I was very kindly invited by accomplished writer, LK Hunsaker, to guest post for “Write the Light in” – so thank you LK for the honor of being allowed to contribute here.
The question she raised was: what is the emotional effect that writing has had on my life. I believe that writing has a profoundly emotional effect on anyone who engages in it – whether you just enjoy letter writing, journal keeping, or simply like to clarify problems by writing them down – we create on paper the mood, the moment, the meaningfulness of our inner thoughts. We make our minds visible and intelligible through the act of describing our feelings on paper.
For me, writing is about discovering my own power. I say power and not talent because writing is fundamentally for everyone. We can all engage in its journey of discovery in our own private ways. Writing is the most individual imprint we can make on our daily experience; it is the closest, most intimate connection we can make between our world within and the world without.
My discovery of the power of writing (aged 7 when I penned my first poem) has driven me emotionally all my life: when I can write; what I can write; what will connect with the reader; what can I say that is fresh and different.
I can honestly say, that I have no idea what my life would have been like without writing – I cannot imagine a life where there is not something interesting going on in my head, or where there is only daily work in the week and empty spaces to fill at the weekend with general family and friends – and the same the next week and the week after that. While for some this is life – and a perfect life – for me it presents a quiet fear. What if I am wasting time on other things when I could be writing?
Emotionally, writing has made my life purposeful above all other things. It has been the subconscious force in all my life choices: to settle, to be quiet, to be alone and enjoy that aloneness, to continually organize my life with time for writing in between the daily busyness. Writing gave me my dream when there were both good and unhappy times. Writing has moved me from inner dwelling to an inner journey. It has developed my mind, my way of thinking, my insight and capacity for emotional intelligence. Without it, I believe, I would be half the person, half the intellect I have made myself.
I am a poor cook, a rotten gardener, a scrappy housekeeper. But I can write a credible thriller or two – and I sometimes wonder how well I might have excelled in these other areas had I not let my fascination for the written word supersede everything else. Writing has made me a dreamer, a bit of a loner, but definitely a happier, more positive person. I am driven by the passion of new ideas wrapped in the passions of imaginary people.
When I see unhappy people or discord in relationships, I want to reach out to those people and say, write! Start a journal, write what you feel, put your mind where you can see it and it will speak to you. Writing is a mirror of the mind, it shows us all the shadows and the light. Writing gives us the brushstrokes for the bigger picture.
Whether you write a journal, poetry or embark on the great journey of a novel, writing allows you a very individual key to personal freedom and power. It shows you the inner map of who you are – and astounding potential for new journeys.
Malla Duncan writes psychological suspense thrillers, cozy mysteries, and children’s fantasy. She hales from South Africa. Visit her at malladuncanbooks.weebly.com.