Writing Saved My Life

This is my story, and I’m just going to come out and say it. It shouldn’t be shameful. It shouldn’t be something I keep hidden away, or locked in a journal, separate and unidentifiable in comparison to my “internet identity”, which quite frankly, barely even exists.

I am a writer. That’s who I show myself as on here and it’s what I spend most of my days working towards being able to eventually support myself doing. But supporting myself by writing isn’t why I started and it’s not why I continue to this very day.

I write because of who I am. And it’s more than just someone in front of a screen, putting up quotes and instructions on the flimsy hope that I’ll get anyone (anyone at all) interested in my stories. Which are beautiful, wonderful, heartbreaking and lovely, if I do say so myself.

I started writing as an escape. My life has never been glamorous, though it wasn’t always terrible. Not until one day when my mother moved me and my younger siblings to a shack in the backwoods full of moldy clothes and rats, so she could switch from being a part time meth addict to a full time one.

Yeah, it was sad. Yeah, it sucked. But something beautiful happened to me there that I wouldn’t trade the world for. I fell in love with writing. I could create worlds that made sense. With characters that could be sad when I couldn’t be, who could be angry about things I had to grit my teeth about, but also could be courageous and capable of love. All the things I lacked in my life and in myself at that time.

I was creating a safe haven, to hide from the things I struggled to cope with. To forget about the known child molesters my mother allowed in the house, the junkies in my living room, or the fact that we gathered loose change from the cushions to buy things to eat at the corner store.

And when my mom was arrested, my sister split from me to live with an aunt, and me and my brother shipped off to another state to be raised by relatives we didn’t know? Writing became the way I came to terms with that. It has cradled me while my mother has been absent, it’s taught me what it means to be a man with my father not around. I’ve questioned, analyzed, and argued all the points in my life that have troubled me through the guise of fiction.

I’ve developed the types friendships I’ve never had the good fortune to have, I’ve felt the loves that have always been fleeting. I’ve questioned what it means to be brave, or good, or trustworthy. I’ve found answers to questions I didn’t know I was seeking, and I’ve sought the family that’s always been lacking.

Writing has saved me.

It saved me at 4am on a Wednesday in April when I was trying to figure out how someone you love could hurt you. It saved me during the long winters, when I was trudging through knee high snow on the way to a gas station, because I owed a man my life and I wasn’t allowed to forget it. It saved me from myself, when after years of lies and hurt and confusion, I’d nearly forgotten how to dream.

To believe that I am good. That I am brave and strong and smart, whether the world sees me as valuable or not. So, you know what? I may never have anyone care about what I’m writing. None of you may ever send me a message, or read my stories, or my novel, or my thoughts. But the reason that upsets me, is because I wish you could.

I wish you could read about these places and these characters, because they’ve saved me from so much and I truly, honestly, with all of my heart and all that I am, believe that means something. And because I know I’m not the only person out there having troubles, struggling to make it by, or who has had a pretty messed up childhood. These characters helped me through those things, amd they’ll continue to do that. I really think they could do that for you, too. If you’d give them – give me – a chance.

I’m gonna be sharing more of my fiction in the future. I was originally going to use this blog as purely a place to talk about the craft of writing, but I’m not going to do that anymore. There may be some of that, but from here on out, I’ll primarily be using this as a platform to showcase my actual writing. Some will be scenes of my upcoming novel, some will be musings on writing itself, and other things will be random short stories, scenes, and even poetry that I write. Once a week, I’ll put out a lesson on some individual aspect of the writing craft. I know the internet is afraid of words, but that’s all I have to offer. I just have to hope someone out there thinks what I offer is worth it.

I’ve gone through homelessness, but I’ll take that before hopelessness, anyday. And I will never, until the day of my death, stop writing the stories that I love. I’m done ranting, I promise.

This story that I’m writing is the cumulative result of my entire life. Every experience, every pain, every hard learned lesson. But it’s full of a thousand dreams, as well. It may appear to be a story about a girl with a remarkable memory in a world of magical books, but it’s more than that.

It’s about family, and loss, and betrayal. It’s about seeking knowledge, and finding solace in fictional worlds. It’s about that night at 4am on a Wednesday morning in April when my heart was breaking, as much as it’s about all the hundreds of other little moments in my life where I needed answers. So, yes, I think you should read it. I really think you’ll enjoy it.

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4 thoughts on “Writing Saved My Life

  1. Thank you for sharing your story… I knew I wanted to be a writer before I really struggled with depression–though my childhood was never the happiest–and that knowledge has saved my life many times. I’m glad writing could do the same for you.

    Like

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