Monday, March 4, 2013

Writing--a Healing Balm

I'm an odd duck in the creative writing world. For starters, I had never planned on becoming a writer. I've always been an avid reader and have enjoyed books for years. They are indeed among my treasures.

I was an honor student in high school and enjoyed advanced English courses that made my friends wince. They always thought I was weird for taking classes like that, but it was something I relished. So much so, by the time I became a college student, I majored in English, with plans to teach high school English, French, and drama.

Halfway through my college goals, I met a nice young man named Kennon, and we were married a few months later. Instead of becoming a teacher, I focused on surviving the recent diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes, and being a wife, and eventually, a mother. All plans of becoming a teacher faded to the background.

After my husband and I had been married for about a year and a half, my father passed away in a tragic manner. This is when I entered the world of writing. During the nights when I couldn't sleep, I would sit in the kitchen and write out everything I was feeling. Then I would shred those pages . . . and I experienced a bit of peace. I didn't realize I was taking care of my own therapy. ;)  It was one of the ways that I survived the trauma that went along with losing my dad.

I became hooked on writing--I just felt better when I sat down and wrote things out. Eventually I began writing the story of a young woman who was trying to come to terms with her father's death. It was my story, but I changed a lot of the details to make it a lighter version.

I've never forgotten the peace of heart I experienced the night I typed the final sentence in what would become my first manuscript. Writing had helped me find a pathway to healing.

In the years since that time, I have often turned to writing things out when I'm upset. These emotions are usually expressed in poetry, songs, and stories. I find that I do my best writing when something is bothering me. I suspect there are many others out there who can relate to this.

A relative of mine who went into psychology told me years ago that writing out what we're feeling is considered a healing form of therapy. We've always been encouraged to keep a journal, and I suspect that is in part to help us work through the challenges and difficulties that come into our lives. I find that it's good to go back and read past journal entries when life takes a painful twist. I usually find something that gives me a boost and the courage to keep moving forward.

I think writing is something we can all benefit from, whether it's reading someone else's work, or composing our own. And I'm convinced that some of the best writing is contained in what we refer to as the standard works. There are times when an inspiring scripture will bring me peace of mind not found in any other book.

People have been writing since the beginning of time. I think it's something that is instilled within most of our hearts--a desire to somehow translate life experiences into words that not only help us deal with challenging trials, but may offer hope to someone else who is looking for a glimmer of light in a darkened world.


Dibe Hall said...

Dear Cheri (is that awfully informal since I don't know you?)
I have been an avid reader of yours since I started attending church when I was 12. Then I became an avid blog follower. Thank you for all of your inspiring blogs, stories, novels and experiences!
You're theraputic writing has helped me feel a sense of belonging and purpose. Thank you!

Cheri J. Crane said...

Thank you for your kind words and positive comment. =) Take care and have a great day!