Why I Write

I’m in the (almost)  final steps of getting my next book ready for release. My final edits should be here this weekend. After making those edits, sending the last pages to my beta readers, having my proofreaders take a go at it, and meeting with my artistic collaborator I believe I will be ready to release it out into the world this January.

My movie-writing partner and I are in the pitching phase of selling our screenplay. We are getting little nibbles from production companies and receiving lots of support, to keep going. That continues to be a wonderful experience. We have learned to grow very thick skin while trying to stay in a beginners mind and keeping our sense of humor.

As I sit at my desk and reflect over the whirlwind of the past two years. Releasing Untangled, emerging from the shadows of silence, blogging, speaking to groups,  pitching a movie project, and now preparing to release another book, I ask myself, Why do I write?

When I speak to groups and open it up for questions, I’m almost always asked, what made you write a book, or have you always been a writer? The answer to both is, “no!” I never wrote anything beyond copy for ads or random newsletter articles for my jobs before 2011. I didn’t keep a journal, never was a huge letter writer, I really never gave writing a thought.

When I began therapy my therapist suggested that I journal. Most of us have been told by our therapist’s to journal our thoughts and feelings. I despised journaling. I would become so emotional because often, the pages looked like one big opus for wanting to end my life. I would literally tear up the pages after I wrote them, despondent because I couldn’t separate my feelings from what I wanted to write about. It was all emotion and no substance, no thoughts, no depth and it felt destructive. So I refused to continue to journal.

But, I found myself writing emails to my therapist and we would talk about them at our next session. It was becoming evident that I was looking for a way to write down my thoughts. My therapist went to a conference on PTSD. At the conference, he learned that when clients journaled on a keyboard, (not pen and paper) that it was easier for them to keep journaling. The act of using a keyboard was incorporating bilateral stimulation which helped put some distance between the terrible trauma and intense feelings and they were able to keep writing longer. That made perfect sense to me, so I began to use writing as a healing tool.

Writing gave me the courage I needed to address the pain I was feeling. I would write even when I thought I had nothing to write about. At first, I strictly used it for bilateral stimulation. I would write and send what I wrote off to my therapist. I started to find that I was able to write down what I couldn’t say aloud.  At first, I think it provided distance from having to use my voice, but then I found it actually gave me a voice.  When I still couldn’t speak a truth, I found if I read it out loud to my therapist, that I was speaking the truth.

Eight years after that first assignment to journal on a keyboard, I have written four books, have a number of published articles and enjoy engaging on my blog. I reflect on writing from a different perspective. Now, I write because I love to share what I’m thinking, feeling or musing over. I write because I’ve had feedback from others, to help give them a voice, to put feelings into words that they may be unable to describe. Writing is a way to be seen and heard, especially by a group who suffers from mental illness and are often marginalized.

I write because I will no longer be shamed into silence. But, I also control the volume of my voice. I want to be effective in destigmatizing mental illness, invisible illness, for me, PTSD. I know that I’m a quiet word of mouth writer. It fits my personality. I love the writers who are more vocal and speak with confidence and often, they know the volume of their voice and can reach a much wider audience.

I write because it fills my cup, it satisfies my creativity and it keeps me connected to the world. I care deeply about what I write and share, hoping that the connection between us continues to grow. Sometimes that starts with a simple written word.

Why do you write?

 

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Thank you for reading my memoir, Untangled, A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph

 

 

 

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47 thoughts on “Why I Write

  1. … Now, the blog has given me the chance to write “open letters to the world”
    I absolutely love this!! And you know, that is exactly how it feels when we read the “open letters” that you write.
    ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wanda, thank you for sharing that very poignant reason for writing. It breaks my heart that there is the insidious cycle of abuse that keeps victims in the shadows. Lets keep writing and help to break the silence.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have always written-for me. Not to be read by the world. Of course, I have written letters and poems for anyone to read. But as a little child, I wrote. It seems to be my natural response to life. Now, the blog has given me the chance to write “open letters to the world” You keep writing and healing yourself-and others.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post. It’s wonderful and very brave of you to share your stories about PSTD.

    I write to break the silence about growing up in poverty & being a victim of pedophilia, harassment, and/or sexual assault. A lot women were exposed to sexual abuse and physical violence before the age of 16. Most of them are sworn to secrecy and threaten by their abuser to shut them up. Others are persuaded by family members that by reporting the act of rape and or physical violence that it will destroy their family.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I write to nurture my creativity. As Teilherd de Chardin said, God’s creation continues. Writing allows me to be a part of that. Best wishes for the success of your new book

    Richard Patterson
    El Paso TX

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank You, E.
    you are so committed to your healing. I love that. Good luck with EMDR. Its really hard to go there, but processing the trauma and learning to live with it is worth the hard work. I keep finding the truth because part of the past instead of a consuming beast in my present. Now its all about living with the effects of the trauma, which is its own beast, but easier to manage most days with all the tools we learn. Have a good weekend ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Brilliant as always Alexis. I’d love to see your book brought to life on the screen. This totally rings true for me: The act of using a keyboard was incorporating bilateral stimulation which helped put some distance between the terrible trauma and intense feelings and they were able to keep writing longer. That made perfect sense to me, so I began to use writing as a healing tool.- thought the same thing when I realized how blogging was helping. I’m now doing EMDR and while it’s some of the hardest healing work I’ve ever done, along with writing, it’s helping me heal. Best of luck to you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Happy to share the experience. I’ve learned that the more loving, fun, positive of an experience I can create when release the negative stuck energy the easier it is. Now I’m working on unsticking aka releasing all the positive energy that is stuck. My sense is my nature is optimistic, joyful, and free spirited being raised by a negative narcissist has all that happy stuff clogged up! I have plan….don’t know how well it will work….:>

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Congratulations on writing another book. Best of luck with your movie pitch too. You have achieved so much in a short space of time. I love your reason for writing. I write because it soothes my soul. It is my therapy… 🌼🌼🌼

    Liked by 3 people

  10. … I write for every reason. I write for no reason whatsoever. I write because writing always seems to find me. I write to forge connections between my separate selves. I write because I don’t understand. I write because I understand too much. Writing heals, writing destroys, writing is a cycle of tearing myself apart and putting the pieces back together into something more manageable.
    Beautifully said, Kerry. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I love your description here Julia. Using fun font is something I have never thought of doing. What an awesome way to continue to “go-there” and face the feelings without becoming overwhelmed. Thanks for sharing!! ❤️

    Like

  12. I have e-mailed my therapist, like you, and he’s also suggested writing to me.

    This topic is something that’s front and centre for me at the moment because I’ve found it pretty overwhelming lately. I don’t know but something on the inside will not rest and wants to be solved.

    Sometimes it actually feels like a form of self-torture.

    I write for every reason. I write for no reason whatsoever. I write because writing always seems to find me. I write to forge connections between my separate selves. I write because I don’t understand. I write because I understand too much. Writing heals, writing destroys, writing is a cycle of tearing myself apart and putting the pieces back together into something more manageable.

    Love the post!!

    Liked by 2 people

  13. “I’m in the (almost) final steps of getting my next book ready for release”. : congrats Alexis and more grease. Well, I write coz writing seems to be my ticket to self-expression.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Thanks for sharing this. Love the PTSD info. I find it easier to type/journal when I want to get to the bottom of something. Or the bottom of something is trying to get my attention. I think it’s the orderliness of typing. My handwriting in a journal is distracting. If a situation feels super ugly, or the part of me that is bugged my having to continue to heal is speaking up , I use a very fun font. It gives the “negative” parts some much needed joy and allows the truth to sluice on out!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

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