There is a movement happening where people are invited, in a safe space, to write about their past trauma. I’ve done this before and found it very therapeutic. The trauma writing I’m talking about today is what, through prayer, I discovered in my creative writing. My past trauma was woven so thickly into my novels, screenplays and poems that I could not see it. All I knew was that I struggled with an over abundance of darkness, sorrow and pain in my writing. And I wanted to write for children. I thought this was my true writing self and that I would always write this way.
Then I had a chance to attend an online conference and meet, via zoom, an author whose work I’ve loved since middle school: Alan Dean Foster. I took extensive notes, and even got to ask him a question and show him my copy of Cachalot. He told me (and the conference goers), the backstory about the novel and about the cover on my book. There was one sentence he said that resonated within me and would not let me go. He talked about how he doesn’t write dystopian because there is enough darkness in the world and he doesn’t want to add to it.
That’s what I was searching for but was unable to put into words. I’m done with putting darkness, sadness, and despair into the world through my trauma writing. It’s taken me seven months to recognize, confront, accept and let go of the trauma that had woven its way into my writing. Now my writing is heartfelt, it’s rich, it’s vibrant and it’s alive. When you ask God to help you, He always makes a way.