Writing for Survival

The past three months of my life have been primarily spent on this one task: survival. It’s probably safe to say that anyone reading this has experienced the pain that comes with the loss of a love, either by breakup, divorce, or death–abandonment in its many forms. Loss is a task that is shared and forcibly undertaken by nearly every human being at one time or another, often multiple times, throughout their lives.

Healing, becoming me again, became my full-time job where my entire focus was devoted to not just making it through the day, but through the next five minutes. Although the loss of a love and a cherished friendship (one which despite my best efforts, I have not given up hope at renewing, fixing somehow) can be crippling, life continues.

Writers write for many reasons–to give voice to an opinion, to inform, to entertain–but ultimately we write as a means of survival. Emotional survival. Spiritual survival. And even financial survival, because beneath it all–the pain, the doubt, the regret, the fear–mortgages, bills, and responsibilities remain.

Life continues.

The sun rises. The bills come. The blank page screams for content. The deafening chatter of endless Tweets speaks to everyone but you. None of this stops.

Everything I wrote during this time, from the poetry to the short stories to the relationship articles, was inspired by the struggle of a failing relationship and, ultimately, the loss of it. But that’s not quite accurate. It was more than inspired by the events, it became a way to work through the grief, the confusion, and the unending analysis of where it went so wrong.

Writing became my catharsis, a way to cope with the heartbreak and the suffocating emptiness that followed.

Interestingly, the poems and the posts on relationships got more attention, comments, and retweets than anything I had ever posted before. I wrote from the heart and readers responded.

Writers must write what’s in our hearts. We have no choice. I wrote what was in my heart even when my heart felt shattered, and readers responded. When readers can identify with the words on the page, when one can bare their soul and have others empathize, that is the very definition of success.

~ by omgrey on January 25, 2011.

9 Responses to “Writing for Survival”

  1. Thanks for posting this.

    Funny that you should have this up. I did recently write in my own blog about a friend that commited suicide at the beginning of the new year.

    Well shortly after posting it up a writer friend who’s blog I have been following sent me a tweet to let me know that what I had posted was the best thing I have put up.

    What a huge compliment from someone that writes for a living!! That was the reason I started blogging: to put down things I observed, felt, to keep myself in check mentally and (most importantly to me) become a better writer even though it’s not my profession.

    His comment has me on such a high right now and it’s absolutely true what you state: write from the heart.

    I write for me and for no one else first and foremost, but choose to post it publicly and I have a lot to learn in regards to finding my writing style, but with that one compliment, I can stop worrying in my own head if it is good enough.

    We are our own worst critics. Whilst I may not fully agree with my friend, I accept his compliment and will continue to always improve and as you state “write from the heart”.

  2. Good for you. Keep writing from the heart, and so will I. xo

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  4. This is so true, and so close to my heart! I cannot express how many times writing has been my healing, especially over these past few months as I have struggled with a new health issue. You always hit so close to my heart!

    • I’m so pleased to see that my words touch you. It’s always lovely to hear this from readers. It helps me feel that I’m not alone in this and that my efforts are worthwhile. Thank you so much for your comment, Muffy.

  5. Writing gave me purpose after I was in a car accident, and has allowed me to have a career again.

  6. Every time my life takes a turn, either up or down, I write. It’s good for the soul to get out all those feelings. I’m glad I’m not the only one that feels this way. It cleanses my mind. It heals the pain. It strenthens my resolve.

    I wrote a book once, several years ago. Thou I didn’t seek to get it published, I still wonder if I should have. Maybe someday I will.

    What I like to write the most are poems. There is something about having to make words rhyme that makes the act of writing interesting. Some times when I write poems I hear music in the back ground, as if they were set in music and should be sung. I’d love to write songs, but alas have no way of writing the music I hear. It’s sad, but true.

    Thanks for reminding me to write. I need to do it more often. I need cleansed today. I need to get it out of me, the pain of my situation that I find myself in today. Thanks for listening.


    • Anytime.

      I need to write more often, too. No doubt! I totally encourage you to publish your book. There are more options than ever now. At least get it up on the Kindle as an eBook. It’s healing and cathartic to have other people read your work, especially when it speaks to them.

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