My life has not been an easy one. Yeah, I’m sure you’ve heard that before. Hell, your own life probably isn’t an easy one. We all have our challenges, we all have our burdens. We all have something in our past or our current life that causes us pain.
But we, as writers, are artists. And as such, we have a built-in way to express our pain. We can write, and let all of that out.
Releasing my pain onto the page has been a coping mechanism for most of my life. It’s one that I rely heavily upon. Often I’m not comfortable talking about my emotions. That’s just not the person that I am. I think I must amuse my friends and family. When we’re talking face to face I’m more likely to dissemble bad emotions. I’ll talk about the positives, more so than the negatives. But if we’re chatting online, I’m far more likely to be honest about how I really feel. In the most flowery way possible, usually. I’m not the sort to hide who I am and what I feel. But it’s easier to get it out when I’m not face to face.
When you’re writing from a place of pain, you will write your truest words. Especially when you’re practicing free writing. This is actually strange because pain lies. Or, at least, we are usually really good at lying to ourselves about pain. We mask the pain with anger because it’s easier to feel. We pretend that we’re not really hurting, or that the thing that’s causing our pain is something different from what it really is.
That’s why writing from your pain is helpful because it lets you get past all of the lies. You can be totally honest on the page. And once you get into that, once the honesty is out there, it will really come out.
If you don’t get to that point, you might find that your writing speaks your honesty for you. For instance, there was a long time that I wasn’t talking to my mother. I thought that I was alright with that. I thought that I was going through my life pretty much okay without her.
I was totally wrong about that. Mothers kept coming out in my writing and stories. In my free writing, I kept coming back to this one image of a tree with shallow roots. My writing knew I wasn’t okay, long before I was ready to admit it.
One reason why this sort of writing can be so honest is that we don’t feel like we’re going to share it. We can be honest with the blank page more than we can with literally anyone else. So long as you don’t leave it lying about, it won’t tell anyone anything. You can even destroy it after you’ve spilled your guts if you want. The blank page will never judge you. What it will do is give you a space to ask yourself the questions you know needs to be asked.
Of course, If you do share your writing, it can help others who are feeling what you’re feeling. Knowing that others have gone through what you’re going through it can make you feel less alone. Sharing what you write from your place of pain can help others. And they, in turn, may reach out with their own words of comfort for you.
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