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Eleanor T Beaty's Blog

Words and Comfort

published on March 27th, 2013

 

There are times in our lives when we can’t seem to move forward, sideways or anywhere for that matter. We‘re stuck. Frozen in time, feet in cement and hearts beating just enough to say we’re alive. We have a future ahead to look forward to but if we can’t let go of the past, that future becomes pointless. How many people have felt this way?

I have, quite a few times in my life. And getting out from under those moments and periods is tough. Writing has been my lifeline. Even if I have to push myself to sit and write, it has never failed to get me past my dark moments. However the past still lurks. So I found a way to deal with it, weave it into a story, get it out without exposing myself and without becoming a whiner. I have my character do it all for me.

I’ve said a few times that I started writing as a form of therapy. Poems full of pain and loss. I remember showing a few to my mother when a teen and hearing

“Can’t you write about anything other than yourself?” Mom so sweetly asked.

No, I couldn’t because that was the point of writing during those years as an anguished teen. Not many, especially the adults in my life were interested in hearing me talk about what I was going through. Boring teenage blah blah. But I felt hurt with her reaction and never showed her anything again. Not even when I got published. I couldn’t risk any criticism coming from her. I was too attached to my writing. It took me many years to detach and enjoy all the possibilities writing opened up. Like talking about her without anyone knowing. Turning her into a character. She’s in one of my books, but I won’t say which.

I think writing a novel is very similar to therapy. We can work out our issues and even pause to analyze how we reacted to certain situations, and we can even give the past some closure. Problem is when the past is still present, and keeps reoccurring. I’m in that sort of moment now. My desire to move forward is stronger than the pain, so what I do in these occasions is to keep writing about it, in every novel there will be a moment that allows me to expose the persistent past/present troubling me, until it melts away and is swallowed by a beautiful sunset.

Words on paper, or computer screen, bring soothing comfort for the soul… always.

 

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