I have been blessed to be part of a great writers critique group (The Long Beach Writer’s Critique Group) that has helped me to want to continue writing. One small change that I made last year was to submit more often to the group. Initially, I was hesitant because like most writers, I had the fear that my writing was not good enough. Although the feeling has not gone away, the feedback I have received from the group has made my writing exponentially better.
That still has not changed the fact that I am a “pantser” (one who writes without an outline) or, in my case, someone who looks at a blank page and has no idea what is going to come out. So last week, I volunteered to submit a piece, and at first, it started with me describing my brain bleed which then got me to a dear mentors death due to anesthesia which took me to the deeper hole about my stroke then to my jaw surgery in high school and then to my cornea transplant, and suddenly I had pages and pages filled in and I couldn’t take a breath. The words poured out, and what started out as a simple essay about a simple surgery (I thought) suddenly choked me, and I froze.
I have heard about emotional writing, but never experienced it in this manner until now. What seemed easy suddenly became the hardest things as it hit me that there is so much I have not dealt with. So much stuff I just bottled up and treated it as if it was in the past, and then the old quote came up(paraphrased here): “those who do not learn from their past are doomed to repeat it..” So hit me that as much as it hurts, I have to keep writing. If for nothing else, just so I can finally know what emotions are still there.