Sunday, October 23, 2011

Why writing from heartache matters

People know I'm an advocate for writing through heartache. Perhaps some might feel I have nothing better to do than to harp on how healing it is to pour words onto paper. But the truth is, I wouldn't be ringing the writing bell if writing hadn't been such a friend to me. Friend? Writing was more than a friend. When my son Daniel died, writing saved me.

I wrote of agony and listlessness, of tears and heartbreak. I wrote under a weeping willow tree until it became too dark to see. As I went through my motherhood tasks minus a child and about to give birth to another, I found respite in the dark days knowing that there would be time for me at the end of the day----time to head to a park and write. Nothing was taboo within the pages of my journal. I wrote freely and honestly. I wanted to shed the tight skin that choked me with despair and dread.

And as I wrote, I found nuggets of hope, reasons to be grateful in spite of my loss, and new discoveries about myself. My journal held it all---not telling a soul. Her secret-keeping capacities gave me permission to write openly. The only way my journal was read was when I choose to share parts of my entries with my husband or a friend.

Among the many benefits of writing, is the ability to gain wisdom and beauty from your own words. The broken heart produces lovely poetry, raw, but real. The crushed spirit cries out and views the world through new lenses, allowing for less judgement of others, and more acceptance and forgiveness of self.

Over the years, not only have I taken ideas from my journal and formed them into articles and poems for publications, but I've incorporated bits of grief and loss in all four of my Southern novels. When someone reads something I've written and writes to tell me what it meant to him or her, I know it is because I do not shy away from expressing the pain in my own heart.

Writing not only heals us, but our words also help others. And then we are blessed that we've been able to bring some solace to those around us. It's a mini cycle, a good one, like a circle of love.

Much beauty has emerged from a heart that has been crushed. Don't be afraid to let that beauty shine in your works of writing from the heart. You will be inspired at how writing can become a brave new friend.

Join me at the Hospice of Frankfort in Frankfort, Kentucky, on November 5th for an all-day writing workshop, "Writing through Life's Losses". We will give particular focus to getting through the holiday season when each day may be a struggle due to grief and loss.
To sign up and read details, head over here.

~ Alice J. Wisler

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