“All the best parts of art come from pain turned to celebration.”
When life’s circumstances put you in a rut, a hole, or even a deep pit of despair and loss, we have a powerful tool at our disposal: our writing.
Pain is a universal aspect of life that visits all who dwell on the earth. I’m sure many of us wish pain didn’t exist, but it has a beautiful way of binding people together, revealing truth, and making us stronger.
If you’re going through a time of grief, depression, or frustration, I urge you to keep that pen handy.
Heart-wrenching seasons expose emotional nerves. It’s as if you feel everything at a deeper level. Emotions become as visceral as they’re ever going to get. Recording how these raw emotions affect you can help you describe them when they aren’t as fresh.
Every story needs conflict. No one likes to go through the conflict themselves, but if you’re a writer, you know that it’s essential for an engaging story. Everyone likes reading about triumph and victory over an enemy of some sort, even if it’s an emotional one. Without it, your story will be a bore.
When we come out on the other side of darkness, we tend to have more clarity, revelation, and inspiration. Keep track of what you’re learning and feeling during this time, so you can share the impact down the road if you have the desire to do so.
You might be asking, “How can I even think about writing when I’m too hurt to even function?”
It’s possible that during your pain, you may be more numb than anything and even menial tasks become difficult. Nobody said you have to produce a masterpiece while you’re feeling this way. You don’t need that added pressure.
As a writer, I’ve found that I process things better when I write it down and articulate what’s been swirling in my head. It’s as if my thoughts and emotions find rest when they’re able to land on the page instead of floating around my soul with nothing to hold onto.
It could be as simply as making a few notes on how you feel or writing down a few prayers on index cards. Or, if you’re like me, spilling everything into my journal so I can get it out and visit it later.
Now for the fun part! Once you’ve successfully come out of the shadows and into the sun, it’s time to really write.
Not every story has to be about you, but let’s face it, a little bit of you can be found in every one of your stories. You can bring everything you’ve ever faced in life and bring it to the table of ideas. Once there, you can sift through all the options of what to do with them: blog posts, short stories, poems, novels, you name it!
Hidden in our experiences, good and bad, are avenues for conflicts, character arcs, and powerful images that will one day turn into a beautiful, relatable, and helpful story for your readers.
When in pain, write on!
How does writing help you in your most difficult seasons?
Leah Jordan Meahl is an up and coming Christian author. She writes for both the rooted and the wandering faith through her blog http://www.meahltime.com. She recently published her first novella, The Threshold. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her singing in the car as if nobody’s watching. James 4:8