1. Very interesting. It reminded me that I don’t really do this — and perhaps I should. I definitely look into my past and into my own emotions when I’m writing, but I seldom (never?) look at what I experience at that moment and think it might be useful in a book someday. I wonder how I can train myself to do that? 🙂

    Btw, we got your lovely package — and thank you very much for the little things for the kiddos (they both loved them!).

    • I think there’s an important caution in all of this: You have to be fully in the moment to appreciate (learn) the lesson. Plus, there are certainly times when it’s unhealthy to hover above a situation. Unless you’re fully engaged in the problem at hand, it’s hard to come up with effective solutions, right? Still, there’s a point at which it’s easier to distance yourself, and in doing so, to find a way to extract a little Goodness & Light from all that pain.

      Glad your package arrived safely! It makes me happy to think about the joy it brought to you and yours. xo

  2. Oh, I’m so glad I’m not the only one who does this! A part of me will be feeling some height or depth and it’s not that I’m not giving it the proper attention…but some small part is filing it away for future use…

    • Whew, I was hoping I wasn’t alone in this! =:)

      As I mentioned to Robin, I like to draw a distinction between unhealthy detachment and healthy observing. I believe it’s called being “the neutral witness” in some circles.

  3. I sent Jane Yolen the question similar to this. I was immersed in a teenage tragedy, we lost someone we all love dearly and yet while it was unfolding, I realized that one day I will use that feeling, that deeply sad and personally painful experience in a book. I felt a little guilty, a little gross about it.
    I know it won’t look the same when I write it. But I will know where that pain came from, and I guess that is when I felt like a writer.


    • ((thank you)))

      I’m embarrassed to admit that I had to Google Jane Yolen…I’m not familiar with her writing, but think I should be.

      If it’s done in a healthy way, I don’t believe this is something to feel guilty about. Maybe the opposite? In my way of thinking, it’s a way to bring Light to darkness, and to find connections with others when we’re feeling most alone. And yes, it does validate the fact that, in addition to all that we are and are yet to be, we are writers. 🙂

  4. Exactly. I recently had to cope with a difficult situation (still coping, it’s just no longer as difficult) and I didn’t know what to do with all of the anger/sadness/hurt I was feeling. I thought I’d exhausted my option to talk with others and decided I needed to write it all down, allowing myself to release my emotions as well as capture them, as raw as can be, on paper. Identifying with a character’s emotional state is often what really draws me into a piece of writing. Therefore, as an author, being able to articulate that emotional state is so important. In these instances, it really is a case of writing what you know. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    • First, I’m very sorry about the pain you’ve been dealing with. *Hugs headed your way*

      It’s good to talk things out with trusted family and friends, but I understand completely where you’re coming from when you say you’d “exhausted your options.” It’s no fun to keep re-opening that wound, is it? But like you, I believe that writing things down can be a form of healing.

      Thank you so much for sharing your perspectives!! Yep, we write what we know. But about the writing process itself, I learn so much from all of you…

  5. I’m sorry you are hurting but impressed that you were able to remind yourself that this, too, is all grist for the writing mill.

    (Hope you got my email about your box arriving. Many, many thanks again.)

    • Thanks, Susan! Someone once told me that the way to get through pain is to soften your gaze & change your focus. I like that writing offers me a new avenue for doing just that.

      And yes, I got your lovely note. xo

  6. Sending hugs, Melodye, and lighting a candle against that darkness.

    I, too, have a small part of my mind that can start jotting notes off on the sidelines at the strangest moments. It’s an odd feeling, isn’t it? But I think you’re right, and it’s a common part of the writer’s makeup.

    • Thanks so much, Amy! The sun is out today, and your lit candle is making my day even brighter.

      You know, I was a bit scared to post this entry… I wondered if my way of processing things would be off-putting to others in similar circumstances. But in the end, I decided to go for it. How else to discover new ideas and ways of doing things? My worries were for naught, it seems. YAY for yet another candle against the darkness…another bit of grace, drawing us together.

  7. A writing friend and I were just talking about how to find joy when it feels beyond one’s grasp. Your post was a comfort because it’s a reminder that emotions of sadness or despair can be of some use later to a writer, even if they’re tough to work through at the time. Thank you for this. Wishing you and your family a very happy holiday season.

    • It’s more fun to walk in Goodness and Light, of course, but I learn some of my most important lessons in those dark, lonely hours. That said, I’m an optimist at heart…I’ve always believed there’s joy in the morning. 🙂

      Thank you for allowing me a forum in which to share these ideas safely. It’s so comforting to know I’m not alone in this! Wishing you & yours a wonderful holiday season, too! xo

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