Monday, September 1, 2014

Memoirist Honors Her Story of Abuse

Sometimes the hardest part of writing memoir is putting the first word on paper. Along with all the do's and don't's that have plagued women writers throughout the ages, our fear that our story isn't "worth" telling overwhelms us. In this essay, Kellie Springer shares her writing process and urges us to honor our stories simply by beginning without censorship or rules. A former psychiatric nurse, now holistic practitioner and reiki instructor, Kellie began coming to the Women's Writing Circle this summer. She read from her work-in-progress memoir about being a victim of childhood physical and sexual abuse. Please welcome Kellie to the Circle. ~ Susan

"Many of us have a call to writing. In today's world there are numerous avenues to express ourselves. Children's books, memoirs, novels, magazines, blogs and poems are but a few that call to us, begging expression. Yet that calling is often met with inaction and impotence as the would-be author instead pens a mental list of reasons why they are undeserving of such public utterances. Most aspiring writers are left paralyzed with fear and doubt, never allowing pen to hit paper.

Our minds have been saturated with the rules of writing, not the freedoms of sharing our voice. The entire process of getting our written words before the eyes of others is fraught with a system that deems our work worthy...or not. Our unique voice appears utterly dependent on the approval of others.

Or is it? Can we boldly bring to life the message we seek to deliver to the world without fear of judgment and analysis? My answer, indeed we can.

It can be that simple, really, if we allow it. As in everything we do, the first step is always to begin. You need not have a step-by-step plan or even a concept of its ending but action, in any form, is key. Attempt to be committed to action instead of the approval, or imagined disapproval, of others.

Once we permit ourselves to move forward, however imperceptible, the energy of who we are and what we long to share gains momentum. Take just one step, and then one more, repeatedly.

There need not be methodology to your composition in this infant stage, simply allowance to be present to the style and manner that words are most comfortably conveyed through you. This is a time of creativity, the technicalities and proper arrangements can come in a later phase. There are many well versed in the schema of writing, and it is during that time that we call in the support and guidance of others to bring closure and clearer comprehension to our work.

If action is the first step, then speaking from your heart is what follows. Share with the world your personal passions and others will be drawn to your authenticity.

Our mindset limits and contains us, but speaking from that place where you feel alive is powerful and one of the greatest gifts you have to share with others. The work and the words you express can only come from a perspective and understanding that you solely possess. It will be like no others' because you are like no other. Embody and embrace that last sentence, and you will begin to see the wonder in the words as they flow from a mere concept to sentences on a page.

Prior to typing the first words of my memoir, I felt what could only be described as a compulsion. I truly felt I could no longer contain the ideas and thoughts that floated repeatedly within my awareness. The drive to "speak" my words felt vastly greater than the warnings my mind flashed before me. I had no idea where or how to begin, and it was then that I realized that was my starting point. I simply began to type what was happening to me in that moment: "How do you put over twenty years of purging, insight and growth into a book?"

Instead of forcing myself to create what I thought should be my beginning, I allowed the truth and energy of that event to speak for itself. It wasn't a confidence that fueled me, writing 144 pages in perhaps 10 months, but a need; a need that only only I could fulfill.

Sharing your written word can be a profound event for both you and the reader. I encourage you to simply begin, if only with one word, allowing your stream of consciousness to flow from its confines. Cease thinking and allow the words to move through you. Seek not the permission of others, but instead your own, bringing to light the gifts which you have come to share with our world.

What messages or gifts are you drawn to share with the world? What step will you take to begin to fuel the momentum and energy of your work?

Kellie Springer previously worked as a psychiatric Registered Nurse. She is currently a holistic practitioner, practicing as a reiki master and intuitive guide. For more than twenty-five years she has traveled through her own journey of healing and self awareness. It is through her sojourns that she seeks to support and inspire others to find their own truths, nurturing self compassion and understanding. She currently posts a weekly inspirational blog and is working on a memoir of her lifetime experience as a victim of childhood physical and sexual abuse. She lives in Chester County, PA . She may be reached through her website:

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