By Tanya Tiger
Write what you know.
Write about pain and suffering. Write about love and joy. Write about life and death. Write about living in your body and dreaming with your mind. Write about it all and be alright about it all.
When I get writer’s block it goes beyond a loss for words. It’s as if my very soul has been caged and the key is lost somewhere in the great beyond. Writing is my soul’s delight, the map on my journey into madness, and my escape from pain.
Writing is my lifeboat.
It has saved me from drowning in grief more times than I can count. Writing is my dearest friend and my beloved. Writing is my powerful expression of passion, rage, and desire as well as my peaceful way to walk in the world.
Writing is like coming home from a long voyage. It is my lighthouse on the shore and my shelter from the storm.
I have given birth through writing and through writing I have been reborn.
Writing offers a window into my soul—deep and vulnerable exposure of all the parts that have been hidden from the world. I can sink deep into my words and ride them like a wave. Sometimes the ride is smooth, gently carrying me towards a beautiful sunset. Other times the words smash me against the rocks and threaten to tear me apart at my seams. Always, the words return me to solid ground and I stand stronger and wiser than before.
Writing is my teacher.
It has taught me patience when the words do not come as they are called. It has taught me compassion for myself and others as I pour my broken soul onto the page along with tear drops, and think of all those who have done the same. It has taught me diligence and tenacity through long hours staring at a blank page—words ripe and ready but still hanging from the branch—never giving up and waiting for the tree of inspiration to bear fruit. It has taught me about myself as it makes me gaze intensely into myself, my beliefs, my very being.
It has taught me to bend and stretch to the very brink without breaking.
It has taught me that I have something to offer this world; that I have worth. Writing has taught me that I am strong. It takes great strength to put your heart out into the world, fully exposed to every sort of harsh reality life can bring forth.
Writing has connected me.
It has connected me to other writers, the artists and poets, musicians and stargazers that make life shine a little brighter. I am connected to priests and monks, teachers and healers, priestesses and magick workers. I am connected to countries I have never seen before, voices I have never heard, and the spices of life that I have never tasted. Writing has become my bridge to other worlds, other beliefs, other perspectives. Writing has broadened my horizons far beyond what I could have imagined.
Writing has given me an outlet for my stories.
It has give me a way to share my life with the world. Writing is my way to help, to inspire, to show compassion and admiration for the souls with which I share this planet. Writing is my way to connect to Mother Earth, to peacefully protest when abominations occur to her and her children—abominations that scream out for justice. Writing is my sword in battle. It is my shield.
Words hold great power. They can heal or harm. Words can lift your mood or squash your dream. Words can build an empire or tear it down. Words are weapons if wielded carelessly. They can calm a frightened child or start a war. Words can linger, for years, or fall away like a feather in the wind. They can speak of love and loss, hope and heartache, guilt and pride. They can be whispered softly into a lover’s ear or screamed in the face of an enemy.
Words are fire. They are fuel. They spark creativity.
And words can be a temptress, coaxing unsung songs from the heart or they can be a stubborn and coldhearted lover, turning her back and leaving you with nothing more than a blank page and a blank stare.
Writing is all of this and more. Each of us has a unique relationship with our writing. Some have a love/hate dance with their writing while others are more like a parent and child (Parent: “I said come here!” Child: “I said no!”).
For some the words come easily while others struggle for what seems an eternity. Some days the words can’t get from my mind to my hands to the paper fast enough and other days feel as if I’m grasping at ghosts disappearing into thin air. I piece together the words like a puzzle, bit by bit.
Even on those days I still love every minute. It’s in my blood. It’s what makes my heart beat.
I wouldn’t surrender it for anything.
Editor: Dana Gornall