Thursday, October 14, 2010

Writer's Heal through Writing

"I don't think you're going to get much writing done today," said a friend of mine after I'd told her I was worried for another good friend who is going through a difficult time.

The friend who said it isn't a writer.

When my Dad passed, I was on the computer sending out notices to everyone.  I split my plan into three groups based on our level of friendship.  The closest friends & family got the most description, not-as-close friends and family got a different description, business acquaintances got an even different one.  Each letter had it's own purpose, and each letter was a different kind of healing and coping for me – though I had the tissues with me for every single letter.

Then came the replies.  I could deal with those, too, and each was healing, helpful, and comforting.

I hated phone calls.  I didn't know what to "say."  Same with the live interactions.  But in the emails, I could pour all my heart and soul into those clickety-click keys.  Same with my blog.  And I had an article due – which I did very well on despite everything.  Then, something my mom said sparked the opening for another short story.  It needed time to ruminate, but almost exactly a year later, I wrote it in a single sitting.

Writing is a powerful tool of emotion.  Emotion is a powerful part of writing.

I regularly run workshops in writing and Tarot.  If the audience is mostly writers, I keep to writing advice.  However, I often offer the workshop to a more spiritual group who want to cover the self-discovery, emotional, aspect of Tarot and writing.  I use the Rider-Waite deck for this class because there's almost always people in the scenes… or at least there is something going on.  By focusing on the story, not the meaning of the card, you get your a reading.  You have a journey of self-discovery as you figure out what is going on for the characters or scene portrayed in the card. 

You'd be hard pressed to find a writer who refuses to admit that each character they write doesn't hold a small piece of themselves.  Using the Tarot to stimulate the subconscious of the mind creates the character and story the person needs to hear.  Writing a "story" about a "character" both distances the receiver of the message and allows them to go deeper into the emotions, goals, fears, motivations, and conflicts because the story isn't about them – it's about the character.  Once the story skeleton is written – usually about the length of a journal entry – then the receiver reads it.  And, like most writers who haven't planned out a whole story ahead of time, the receiver sees so much that he or she didn't realize s/he wrote. 

And then they get the message.

The key is still in the writing.  For those of us who practice, when we're in the groove and just letting things flow, our conscious mind steps out of the way.  From there, we reach deeper and touch the emotions and pieces of our soul that, consciously, we don't want to deal with or are afraid to deal with.  We're not limited by logic or the parameters we think we know exist.  We're not rationalizing (that comes after when we want to smack our character because, "What were you – or me- thinking!?")  While writing, though, we're attending to all that's deep within us.

So, maybe I'm not working on my fiction at the moment as I worry about my friend.  At least not right away.  I might still– and my characters are certainly going through some major pain.  But regardless of what I'm writing, I'm writing. 

This blog post barely touched upon the worry, but that's ok.  It's not my place to publish on that.  Even so, the writing gives me strength to finish my day.  Little pieces are flowing through, getting worked out in the parts of my mind and soul that are active during the clickety-click of the keys… and part of me is closer to God, Spirit, or whatever you decide to call That Which Is.  Part of me is with my friend, because parts of the soul wander when we write.  And part of me is In the Moment.  Now.  Attending.

And that is the healing power of writing.


Aimee Weinstein said...

Trish, you really put your finger on it this time. Your words could not be true-er. I feel grateful every day to be able to express myself through words. I find that I can let go of emotions, channel them and make sense of them via my writing. Thank you for such an important piece.

Trisha Wooldridge said...

Thank you for the comment! I think I'm going to do a follow-up on it at a later date on how writers also can force distance and process difficult information by applying the emotions to fiction. Though, it will be a hard post to write without sounding almost too cold, logical, or rational in regards to powerfully emotional events.

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