November 27, 2009, Newsletter Issue #179: Using Childhood Memories to 'Write' Through a Creative Rough Patch

Tip of the Week

I never thought I would want to revisit my childhood again. There was a great deal of emotional pain and disappointment lurking and I did not feel it would have a positive effect on my writing. Boy was I wrong! Years ago I had been working on a chapter and I was in the midst of a scene that refused to work for me. I wanted to write it one way but it would not budge. I objectively analyzed why this was. Who was keeping me from my creativity! I was. My need to approach it 'my way' stemmed from my natural instincts being repressed as a child. I remember that happening very clearly. It was painful. But in remembering those painful incidents, other memories started to push through. Things I had not 'remembered' in a very long time. These memories were fighting for their right to be recognized, giving me the courage to admit that 'it wasn't all bad'. I wrote them down quickly, capturing what I could; the emotion, weather, and action. And then I formed a poem around it, and I do not write poems often, but this excersize helped me to cherish that memory in a 'creative context'. The disappointing memory diminished and when I gave over to the positive, it was like a dam had opened inside my soul. I went back to the chapter with a completely different approach because I 'allowed' myself to. And it has given me the continued strength to fight against that childhood oppression as it has no business influencing what is deep in my heart. I read that poem very often!

So, if you find yourself in a similar situation, make a brief journey to your childhood, stretch out in the long grass again, build your 'fort' in the backyard again and remember how sacred your creativity is!

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