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 Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer?

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Victor D. Lopez
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Victor D. Lopez

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PostSubject: Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer?   Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer? EmptyWed Dec 05, 2012 11:07 am

In reading numerous threads here it becomes apparent that some of our colleagues have overcome childhood adversity, some through truly painful, tragic circumstances. It leads me to wonder whether privation, pain, and hardship help to create budding writers. Does the mind turn inward in an attempt to set right in the writer's artificial worlds that which the writer cannot set right in the real world? Are physical and mental wounds, privation, degradation, humiliation, hunger, pain, loneliness, and injustice the raw materials transformed into literary gold by the writer's alchemy?

I have long thought that there is a very thin, permeable membrane separating genius from madness. Is writing one of the coping skills that allows gifted writers to remain on the right side of that line of demarcation?

In your own life, has suffering motivated you to become a writer or influenced your writing?
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joefrank
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PostSubject: Re: Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer?   Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer? EmptyWed Dec 05, 2012 12:21 pm

125/2012

Victor..

Since I was a kid I loved writing, I wrote a poem

about President Kennedy when he was killed, I've written

poetry , here's one I rote when I was 14 years old about

Marilyn Monroe when she died.

Goddess

Joseph Frank Baraba 8/ 1962

Hair like white cotton candy

Lips as red as ripe cherries

Skin pale and luminious

Eyes as blue a a delicate sky

So vulnerable, so childlike

Tearing at your heart strings

You want to hold her, make everythingsafe

A beauty so fragile, it would take your breath away

In the blink of an eye, she's gone, her name:

Marilyn Monroe

Cheers..Joe...Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer? 925501
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alice
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alice

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PostSubject: Re: Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer?   Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer? EmptyWed Dec 05, 2012 12:34 pm

Hi, Victor,


I love your topics.

Before my diagnosis with Parkinson's, I had no time to write. I was either working, traveling, climbing mountains, decorating, entertaining or involving myself in church politics.

It never occurred to me to write a book until I slowed down a bit.
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alj
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PostSubject: Re: Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer?   Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer? EmptyWed Dec 05, 2012 1:05 pm

Quote :
I have long thought that there is a very thin, permeable membrane separating genius from madness. Is writing one of the coping skills that allows gifted writers to remain on the right side of that line of demarcation?

In a word, yes, from what I have learned, anyway.

I've commented several times on this board about the German oops. Polish psychologist Alice Miller. Her work was extremely helpful for me in coming to terms with my own childhood.

She has written about many creative people, and how they were able to channel their childhood traumas through their call to create. She has written about many writers, including Kafka, Dostoevsky, Chekov, Prouts, and Joyce, as well as painters like Picasso and actors like Buster Keaton.

Her main premise is that an individual can find creative ways to overcome those traumas as long as what happened to them has been validated as real, and not something they made up or were somehow responsible for.

Wikipedia is as good a place to start as any.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_Miller_(psychologist)

Quote :
In her writings, Miller is careful to clarify that by "abuse" she does not mean physical violence or sexual abuse, which she says are easier to deal with because they have a physical effect that can be observed and discussed. She is concerned with a much more insidious form of abuse: mental abuse perpetrated by one or both parents on their child; this is insidious because the difficulty of identifying and dealing with it lies in the fact that the abused person is likely to conceal it from themselves and may never be aware of it until some dramatic event, or the onset of depression, requires it to be treated.
At the bottom of the article are links to her website as well as other sources.
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Victor D. Lopez
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Victor D. Lopez

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PostSubject: Re: Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer?   Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer? EmptyWed Dec 05, 2012 1:18 pm

Thanks for the link, Ann. I need to explore it as I am not familiar with Dr. Miller's work but probably intuit what she no doubt studied and documented. I need to learn more.
----------------
Alice,
It seems that you were not driven by the pain or adversity but simply given the ability to explore this new competency by circumstances that prevented you from spending your enormous energy and talent in other ways. Interesting!
-----------------
Joe,
Your examples seem to indicate that adversity has motivated you to write--at least to write poetry. Has that extended to other writing as well? Poetry for me flows most freely from pain and inner turmoil. That is why much of my poetry is dark, but always and forever tinged by the glowing embers of hope. This stubborn man's romanticism dies a very, very, very slow death and like a bad weed resurfaces no matter the noxious substances heaped on it by life or fortune's wheel.


Last edited by Victor D. Lopez on Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:00 pm; edited 1 time in total
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dkchristi
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dkchristi

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PostSubject: Re: Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer?   Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer? EmptyWed Dec 05, 2012 5:11 pm

Yes.
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alice
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alice

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PostSubject: Re: Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer?   Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer? EmptyWed Dec 05, 2012 7:21 pm

0h no! You are getting far too terse--Expand please.



DK, tell us more. lol!lol!lol!
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Abe F. March
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Abe F. March

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PostSubject: Re: Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer?   Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer? EmptyWed Dec 05, 2012 9:59 pm

Yes, to the question. I think writing about traumatic experiences is a form of therapy.
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alj
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PostSubject: Re: Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer?   Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer? EmptyThu Dec 06, 2012 6:53 am

I agree with Abe. I would even go beyond that. Writing about trauma and pain is very therapeutic, but the creative function goes even further. We don't have to write about our pain, we can channel that intensity of feeling into the creation of a better world. We can write stories, paint pictures, take photographs, and I could keep going. The main thing is that we have that function of imagining something different from our personal experience, and through that, we can not only inspire others - which is an important part of the process - we can actually change the reality of the world we live in.

I have mentioned Alice Miller. She insists that one of the most important pieces to overcoming childhood trauma is that of having an "enlightened witness" who can help the victim see that s/he is not to blame for what happened, and can open the door to the possibility that the world does not have to be the way we perceived it as children in those painful situations.

But the channeling of trauma into art does not necessarily include that witness. One such artist comes to mind for me: Sylvia Plath. Ms. Plath wrote her poems as a way of coping with her personal hell that involved a sexually abusive father. She had critical and financial success and a loving husband, but she still chose to commit suicide while she was still a young woman.

This is where the enlightened witness comes in. children tend to assume responsibility when things go wrong. It is easier, as a child, to assume you are a bad person than it is to admit, even to yourself, that you had bad parents. Our society and our social rules make it even harder. Even today, there is an element in psychology, one backed by our religious traditions, that says we must honor our parents, and love them no matter what, and forgive them if they do us harm.

All that can leave us saddled with a tremendous amount of guilt and a lack of healthy self-love. We can spend our entire lives acting out or compensating for that sense of innate "badness."

But the act of creating something new and unique can be healing - is always healing, to some degree. And creating worlds where protective forces keep us safe enough to experience love can be as real inside our heads as the outside world is, and the changes in our perception can lead to changes in our experiences. We actually do have a major role in creating the reality of the world around us.
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alice
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alice

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PostSubject: Re: Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer?   Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer? EmptyThu Dec 06, 2012 2:15 pm

Few people are happy with their childhoods. It isn't hard to figure out why--the child is a victim of circumstances. They must eat what and when their parents decree. Go to bed and arise when told. In short, they do what they are directed to do, or else!

The real real tragedy is when they grow up and happiness still eludes them. Their carefully planned life does not work out. Very sad!
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer?   Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer? EmptyThu Dec 06, 2012 2:40 pm

Rule #1 of writing fiction: the story begins with the conflict. In other words, no conflict, no story. I don't think that all romance writers have been through the same boy-meets-girl, girl-hates-boy, boy-hates-girl, boy-and-girl-make-up-and-live happily-ever-after, since many romance writers are spinsters. Sci-fi writers haven't fought foes in space, thriller writers haven't murdered anyone, and zombie writers are very much alive. However, one thing they have in common is knowing what it feels like to be on the receiving end of someone else's wrath, jealousy, vindictiveness, meanness or downright unreasonable behaviour. Having felt the pain inflicted upon us, we can write stories that are truly from the heart.

_________________
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I shall never be old. It doesn't suit me -- ©️Shelagh Watkins 2017
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Don Stephens
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Don Stephens

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PostSubject: Re: Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer?   Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer? EmptyThu Dec 06, 2012 3:00 pm

Victor D. Lopez wrote:
In your own life, has suffering motivated you to become a writer or influenced your writing?
NO!

BEARKILLER came to me while spending some of the best times of my life in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah. I will say that in writing HALO, a fictional reflection of time spent in Southeast Asia, it got rid of some nightmares. But all in all, I had a fairly happy childhood and a pretty good life over all. I've been fortunate to have had two special ladies that loved me, the first couldn't handle my life as a soldier, but was a fine lady and great mother. The second one has loved me unconditionally for forty-five years (married forty-four next month). So my writing may reflect some feelings, memories or in the case of DEATH RIDER some reflections (What I would do if someone harmed the lady I love) none of my writing is derived from suffering. The poems I've written reflect some thoughts at the time but once again, not from suffering.

For those of you that have had suffering in your life, I hope you have found or soon will find peace.

GOD BLESS,

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dkchristi
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PostSubject: Re: Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer?   Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer? EmptyThu Dec 06, 2012 4:48 pm

I have had the agony and ecstasy of emotional roller coasters from unrequited love to a run-away 16 year old son to an ill family member to the loss of all the elderly family who held my heart in their hands. Perhaps suffering is defined differently by different people. I know men and women often see it from different perspectives but not always.

I can say my childhood was perfect; my marriage was one of wealth and travel and the joy of childbirth and an exceptional child including marital companionship; my careers have been in service to others and very satisfying and I very much love my newfound career in journalism along with writing novels and short stories. I've had a life of hope, dreams and goal fulfillment.

I have had love, friends, family, children, family, extended family, education, wealth, career. I have also had intense grief, fear, longing, aching heart, physical abuse, emotional abuse, mistreatment on the job and by men in power, friendships that were not what they seemed and disappointments. I have known poverty, fear of starving, unfair treatment in the courts, anger and misjudged and damned.

From all that comes a lot to express in multiple stories and characters that are compositions from life. However, my first novel borrowed from travel and unrequited love. My second from a variety of human relationships and adult and youthful love experiences in family and other relationships. Short stories borrow from everything.

Yes, suffering brings the deep emotional connection among characters. Suffering and joy connect the human experience.
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer?   Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer? EmptyThu Dec 06, 2012 5:02 pm

Thank you, DK, That is more like it. .
I wouldn't have traded my imperfect childhood for your perfect one.
As you say we all have different perspectives.
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alj
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PostSubject: Re: Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer?   Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer? EmptyThu Dec 06, 2012 5:33 pm

As I read these posts, I think about a poet named Etheridge Knight. I remember him from a poetry anthology that served as textbook for a creative writing class I took while was going back to school in the late 70's, The New Naked Poetry - I can't recall the editor. Knight was an African-American poet who began writing poetry while serving a prison term as young man. He discovered the work of Langston Hughes, began writing about the "black experience," developing his own unique style that fit his message perfectly. He later said that writing poetry saved his life. According to the biography in the anthology, a reader once asked him why, since his work was so committed to expressing his own culture, that he was read and appreciated by such a broad and diverse audience. I hope I can remember his response well enough to share it accurately. He said, as I remember, "People are more alike than we realize... I might feel afraid getting off a bus in Mississippi; you might be, if you took a walk through Harlem. It is only the experiences that are different. Underneath, it's the same fear."

I think that is why our stories, especially those with the kind of conflict that Shelagh mentioned, are so universal.
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Betty Fasig
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PostSubject: Re: Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer?   Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer? EmptyThu Dec 06, 2012 5:42 pm

People have told me that I should write about my childhood. I did try. Anyone can see it in the Work In Progress board under the topic, A beginning.

I found that to write about it was to re-live it. It was my decision to not do that. Living it once was enough.

In the writing of the Wooffer Stories, I wrote about the world that I see in the animals around me. I see no mean spirits in any animal, no matter if they are mammal, reptile, insect, or amphibian. They form strong bonds between themselves and other species. I prefer to think that people could attain to that kind of perfection.

If, as a child, I could have read the stories of Wooffer, I would have looked out my child eyes with more hope. Just to have seen a squirrel would have comforted me.

I did not write anything with that in mind, but the writing of the stories have healed my soul from the inside out. I hope that makes sense. It really was not the writing of stories, but the animals in the stories that healed me inside and out. I will never be the same, that is for sure and that is a very good thing.

Love,

Betty
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alj
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PostSubject: Re: Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer?   Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer? EmptyThu Dec 06, 2012 6:01 pm

And, thank the Universe (and maybe the force of Mother Nature?), that you are who you are!

Annie
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer?   Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer? EmptyFri Dec 07, 2012 7:37 am

What Ann said.
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Alphonse Bocelli

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PostSubject: Re: Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer?   Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer? EmptyMon Dec 10, 2012 10:51 am

By the amount of posts here, i'd say a lot of have felt that way.

I'd started out with Illustration and painting and got to the point where i couldn't always say what i wanted to in a picture. They say a picture can say a thousand words and i suppose it can, but the people i was trying to "speak" to with the art usually didn't take the same message away that i had tried to put into it.

I used to get beat up in school as a kid every other day (I've documented it all in "Searching For a Healing Heart", an ebook available on Amazon and Smashwords) and it was such a release to write about it after seventeen years of keeping it locked up inside.
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alice
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alice

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PostSubject: Re: Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer?   Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer? EmptyMon Dec 10, 2012 11:03 am

So Sorry--where were the teachers?
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LC
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LC

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PostSubject: Re: Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer?   Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer? EmptyThu Dec 13, 2012 8:33 am

The Kite Runner is a best-seller that appears (at least to me) to have its genesis in the author's pain. The book is soaked in his guilt over not helping a best friend when they were children, and what happend after he didn't help. I admire those authors who can take such ordinary circumstances and make such an extraordinary book.

Me, I just write nonfic, so your question doesn't apply. My books sprang from a desire to make money. That's all. lol
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alice
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PostSubject: Re: Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer?   Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer? EmptyThu Dec 13, 2012 8:48 am

LC,

Welcome back!Very Happy I have missed you terribly.



This is better than Christmas!

Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer? 3971Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer? 356119Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer? 3971Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer? 748773Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer? 3971Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer? 232978Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer? 3971Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer? 678395Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer? 3971
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Shelagh
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PostSubject: Re: Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer?   Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer? EmptyThu Dec 13, 2012 8:51 am

Don't encourage her.

_________________
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LC
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LC

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PostSubject: Re: Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer?   Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer? EmptyThu Dec 13, 2012 8:56 am

lol! Thanks Alice ...I'll flit in and out, but I've got that new book to work on, it's taking up a lot of time. And due in May! :0

Less message board farting around = more books written!
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alj
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PostSubject: Re: Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer?   Has pain sown the seeds that led you to become a writer? EmptyThu Dec 13, 2012 10:12 am

Quote :
Less message board farting around = more books written!

How true, but I'm glad for any circumstance that brings you back now and again. You always challenge our thinking, and that is a good thing.

So, what are you cooking up for the holidays?

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