The bit where life gets in the way…
I wanted this blog to solely be about my writing journey. But writing is inextricably intertwined with life – you can’t have one without the other. Life inspires writing and is inspired by it. And the only way to write well is to live fully and wholeheartedly.
You might get your heart broken along the way, but there’s no better way to express pain than to write your way out of it.
I’ve been a long time fan of memoir and, at one point, I longed to write my own. My decision to study psychology straight out of school came from my deep-seated desire to know my own mind and to work out why things had happened to me and what effect they had left on me. I also felt a strong need to help others, to guide them, to fix them. I felt like I had something to teach or to tell, I just didn’t know how to go about it. So the first logical step was to become a psychologist.
My journey to not becoming a psychologist is a story in itself, suffice to say, even though life had thrown a lot at me, there was still so much more to face. But something that has never left me is the desire to know and to tell. I was a writer first, scribbling from the age of 8, starting a diary at 9, and falling in love with writing in my teen years. At different points over the years it has been my saviour, my escape, my downfall and my obsession.
I still keep a diary, writing several entries a month. I kept writing when my son was a newborn and I was a sleep-deprived new mother, finding the compulsion to record my strange new life too strong to ignore. It was a need I put above sleep and sanity because I felt it was necessary for my soul. Now when I write it is less about recording my days and more about the nuances in emotion I face on a daily basis, the weekly rollercoaster ride of moods, my struggle for balance in my life. I write also to purge myself of toxins that keep me from working on my fiction projects (which I can’t help but see as the real work) – the surface mind crap as well as the unexpected life events that occasionally spin up to throw me into turmoil.
Life stories are important. Writing them can be vital. It is the method by which we share what we have learnt with people who may be stumbling in the dark. It is the way we honour our experiences and the people who have graced our lives. We grow when we can put our stories down into a physical form – when we are able to tell the world “This is what happened to me”. Sharing life stories is cathartic and empowering. It’s also scary as hell and is apt to leave you feeling vulnerable, but ultimately it builds strength.
So many of my life stories have remained hidden, even from the people closest to me. By writing them, I shine a light into their dark corners, and by sharing them, I make them glitter like stars.
Here is where I will begin to publish my Life Stories. You can find them on the tab at the top of the page.