Saturday, January 30, 2016
Writing Fiction when you Are In Deep Emotional Pain
It's been awhile since I have written a blog post. Too long. Too long away from pen and paper. It has called me in the whispers of my soul, each day, crying for me to come back. Yet, the grief of my Mother and the desire to focus on anything else that takes me away from emotion has led me astray from my creative life.
The sunshine has started to peak its way through the darkness of my soul, yet, there are days when I am exposed to other people and the interactions with them gets too intense. The intensity sends me back into the abyss of grief and I spend the day yet again in my bathrobe, on the couch watching Hallmark movies or in my study listening to one of my spiritual teachers, in hopes of feeling just a tiny bit better.
I don't like those days, they feel yukky and they feel hard to climb back from. But, it is those times that I have learned to reach out to those I love and who love me. I didn't use to do that. I hope I have learned something as I have evolved through my years on this earth.
So yesterday, after not having slept for almost two days and suffering from a lot of tears and a nagging headache, I stayed in my pajamas and let myself pull from anything I could to start feeling better. I thought about all the things my Mom and I used to enjoy together. I called my friend to help move some furniture and I started moving things around my study and bedroom. I needed my comfy chairs back in my study. I started looking at home renovation ideas and I called another friend to come over and help me prepare for my Airbnb guests.
And this morning... I opened Elizabeth Gilbert's book called Big Magic and I read and I read. I opened up her website and listened to her voice about this very book. The one passage I read was this:
I've found that it's nearly impossible for me to write when I am unhappy, and it is definitely impossible for me to write fiction when I am unhappy. ( In other words: I can live a drama or I can invent a drama- but I do not have the capacity to do both at the same time.)
Emotional Pain makes me the opposite of a deep person: it renders my life narrow and thin and
isolated. My suffering takes this whole thrilling and gigantic universe and shrinks it down to the
size of my unhappy head. When my personal devils take over, I can feel my creative angels
retreating. They watch my struggle from a safe distance, but they worry. Also they grow
inpatient. "It's almost as if they are saying , "lady , please -hold it together" We have so much more work to do!"
My desire to work-my desire to engage with my creativity as intimately and as freely as possible-is my
strongest personal incentive to fight back against pain , by any means necessary, and to fashion a life for myself that is as sane and healthy and stable as it can possibly be.
But that's only because of what I have chosen to trust, which is quite simply: love
Love over suffering, always.
I could totally relate to this passage in the book. I have a hard time writing when my heart is in extreme pain. Although my writing is oftentimes cathartic, the heartache is so difficult to bear that the words don't come.
And so, like Elizabeth Gilbert, today, I focus on love. Love for myself, Love for the books and the blogs and the words I was brought here to write, Love for my Mother who was such an artist, cook, baker, interior decorator, writer and Love for the people that I hope I inspire with the sharing of my words and life experiences.
Posted by Kimberley Barker Nightingale at 11:50 AM