Writing Through Changes

Friday, February 01, 2008
And by changes, I mean pain.

We often look at our writing as a way to make a living, tell a story, or at its basic level, to simply communicate. Many times the words that reach the page are there for someone else to read, interpret, and perhaps even decode if we choose to let own personal penmanship run wild. But writing doesn’t have to be for an audience. In fact some of the most precious and intimate writing we may pen in a lifetime may be for no one else’s eyes but our own. Each of us can be our own market, our own audience, and what’s more, let’s send that monster on a permanent vacation.

And by monster, I mean that evil inner critic we all possess.

I’ll admit that the last couple of months have not been filled with my best writing. In fact the last two months of 2007 were ones where my fingers didn’t even meet the keyboard of my MacBook, nor was the spine of my journal even cracked open to proclaim something as simple as “I’m exhausted and utterly spent.” However, in entered 2008 and as the saying goes “I was sick and tired of being sick and tired” and decided to do something about it.

And by it, I mean the emotions of the divorce in which I am currently in the thick.

I’d spent time thinking and overanalyzing but I hadn’t spent much time letting go. But one day I picked up a pen again and just let it all go. What I was writing didn’t make much sense, didn’t look particularly pretty, or possess any sort of literary zest. What it did do, however, was finally help me sort through the mixed bag of feelings I had been carrying around aimlessly. I allowed myself to be raw and honest as I met the page; it didn’t matter because my words weren’t intended for anyone but me and let me tell you, there is a lot of power in that.

And by that, I mean reclaiming the importance of my writing.

So I continue to write, meeting all that may be ahead with all life’s changes.

And by changes, I mean new beginnings.


Annette said...


I'm sorry to hear your divorce is weighing heavily on you now. It's good that you are putting your words on the page. Don't discount that it can help you. And maybe even become so much more than you ever expected...

I wrote the book on it. Literally. My memoir, "The Break-Up Diet" (which launches on Valentine's Day) began as series of journal entries.

Without going through what I did, I never would have written a book. (I was a screenwriter.) That whole messy emotional train wreck of an experience sent my life in a completely new direction. And my life is better now than it ever has been.

Change can be good. Embrace it.

For your "new beginning," pick up Tracy Chapman's CD "New Beginning." Find a quiet, comfortable place to sit. Listen, and let it settle your heart, so you can find your center again. It helped me. =)

Cher'ley said...

I'm sorry to hear about your divorce. Chage is always hard and that's a major change. I'm glad you have your writing to help you and please know you have your writing friends here too.

Send me an email or call me anytime day or night.

Angela Mackintosh said...


You are brave, and this is the first step to overcoming your sadness and working through your feelings. You are right when you said, "And by changes, I mean new beginnings." That is powerful...and the right way to think. Many things in life are a matter of perspective. As long as you keep growing, changing, and rejuvenating your outlook, you'll work through it. We are stronger than we think.

I've had a lot of tragic things happen in my short lifetime, but writing my way through them -- journaling -- has always been a strength. Talking to friends, doing the things you love, and sharing with others helps a lot. It empowers you. Never think you're being a burden when you share your feelings. It's a HUGE part of your growth, and a necessary one. True friends will be there for you through anything. And, I hope you know that we're all here for you.



Skyraven said...

Hi Debbie,

I'm sory to hear about your divorce. I have to share that I'mgoing through the same thing. I recently broke up with my fiancee (and my son's father). A few weeks ago I just got fed up with being unhappy and I didn't want it anymore. I'm only starting to use the tapping on the keyboard as the noise to distract me. I'm still very numb to it and I imagine it will be a long time that I feel that way. Reading your post about writing through this pain gives me hope that I too can get through my heartaches by writing them out. thanks for sharing. Heiddi

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