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.
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.