My book’s third draft requires what I call bridges, written pieces to fill the gaps that exist in the second draft.
Right now I am writing a series of bridges showing an emotional shift from denial into curiosity and the beginning of a willingness to look at a long, traumatic experience of illness. Because this third draft is all about adding the emotional layer, I need to move deep into my emotions every time I write.
Yesterday I wrote about numbing out. Numbing out is an emotion. It’s a way of coping with and surviving other emotions which threaten to overwhelm. I know it intimately. It was my primary emotion for a very long time when I was ill.
Writing about a denial of emotion and, at the same time, providing the emotional connection for the reader is tricky. I struggled with the words, I persevered, but by the time I was done I was numbed out to my writing. I left my studio in doubt of any success.
This morning I realized what had happened. I’d not only written about the emotional wall I lived behind when I was ill with fibromyalgia, I’d recreated it.
My mind, body, and heart don’t register a difference between an emotion felt via memory and an emotion felt via a current experience. When I feel something, I feel the experience right now. Present. Immediate.
I’ve learned things today. Trust my mind and body and heart to know what needs to be written, to feel the emotions truly, and to write that truth. Remember that the emotions I am expressing on the page colour how I feel after the writing is done; bless them, and let them go. Trust my readers and their emotional experiences to understand and complete the emotional connection I’m offering.
The shorter version—trust and write what feels true.