• Doc Mele

Don't Be a Writer...Be Writing


I lost that sense of being fantasmical along the way to being a grown-up. I first became a published writer, without even having a journalism or media writing class, via a feature article I wrote for a magazine in the 80's. Then I studied journalism in college and quickly learned I had to write within the lines (actually it was more like write within the inverted pyramid to be exact). There were rules to follow now. One example of these rules was: Do not use 50 cent words!

What in the world is a 50 cent word? Like the word resonate? Is that a 50 cent word? And if it is, we can't use the word resonate in our article? Ay CARAMBA (Since Bart Simpson was trending during that time in my life)!

A feature writer once told me, that majoring in journalism made him hate writing, and I completely understood!

Then I did a master's and doctoral program. More rules on how to write in a particular style. I followed the "rules" and did ok, because my dissertation passed on my first submission, when I was told 90 percent of people didn't get the green light on their first attempt.

However, I realize I now know how to write like Mr. Spock on Star Trek. I can give you a lot of empirical data. It's informative, but sterile. It lacks soul.

I give my patients writing homework and instruct them not to edit anything. Just write, I tell them, no matter if they think they're writing well or not. Just write. And there will be no judgment, not from me.

When I read a lot of my patients writings, regardless of age, their words touch me deeply and are painfully beautiful. They write from the deepest reaches of their soul, whether it's a dark or light place. But it's often from the dark places where most of the beautiful stuff comes from. To them writing is cathartic. It helps them understand or heal a part of their psyche.

So, recently, I've given myself permission to just write, without self-judgment, or trying to hide or fix what I put on paper or laptop. I will get flowery with my words if I want, I will use 50 cent words if I feel like it, and I will write outside the inverted pyramid.

Affirmations have helped me manifest my intentions (even with writing and having my dissertation approved). Currently, I am saying them daily to propel my subconscious mind into reaching my goal of having a book published.

Starting today, I am tuning out all forms of media and media stories that promote drama and conflict. I will meditate for at least 15 minutes, focusing on breathing in positive energy and exhaling negativities I hold within me; listen to more classical music and instrumentals that center me; and go for more walks in the forest. I will listen to my intuition and write what it wants me to communicate.

As a child, I had no concept of what good or bad writing was. As I got older I was told what not to do. Slowly, without being aware, that natural part of me, that part of me that could write outside the inverted pyramid died, and with it, so did my intuitive creativity. Sometimes, we have to allow the child in us to come out and speak, in order to write masterpieces.

Like Pablo Picasso said, "It took me four years to paint like Raphael, but a lifetime to paint like a child, [because] every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up."

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