How writing is saving my life…

I have found a sense grace in the act of writing. Every day, I remember more times when putting words on paper saved my life.

The first time was when I stepped in my mother’s blood moments after she died at my feet on the side of a road. My grief counselor gave me a pen and a composition book and told me to write until I felt better. I am still writing.

Another time, the mother of a childhood friend was going through a really hard time in her relationship. She was scared for her life. I didn’t know if i was going to be allowed to come around anymore because of what she was going through. But in the midst of another loss, I wrote her a note to say that I loved her and that it was going to be okay. 20 years later, she thanked me and told me it meant the world to her. Her daughter and I have always been friends.

I once wrote a book for a friend that helped them to heal from grief. It was hard to listen to but the writing helped him. It also helped me.

I once wrote an essay that got me into college when my grades could not.

On most days, I sit in front of my computer and write about what I am feeling or what my day has been like. Whether it is two or three sentences or the culmination of an 18k word manuscript, it is a practice that I have come to depend on. On the days when I don’t write, I find my sanity slipping away like money on a bad purchase. At this point in my life, my sanity is not for sale and I choose not to waste money.

Even write now, I am going through something that may change my life forever. It is something that is painful and confusing and may end with a solution that I never thought would happen. While my faith informs everything I do in some way, it is the practice of typing these words and making thoughts come alive on the page that is getting me through.

Some days, tears fall as I write. My prayers become words and like the sincere cries of others, they are not always the prettiest of petitions to God. In all honestly, they are usually raw and ugly. But writing them puts them in order, allows me to see them for what they are and then to act on what they are telling me, if need be. Without this opportunity to write and compose my thoughts, they would be a jungle of chaos in my head and heart, lost to the world because they held no rhyme or reason.

Writing is how I communicate. Again, it is how I pray. It is how I engage the world and see the things in life that can otherwise go unseen. Writing is to me the thing that separates the human race from all other species; not only is it a means of communication, it is a means of conscious awareness and introspection.

This post serves a number of purposes. It is meant to encourage my readers to pursue a life of writing not for publishing accolades but for the value that it brings to life. I hope that everyone reading this finds passion for the thing that brings them healing in life, the conduit that brings them closer to God.

For me, that thing is writing. In addition to posting for my readers, this post also serves as a selfish one because while I love all those who may read my words, the desire and need to write my way to life supersedes all others.

I literally need this to survive.

The need to write comes from the need to make sense of one’s life…

-John Cheever


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