One of the best advantages of writing is using words as a tool. Mainly, as a form of therapy. You can get past uncomfortable situations, work out aggressions, conquer fears and even let dreams become reality through your words.
As I mentioned in my last blog, I have several fears and weird idiosyncrasies in my life. My worst fear is that I’m afraid of people, well actually more myself, being stomach sick. I can’t even say certain words to describe it, like the V word (vomit – that hurt to write that!), I can’t watch movies or shows where it’s present, and I become a shaking mass of jelly if I am near or witness it. It’s not a pretty sight to see (not the hurl – me freaking out over the hurl, isn’t pretty).
I go to therapy to get over this fear because I am tired of letting it control me. I hate who I become when I am terrified and I can’t be a good mother to my child with this fear in my life. For almost a year I have gone to my sessions talking out my problems and how to deal with them as they happen. But during my last meeting, I told my therapist that when I write my books, I want my characters to be as normal as the everyday person, and often write about them getting sick. I went so far to tell her that one of my characters, Mack Roberts in Beneath the Wall, chose to become a Marine instead of join the Navy because he suffered from seasickness. I don’t know if my therapist thought that was weird or not, but it gave her an idea. First, she asked if I wrote a scene about him being seasick and I said, “No, I just mentioned it.”
Her reply: “I want you to write a chapter about him being seasick.” It doesn’t have to go with the rest of the story, of course, but that’s what she wanted me to do. I have put off this assignment for weeks now, but finally am biting the bullet and writing it. It’s gross and a little nerve-racking (considering I stopped writing it to do my blog instead.) But hopefully the consequences will make me a better person.
And as I think about it, how often does writing help us get through situations? During the worst times in my life, which thankfully there aren’t many, writing has always brought me through. From being lonely, to hurt, to even betrayed; I could journal, write lone scenes or short stories, even write a letter just to verbalize how I was feeling even if I never sent it to the person it was intended for.
Some examples are: I once wrote a love letter to my soulmate when I was so despondent and lonely to find that one perfect love. I penned a recollection of the intense feelings I felt the morning of September 11, 2001. And my favorite was this great scene where my character, Julianne, (aka me) beat up a guy because he hurt her and that was totally for the jerk who liked me in law school but cast me aside when I wouldn’t sleep with him. Idiot! Forever be beaten to a pulp in my novel! Best of all, when my novel is printed – I will send a copy to my 8th grade English teacher, who was the meanest cuss anyone ever met, Mrs. Peck. And if she’s no longer living, I will visit her cemetery and bury my book at her gravestone. She told me I would never amount to anything and threatened to hold me back just because I didn’t read her stupid short story about some mountain climber (it was pointless story). So I didn’t like the assignment, that doesn’t mean she gets the right to tear down my fragile spirit. May you rest in peace with a copy of my novel buried above your head for eternity!
See, writing helps move past these feelings… somewhat.