Blurb

The shoes didn't fit. It was an omen.













Sunday, March 23, 2014

How Writing Helped Me Overcome Bitterness

Over the years people have hurt me. There were times I actually thought I had been birthed into the enemy camp. Who needs enemies when you have to live in the same house with them?

Oh and then there were the beloved ex-husbands plus their villainous parents. While I couldn't choose my family, I walked into those nightmares blindfolded.  And not necessarily for love. 

When I finally decided to get serious about my writing, I began with the intent to write my memoir. 

 It was a really bad Monday-night-movie-on-Lifetime- for -Women -Network -kind-of-story. I can't even admit that it awed me any.

My editor at the time mentioned, "Man, you're angry. You need to rewrite a lot of this."

And so I did. But still, it came out angry. 

My editor handed it back to me. "You've got talent, kid. But no one will ever publish something this angry. Re-do it."

So I pitched out the whole memoir idea and made it into a fiction piece. She was right. I needed to let go of all my anger. 

I figured I would approach my fiction piece with humor. It did help. My editor loved it, but it still read somewhat angry. 

"Kid, you've found your voice," she said. "Go back and climb into all your characters' heads and figure out why they are the way they are. No one in life is a hundred percent evil or bad. 
And if they're flawed there's always a reason. Find out why."
 
So that's what I did. I wrote their back stories. Doing this gave me a new perspective on everyone that ever did something rotten to me. After doing this I was able to forgive and let go of any grudge I held onto.

To forgive is a good thing. 

Has writing helped you overcome something?

Hope everyone has a Happy Monday! I'll be at The Salon today. But I'll be around. Hoping to finish the rest of my A to Z posts tonight. I've been having issues with my internet again. Wish me luck!

Hugs and chocolate!
Shelly


19 comments:

  1. I had to realize for myself that anger just consumes you. And those people in our lives who cause us pain... forgiveness doesn't mean you can let them back in. It just means letting them go.

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  2. Shelly, I went through a period like that. My agent finally suggested I take time off. "You're like Picasso," she said. "He had his Red Period, his Blue Period...this is your Ugly Period."

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  3. And to think some people need to go all the way to Tibet to visit the Dalai Lama to learn that lesson. Glad to see you 'changed shoes' and are doing the #atozchallenge - see you there :)

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    1. changing shoes and the #atozchallenge are in no way related - bad sentence structure :)
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    2. It's all good. I understood.

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  4. Life is so much more pleasant when it is filled with happy emotions. Resentment just makes those holding tight to it have all kind of physical and emotional problems. Congratulations. Good luck!

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  5. I've kept a journal since (dare I say it?) 1972. If anyone finds them they wouldn't exactly find anything exciting in the hundreds of note books I have stored in bins. Well, maybe one or two things, but still.
    The journal kept my sanity from alcohol and drug abusing siblings, and a bad first marriage. It's true you do have to let go of the anger, and I think you did a splendid job of it, Shelly!

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  6. I'm always in awe of people who write memoirs. Love to read them. The emotion (angry, sad, humorous, etc) doesn't bother me; just as long as it reads authentic.

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    1. I love memoirs but not mine. I'll save what I know for the fiction I write.

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  7. Writing can be therapeutic, and it sounds like it was especially helpful to your health and well-being!

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    1. Definitely. I've always found it to be.

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  8. Writing is very cathartic. It's such a great way to release emotion pent up inside us. I think a lot of people feel they should write a memoir, but it's not necessarily something everyone will want to read. There has to be a solid triumph. Sometimes we need to write it anyway even if it never sees the light of day. Just to get it out of our system.

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    1. I agree with you, PK. It's never a good thing to carry around years and years of anger.

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  9. Sounds like you had a wise editor. I'm glad writing helped you through your anger.

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  10. I loved my editor. She's departed now. And I miss her terribly.

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I'm dying to know what you think.