Friday, September 3, 2010

Why Writing Your Story Matters

"Writing is a way not only to metabolize life, but to alchemize it as well. It is a way to transform what happens to us into our own experience." Julia Cameron

I read a lot of Julia Cameron's work, and these words touched me so much I copied them on a sticky note and stuck them inside the book of another favorite writing teacher, Pat Schneider. It's the idea of transformation that resonates with me, and that I've experienced first hand in the writing of my story. There's something about giving the past shape and substance in the form of story that releases any emotional hold it previously had, which in turn frees up space for living freely in each present moment as it occurs.

Another of my favorite writer/teachers, Anne Lamott, explains it this way, "The great writers keep writing about the cold dark place within, the water under a frozen lake or the secluded, camouflaged hole. The light they shine on this hole, this pit, helps us cut away or step around the brush and brambles; then we can dance around the rim of the abyss, holler into it, measure it, throw rocks in it, and still not fall in. It can no longer swallow us up. And we can get on with things."

"The more personal your writing, the more universal the story." I don't remember where I heard this the first time, but the wisdom in these words gives larger meaning to why we write memoir. Our experiences, told with as much emotional truth and vulnerability as possible, help others to know they're not alone, and ultimately add light and healing to the world.

"What would happen if one woman told the truth about her life? The world would split open." Denise Levertov

What more worthy endeavor could there be than transforming the world, splitting it wide open, by exploring and sharing the depths of your story? Isn't is worth the risk of revealing your heart to find freedom, light and love far beyond imagining? Won't you join me?


Suzy said...

The classes are amazing, but the one on one coaching will change your life forever. It has for me.

If you're working on a book- there is no better way to go.

Deb makes you think, dig deep and then dig even deeper in the gentlest of ways.

Waiting for her comments to come back (and come back quickly they did) was exciting. Exciting because it opened up so many other avenues to be written about that I hadn't thought of or explored.

Deb is lovely, gifted and extremely talented.

Love you Deb,


Angie Ledbetter said...

Take...break...share. Amen.

Hugs and much success to you!

Angie Ledbetter said...

Got linky love up at the blog today. :)

Terri Tiffany said...

I love all these quotes!

Sharyn said...

Love Julia Cameron!

T. Anne said...

I love the quote about telling the truth about life. I try to do this in my writing!

lakeviewer said...

Your classes sound great! Having just finished my memoir-wrote it as a blog to share with my friends and family-I support the process 200%.

One Woman's Journey said...

Everything you have shared in this entry - is me.
I started writing 2 years ago as a diary for my grandchildren. It has been such a blessing and has opened a door to so many online friends. Thank you for your comment to me on Laurah's blog.

fiftyodd said...

I've often thought of taking a course - but far too shy to have my work critted even in the gentlest way, so I'll plod on with my novel alone. Have just finished reading Elizabeth Jane Howards' autobiography and thereafter 5 of her novels. It was a revelation to me that under the guise of 'fiction' her novels were barely disguised as her own life. So maybe there's hope for the rest of us. I see there is no disclaimer at the beginning of her books that the characters 'resemble no-one living or dead'. So i suppose you just try to disguise the real people as best you can.

FherYmas said...

It matters because it is my story.

Pranavam Ravikumar a.k.a. Kochuravi said...

Superb Quotes...! My wishes

Munir said...

Writing is cathartic for me. I always wanted to be a teacher, but I did not want to jack up expenses so I did not get training here in this country. So writing helps me fulfill that desire.

Philip Verghese'Ariel' said...

Very interesting good posts too, would like to come again, joined in
keep inform
keep in touch

P V Ariel said...

Hi Deb,
good to meet you, thanks for dropping at my place,
Informative page, great story, great quotes.
Thanks for the connected links too,
Here, I would like to invite you to join us
I am again here to mention an important event.
at the A to Z April Blog Challenge.
The links are given below
Have wonderful time of blogging
Good Wishes
Keep in touch
I am
Phil @ Philipscom
An ambassador to A to Z Challenge @ Tina's Life is Good
And My Bio-blog

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