top of my head. Spoken word poetry is especially beautiful. If you want some examples type spoken word poetry into YouTube.
I chose fiction writing because that’s what I do, but there are a plethora of other genres. Fiction writing when I think about it is a type of writing where it can be as much of an escape as it is a way to connect to people. We are escaping into a fictional world, creating it and we are also trying to entertain someone. To tell them a story. If you look on some of my social media profiles I say, Paranormal Fiction author. Working on my demons while writing about them (and other things.) That’s what writing my stories are to me. Writing is my creative outlet. The way I cope with my problems. They are stories that I feel compelled to tell, and in the process of writing them my burdens always feel lighter. This is the way I heal myself.
“Tomorrow may be hell, but today was a good writing day, and on the good writing days nothing else matters.”
— Neil Gaiman Quotes (@GaimanQuotes) July 10, 2011