Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Letting the Genie Out of the Bottle

What if we did not view writing our stories as a luxury, something we were only allowed to do when we didn't have the house to clean, the children to tend, the job demands to fulfill?

 In her book Writing As A Way Of Healing: How Telling Our Stories Transforms Our Lives, Louise DeSalvo writes: "What if writing were a simple, significant, yet necessary way to achieve spiritual, emotional, and psychic wholeness?"

Writing about past traumatic events in our lives is like uncorking the bottle - out pops the Genie with all its mystical and magical power.

As DeSalvo notes, many of the great writers - Virginia Woolf and Henry Miller, to name but two - were depressed and stymied in the writing process until they began writing about past traumatic events. In Woolf's case, it was being sexually assaulted by her half-brother; in Miller's about the loss of his wife who left him for another woman. Once they had reflected on the pent-up emotion of their trauma, they were able to move on to a richer, more textured life.

This month's "assignment" in the Circle is an invitation to explore a past traumatic event.  Try writing about the event and the emotion at the same time. Engage with your writing in a way that allows you to achieve energy, depth, power and soulfulness - in other words, to claim your voice.

As always, if this is not what you care to do or if you are working on a piece of fiction, short story, or poem, please bring that to the Circle.

The Women’s Writing Circle meets at 9 a.m. on Saturday, September 11 in the Wellington Square Bookshop in Exton.  See you there.
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