Monday, March 26, 2007

Writing Through Pain

Last week in my writing group, we discussed writing through pain. Since my dad's recent Alzheimer's diagnosis, it was appropos. Each day means facing a some type of loss, sometimes regrets. So far his symptoms are moderate. My 78-year-old dad still goes rollerskating and ice skating, and he still hikes. He is never without a camera. A few days ago when he came to visit, I let him take pictures of me. I didn't worry about not wearing makeup, my hair not being perfect, looking too fat. Someday, he won't remember who I am, who his daughters are, our children. He has always been a great storyteller. I'm trying to remember everything. I'm writing it. I'm blessed to have a terrific writing friend who asks questions, who noodges me to dig deeper. It's painful sometimes, and I want to rush over the details. She's there to prod me, and she's there helping me to face the pain, the losses.

I hope that you are able to find someone you can trust to share your writing, to help you write through the pain.

If you've avoided writing about your pain and losses, I suggest you do it right now. Freewrite about what hurts, what you're afraid of, what are your regrets. Dig deep and push through the pain. You may not be able to do it in one sitting. Begin with a 15 minute freewrite. Set it aside. Take a walk. Let it rest for a day or two. Then go back and circle all generalities, places that need to be developed. If you're as fortunate as I am, share it with a trusted friend who will offer you honest feedback. If you'd like to share it with me, I'm a willing reader.

Before I go, I want to share with you two quotes my friend shared with the writing group.
From Wild Mind, Living the Writer's Life, by Natalie Goldberg. She says,
"Go for the jugular.
If something scary comes up, go for it.
That's where the energy is.
Otherwise, you'll spend all your time writing around
whatever makes you nervous.
It will probably be abstract, bland
writing because you're avoiding the truth."

Hemingway said, "Write hard and clear about what hurts.
Don't avoid it.
It has all the energy.
Don't worry, no one ever died of it.
You might cry or laugh, but not die."


Michael Bridges said...

Hi Rita, thanks for visiting my blog at and leaving a comment. I have answered your questions there if you care to visit again and check. Thanks
BTW nice blog you have here.

Melly Blackwell said...

hello there again
I just added you to my blog link
Interesting Blogs.
Sure I'll come check your blog. Now it's green?? :)

Rita Marie Keller said...

Hi melly~
What color was it before? It's been green since I started the blog. Interesting...

Michael K. Willis said...

Very thought provoking post. Thanks. I just found your blog via BE and I will definitely be returning.

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