I had a number of email responses to my last post, in addition to the comments on the blog, so I thought I’d share another passage from this book, which I highly recommend.
The book is Writing as a Way of Healing, by Louise DeSalvo. (I inserted the Amazon link, but this book is widely available and still in print.) Throughout, DeSalvo draws from her studies of other writers, and this book is the source for my “sturdy ladder” quote in my recent blogpost at Writer Unboxed.
This book is an invitation for you to use writing as a way of healing, as a fixer, as a sturdy ladder, as picking and digging, as balm on a wound–or whatever metaphor describes how the process works for you. This book is an invitation to engage with your writing process over time in a way that allows you to discover strength, power, wisdom, depth, energy, creativity, soulfulness, and wholeness, to “cultivate those qualities of heart and spirit that are available to you in this very moment,” as Wayne Muller has phrased it. For, as he’s observed, “your life is not a problem to be solved but a gift to be opened.”
This book is an invitation for you to use the simple act of writing as a way of reimagining who you are or remembering who you were. To use writing to discover and fulfill your deepest desire. To accept pain, fear, uncertainty, strife. But to find, too, a place of safety, security, serenity, and joyfulness. To claim your voice, to tell your story. And to share the gift of your work with others and, so, enrich and deepen our understanding of the human condition. (9)