Creative Writing and Therapy.
It wouldn’t seem those two would be inclusive; that one could involve the other, but they can and do go hand in hand, as anyone who has written some poetry from the heart or mind can attest. You can put ‘your heart and soul’ into something you write – or sing – draw or laugh about. Or feel sad about. Or just want to write about.
But you would think writing a FICTION novel would be a different thing – they are usually based on some story you’ve got in the back of your head – some action story, love, drama, romance – anything.
We write a lot. And I mean a LOT. As a kid we wrote poetry and stories, beginning in first grade. We recently ‘won’ in a challenge to write 50K in a one month novel: new beginning, fiction, everything. And (again), we learned a lot through our writing – even if it was (and is – it isn’t finished yet) – a so-called ‘fiction’ novel. The truth is we’ve found when we’re writing about things in our novels, we are writing about ourselves – the insider fighting and what all. We rely on our descriptions of ‘the abuse’ based upon on our – exaggerated sometimes for the benefit of the general public (this is ‘fiction’ after all; we rarely write about the ‘real’ thing; what happened to us.) But in high school we wrote one about a teenage survivor in a nuclear apocalypse (and fighting the subsequent invasion by the Russians, of course!). In the story the teenager loses all his emotions because he loses someone he loves – everything. Then he gains it back. Then at the very end of the story, he loses it all over again. Story of my life at that time. I had lost all my loved ones – all of my friends when we moved over into Germany. Then we came back again. A few of them were there, but most of them were gone. And I had just lost my best friend ever – DB – when I left to come back home – here. I can ‘see’ it now – but I couldn’t then.
Ditto with that book we wrote, the one called “The Boy”. It’s right there, over in the right hand column somewhere. Again, a story of my ‘inner lives’ – the fighting that went on. The teenager trying to overcome some of the abuse, learning to love someone; the ‘kid’ that was me, being abused; the teen trying to save him. Won’t ruin the story for you – but again, it was a story of fight and struggle, and it taught me something about my lives and the inside ones.
And now here, as part of the Nanomowri challenge this last month, I wrote a little over 50,000 words in a new novel of ‘mine’. I say that loosely; once again it is a novel written by some alters of mine. The teenager and the kid once again come forward again, writing on their own. Each one describing his own ‘experiences’ in his own kind of way – but they are ‘false ones’, made up for you kids (giving a nod towards several ones of myself) as well as the teenager being.
And once again I found myself writing about something I knew nothing about. Things I ‘knew’ but did not know; things about myself. Things that ‘happened’ in a strange kind of way, and why I am ‘built’ or was ‘built’ this way (with multiple personalities – or souls in my way of thinking – inside). I (and we) all do a pretty damn good job at hiding ourselves from ‘you’, the outside audience. If I was to meet you, you wouldn’t know the difference . . . until I started to change. Perhaps. Depends.
What we LEARNED was more important than what we wrote, in our (and my) opinion. That should always hold true when writing as therapy – it is a form of self-expression, and you can find out things about yourself. You can learn ‘who’ you are – if you let yourself go. And sometimes letting yourself go involves the freedom of creative expression. Apparently that is what is done by my inner selves: some of them can express themselves better in a long complicated story than one any blog entry can contain. There are some things that just cannot be put into a few thousand words. I should know. I’ve written . . . God! – I don’t know how many thousands of things. Both new and old.
Writing and therapy – I recommend it. And if you find you can’t write about yourself, write about someone else. Put one of your ‘inner ones’ into a story and work things out from there. Use your (and their) creative imagination to ‘walk’ them through the pain. And try to be there as they are ‘coming out’. You know what I mean, you “DID” folks (gotta love ’em!). And take care of yourself.
From Jeff, et all.