I’m continuing to join in with Kate Motaung’s online discussion group On Being a Writer, which is based on Ann Kroeker and Charity Singleton Craig’s book On being a writer: 12 simple steps for a writing life that lasts.
Wednesday’s prompt asked us to think about the word Discover. The prompt asked us to think about what “When I write, I find myself” means to us, and to discuss what we’ve learned about ourselves through our writing.
It’s taken me a while to get in to a frame of mind where I could even begin to answer this, as it’s kind of a heavy prompt! Writing means so many things to me, particularly in relation to self that I’ve been a bit stumped to tell the truth.
I’ve always written, always write. It’s so much part of who I am that I’m only myself when I’m able to write.
Recently, however, as I’ve lived through things no-one should have to live through, I’ve found myself journalling as a way of getting all the ‘stuff’, all the negative emotions, out of my head, to be able to have a head that’s clear enough to be able to write.
I then write the imaginary characters/places I have in my head, which transfers me to a different world. I freely admit that I often get lost in these worlds for longer than I should, for longer than is viable practically, because I feel so comfortable there.
It’s a place where I’m me, safe, where no-one can judge, where no-one can spoil or damage anything; it’s a safe haven.
So I guess I’ve started to use writing, in different forms, as some type of therapy: to process and understand but, also, to escape.
In this escape, I’m ‘me-er than me’ (as Seuss would say) and I feel at home there, perfectly comfortable, perfectly safe.
I sometimes find the messages my inner self is trying to tell me when I write. They pop up, out of the font of words, from my subconscious, telling me what it is I wanted to know, or what it is I’ve been too afraid to tell myself.
I think, reflecting on this, that part of the vulnerability of revealing myself as ‘a writer’ comes from the fact that my writing has begun to take on this deeper significance for me personally, as a way of overcoming everything I’ve lived through recently.
And then I get angry all over again, because this, even this, even my writing has now, somehow, become part of the abuse, in that I use it now to process, to understand, to overcome….even this deeply personal, deeply ‘me’ part of me has become tainted and I kind of hate that.
Then I realise that all this ‘going round in circles’ isn’t helpful in terms of me ‘realising my dreams’ when it comes to my writing and I quickly snap myself out of it and get on with it.
It’s not easy living with trauma, it’s not easy overcoming but I’m damned if that’s going to stop me doing what it is I want to do.
I reveal and simultaneously discover myself, my inner workings, every time I put finger to keyboard, or pen to paper: there’s power in that, actually, as it enables me to get stronger, more secure, more sure with every word typed, every word written out long.
There’s defiance in my act of writing.
Defiance to not be defeated.
Defiance to not be lost.
Defiance: to reveal me, even despite the fact that, some days, I wonder who ‘me’ really is any more….