Loss Of The First Love

Some things can only be expressed in ink.

Just imagine for a moment.

The love of your life is no longer wants to speak to you.

*When I thought my talent, my gift, for writing was gone, I was distraught.

This was something I was able to do, and do well since I was eight. I had no idea how to function without that component. This was the one thing that I had which I believed I could have complete control over. After the breakup of a boyfriend, after coming out of the mire of that toxic relationship, the gift was gone.

It was gone.

No prose. No poetry. No essays. No stories.

Nothing.

I cannot emphasize how scary that was. How frightened I was! How angry I was! I was angry at the relationship that almost killed me. I was upset that I lost three years with a man that whom choked me to the point of unconsciousness on the floor of a bedroom. In a house we didn’t even own, no less. The command that I had, of words and language, was gone. I was angry, resentful and completely heartbroken.

I had saved my life. I had kept my life, at the cost of the murdering of my gift. To this day, I have no idea how that happened. It was gone…completely. I hadn’t written to the fury and power that I had before, even when I was with him. In three years, I had written maybe 6 things. Even though I journaled (I’ve always journaled), there was no other creativity that came. Or would come.

All together, my writing drought started in late 2000, and ended in March 2004. For four years, I had lost my first love. And I had no way to get back to it.

I know what it is like when the words won’t come. I also know what it’s like when the words cannot even be found! I remember how helpless I felt. I remember how lost I was. I had described myself as a writer, someone who writes. I lost my gift and identity.

There was this creative black depression that I found myself in. I was too ashamed to tell people what I was feeling. How dumb I felt for staying with him. How much I hated him, which was a little less than myself. But it was my mother that asked me, “Are you still writing?”

Are you still writing?”

These four words compelled me not to abandon hope. These four words where a lighthouse. Among this dark ocean of despair, someone was looking for me. Someone knew who I used to me, what I could do so well, and sent out an SOS. After finding the strength to get back to pens, paper and keyboards, I wrote my first poem in over four years–to a Maroon5 song (This Love from the Songs About Jane album).

It felt as though I was learning to walk again. The keystrokes were clumsy and unsure. I erased a lot, and rewrote. But it was there. It was there, and I could see it. The words were out. And I was free.

The dirty secret about writing which I am no longer afraid to tell you is this: you have to learn to fight. You must. Audre Lorde said there are times as a writer when you don’t write. She goes on to say those times are devastating, because writing is like breathing.

I remind you fellow writer, letter conjurer, page bender. There is a way back. There is a way to get back to your first love! The light will come. You are seen, you will be spotted in that ocean. Someone needs your talent. Someone needs your take and imagination. Someone is going to ask you, with concerned confidence, “Are you still writing?”

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*For more information about my writing journey, you can purchase a copy of WriteLife on Amazon. Go ahead and click here. Consider it a lighthouse.

Writing Is A Discipline

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According to the Second Oxford dictionary, there are 171, 476 words in the English language. Those words are made up of only 26 letters. It is, will be, the desire to manipulate these letters–bending them to will and imagination, this is the game, beloveds. This is the challenge, this is the game, this is the discipline.

In committing to writing, the manipulating the world with words and letters, it cannot be overstated that the focus writing involves is unlike anything else. In sitting down with paper, pen or computer, you agree to allow your imagination to unfold and flow until its cessation. Until its cessation. There is a laser-like need had be writers to know how it all ends. To know what the characters, the line, the scene–the words–we have to know what it all means, how it will sound and how to bend it towards our will.

Writing, the curious alchemy, is a muscle. In developing this muscle, or any muscle, requires time and focus. The strength of that muscle, even its stamina, comes from its use. Maya Angelou said that you can’t use up creativity! However, no talent is strengthened or stretched without discipline–that enhanced focus to improving a situation or circumstance.

Honor this talent you have, this propensity to create worlds and their inhabitants! Embrace the journey writing offers you, what the talent gives back to you, and how far you may stretch out in it. Don’t fear the page, or idea.

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Here are three tips to help:

  1. TIME.

Make it. Create it. Make use of it. Writers are bound and unbound by it. There must be a time you take daily to write, work on writing, or exercise that same imagination. Writers are creators and creatures of habit–and for that reason, there is never enough time.

2. SPACE.

There is a soothing in hewing out a place in your own space dedicated to what you love to do. Whether that be your bed, floor desk or couch. Stephen King recommends doing the same thing in On Writing. In King’s wisdom, when you cultivate the space, you are more apt to create more, or desire to create.

3.  ENERGY.

There is a power which happens to you when you know the writing is good, when you know you have wielded the wind with the alphabet. The more that comes from you, the more which will come out of you. Some writers and other mystics call it the flow. This creative energy that is palpable and able to be harnessed to unfurl all your imagination holds! Don’t fear that…embrace it, use it.

Discipline is not a curse word. It’s firepower!

 

Jennifer P. Harris

Editor/FounderShekinah Glory Writing Services