Why do we write?
For some it’s because they have a story burning inside of them that needs to come out. They are born storytellers.
For others it’s the only way they know how to express their creative side.
Some may say it’s a form of survival, without which they would go mad.
Since moving through my fears and giving myself over to the practice of writing, without worrying about the quality of the prose, I have discovered a new kind of release, and with it a path towards healing.
This kind of writing may seem daunting at first. After years of leaving our emotions packed tightly away in boxes, the thought of releasing them can produce fear. In fact, it may be the last thing we want to do.
Much like in therapy, the writer needs to keep going back to these events, linking them to current life choices and emotions, exploring further. (S)he must uncover the dirt, like an archaeologist digging for bones.
Writing as a daily practice is the key to growing both personally and as a writer.
In this book Opening Up: The Healing Power of Confiding in Others, Psychology Professor James W. Pennebaker says this:
“Repeatedly confronting an upsetting experience through writing allows for a less emotionally laden assessment of its meaning and impact. Once organized, events become smaller and smaller and therefore easier to deal with. Writing moves us to resolution; it becomes psychologically complete and therefore there’s no need to ruminate about it. beyond the trauma.”
It’s true that for writing to be healing we must encounter painful memories and questions. This in itself can be enough to scare people away from the process. Embarking on this journey may at first be difficult; this is why it’s important to set some boundaries and to know how to care for yourself if you become overwhelmed.
“So often survivors have had their experiences denied, trivialized, or distorted. Writing is an important avenue for healing because it gives you the opportunity to define your own reality. You can say: This did happen to me. It was that bad. It was the fault & responsibility of the adult. I was—and am—innocent.”