Unless you’re a masochist, the idea of self inflicted pain is more of a deterrent than it is a motivator. Yet for many of us, writing does exactly that. It stabs its way through our insides, slicing and butchering, relentless in its search for truth. It’s like the pain of an exposed nerve: raw and vulnerable.
So why do it? Why engage in an activity we know has the power to harm us?
Because, if we allow it to, pain can be food to our souls. Hardships are what strengthens and prepares us for battles that lie ahead. The lessons we learn through our pain are nutritious to our souls. However, we often hold onto the waste derived from our afflictions, creating sepsis of the soul. Infection cannot exist in one part of the body without spreading into another.
Writing is a way of detoxing the residue of our pain. It digs up the microscopic dwellings that often begin the infection. It’s a dark and uninviting alley that rids us of the mental and emotional toxins we sometimes harbor.
And even though it’s frightening and we’re afraid of what we might confess in that alley, we must go.
What if I write something I don’t mean, or worse, something I do?
It’s okay. Getting those feelings out is the first step to dealing with them. Wrapped up in our pain is creativity, courage, love, encouragement, and understanding.
So whatever is holding you back, don’t let it any longer. The only way to overcome the fear that inhibits our writing is writing.