I would be lying if I said the holidays haven’t affected my writing the last few weeks. While a joyous season in many ways, this is also an incredibly difficult time of year for me. My dad passed away three months ago and his absence is palpable, still a fresh wounding.
Grief absolutely saps the life out my writing efforts, making it hard for me to focus on my long-term projects. I’m constantly second-guessing myself, my mind chattering in nervous circles while my practical side tells me to get to work, to quit wasting time and get on with life.
It’s kind of a vicious cycle. *smiles*
Since December is the month of gift-giving, I thought I’d share some of the many gifts writing has bestowed on me. It’s a reminder to myself of why I do the thing that I do, and why I love it so much. Perhaps it will serve as inspiration for you, too, in dealing with your own struggles.
- Expression – As an empath and HSP (highly sensitive person), I often have trouble expressing my deepest thoughts and feelings in ordinary conversation, which I find too fast-paced and externally focused. When I craft words into stories or poems, I can take all the time I need to express what I need to say, and give adequate form to my feelings.
- Empathy – Writing takes me out of my own head, and transports me into the mind and heart of my characters. It’s a bit like stage acting. I get to “be” someone else entirely when I’m enmeshed in crafting a story, and this helps me imagine life from different perspectives. Writing has made me a better listener. The closer I listen and observe, the more I can dig into motivation, which renders character.
- Stress relief – When I’m deeply involved in my writing, stress melts away. Anxious thoughts are silenced, and gradually, my mood improves. Writing is one of the strongest stabilizing forces in my life, as energy-enhancing as consistent exercise or a good night of sleep, if not more so.
- Flow – Ah, the idyllic flow state! Not only does stress fly out the window when I’m entirely absorbed in the act of creation, but the inspiration itself feels as if it’s coming from somewhere “outside” of me. I’m transcribing a living dream: a mystery and an enigma I’ll never tire of experiencing as long as I’m able to put words to paper.
- Friends – Writers are some of the most empathetic people I’ve ever had the privilege of knowing. We feel compelled to stare at a computer screen or blank sheet of paper for long periods of time, in isolation, and spew out our dreams and heartaches in long (or short) strings of words. As a community, we understand how hard this is to do, and what a privilege it is when we’re able to convey a fraction of what we intend and summon the courage to share it with others.
Writing has enriched my life in countless ways beyond these five, as I’m certain it will for you. Are you stuck at the moment? Struggling with an idea, or bursting with more than you can handle? Drop me a line, I’d love to chat about how your creativity has blessed you.
Together, we inspire each other. Perhaps that’s the greatest gift we can give each other.