“You write because you need to write, or because you hope someone will listen or because writing will mend something broken inside you or bring something back to life.” ― Joanne Harris I began writing basically as soon as …
When I was a little girl I kept a journal. You know, the velvet-skinned kind with the miniature lock and key that Mum could have probably picked with her fingernail.
It held my secrets, like which boy I had my eye on that week. At the time I thought it held my heart. It didn’t. In fact, it was more of a general account of my day-to-day activities rather than a revelation of anything deeply personal.
Consequently my love affair with my journal didn’t last too long. My life wasn’t interesting enough to record all the details. Yet now as an adult I truly believe in the healing power of journaling.
Some of my first memories of my mother include her being sad, in some capacity. That is a very sad thing to say, I realize this now. Likely, on some level, I realized it then too. Growing up, I couldn’t understand her sadness, couldn’t access the dark places she must have dwelled. As far as I knew, I came from a family of sound minded people who scoffed at the idea of therapy in any form.
And then, at the home of my grandfather, my mother (by this point, an alcoholic) revealed to me that my great grandmother, a woman I’d never met, had committed suicide when she was a fairly young woman, around thirty. She left behind a few children, and a legacy of secrecy. My mother’s depression had happened around the time that she was thirty and as I grew closer to that age myself, I realized that my feelings of sadness were more than that. They told of a history of women and mental illness and social stigma. They told a story about the ways mental illness can destroy most of the women in a family before they even realize it.
It’s a good thing that time heals all wounds, because if it didn’t I wouldn’t be able to talk about writing a forgiveness letter at all. Like the pain of giving birth, you can eventually recall that something hurt, but you don’t relive every nuance of the experience. Unfortunately, our hearts don’t heal nearly as quickly as our physical selves.
We have a tendency to hold our hurts close and cherish them for some reason. I suppose there is the childlike (or childish?) fascination with wanting to pick at the emotional scab to see if it still hurts after a time. If you don’t do that, how will you know whether you are healing or not. Unfortunately, every time you revisit the event that hurt you, it brings up the pain like it was yesterday – at least it did for me.
This is not a rags to riches success story, nor is it the story of how I overcame a life threatening disease and made millions. Rather, it is the story of how I have been blessed with the ability to work full time from home as a freelance writer.
My name is Joshua Rarrick, and my story begins in September of 2011. I was a truck driver, who worked full time hauling pipe and supplies to oil field locations in Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. I was away from home for time periods ranging from 5 days to 1 month at a time, and I was longing for a way to spend more time with my family, yet still be able to provide for them.
Whenever I tell a new person I’ve met that I’ve recently had a memoir published, the response is, invariably, “You wouldn’t believe my story. I should write a book, too.” And my response to them is, invariably, “Then, why don’t you?”
The gap between having the desire to write a book and actually sitting down to write one is quite large, but with some effort, it can be bridged.
All true artists, whether they know it or not, create from a place of no-mind, from inner stillness.
Recently I was listening to an episode of the Oprah / Eckhart Tolle podcasts. Tolle described how he writes, and I was struck by the simplicity and peacefulness of the process. If you ever experience writer’s block, or if the words you do write feel forced, this guide may prove to be the solution for your troubles.
The following is a summary of how Eckhart Tolle writes:
Have you ever started keeping a journal – perhaps starting on a particular milestone like your birthday, or January 1st – only to give up after a few days or weeks? Like many projects which we’re initially enthusiastic about, writing daily or even weekly in a journal can all too quickly become a chore. After all, what difference can it make to write down words that no-one but you will see?
There are several ways for keeping a journal to change your life, and I’ll show you how to achieve each in just ten minutes a day. Still think it’s not worth it?