Sunday, 5 January 2020

Writing for five years: a recap

October of 2015 was when I self-published my autobiographical novel "Clara Thinks to Us". I realised, years later, that I wrote it out of fear of death. I wanted to write about the part of my life that I haven't spoken to my children about. The boys were in their early teens then and Kyra was just a preschooler. If something would wipe me from their lives, like it had done to a dear friend recently (that was the trigger), they could have a reference book to go to for answers.

Probably I was starting my mid-life crisis then. The shock of my dear friend's sudden and early death certainly brought up many questions like "is this it?", "there is so much I'd like my children to know about my past but they are not interested", "my children only know me as the nurturer, the house manager and the mum. Will I ever get the chance to show them another side of me?".

That is why I started writing about me. I didn't expect it to be so cathartic and even therapeutical. In the process, I discovered hidden feelings in me that I didn't know were there. I started this blog because I wanted to share the wonderful healing power of writing.

At some point, I started writing anonymously and I wrote content for other blogs. I wrote for money and I wrote for therapy. I also wrote for pleasure.

Writing and networking

Putting ideas out there has brought me close to people who think alike. It has also kept some other at bay. It definitely made it clear who my true friends are. 

My life as an author

My beginnings as an author were very timid. I didn't consider my work was good enough for me to call myself an author or a writer. Writing in a second language and with an academic background in Science did not help my self-confidence. Then I started reading books by people somehow connected to me. And I found typos in their books that were published professionally. 

My current place

I have assumed that I am a writer because I write and I am an author because I published books. It is not about book sales, reviews or official presentations. I envision a TEDTalk one day soon. In the meantime, I keep writing and I keep connecting with people who can relate to my work. I heal from my traumas and those of my ancestors. Writing is a soothing balm in my life. 

Public projects

I started working with Nora on her blog Under Heat and Pressure a few months ago. It is about ancient feminine wisdom and related topics. I have recently published my latest book in Spanish, Jose y Juan, on printed format. 

Anonymous purpose

When there are disabilities or challenges that affect the lives of our loved ones, writing anonymously is the only way to be able to express how we really feel about things. In writing anonymously I am protecting my loved ones and growing as a person through situations that must remain private. I have over a thousand followers under my pen name and the community will keep growing because people can truly identify themselves in this particular universe of challenges.

Your Turn

Have you tried writing? You can write a letter to a loved one next time they hurt you. You can burn it if you don't want to send it.  Make sure you include a paragraph where you describe what you expected from them or how you would like things to be between you. You can write in your head, by thinking while you walk. Imagining that you are journaling is an excellent way to organise your ideas and come in touch with your emotions. You can write a letter to yourself as a child, to a dead parent or to your boss. Try it, it works.