Why You Should Face Painful Writing

By on June 5, 2020

Facing painful writing can be liberating and cathartic. Read on to find out why.

Many writers find that the process of writing itself is a rather painful one. Why is this? Because truly authentic writing has to come from a place of truth that’s inside. When you write from the heart you are digging deep. You are searching your soul for the story that wants to escape. Discover the words that need to come out, the things you need to share with others. This can feel extremely daunting, and it can be a struggle to do so.

Painful writing - why we shouldn't avoid it

To be honest

Being honest with oneself is never easy. Often writers avoid what they really want to write about and spend years writing about what they think readers want to hear. Or perhaps you skirt around safe subjects that don’t leave them susceptible to being wounded in the same way. Think about it. Its far less painful to be rejected or to receive a negative comment about work that we didn’t pour our heart and soul into, right?

To heal

You might feel this doesn’t resonate because you don’t want to write about dark or highly emotional subjects. Or you might have that painful past or sad story that needs to come out for you to heal. However, it’s important to note that painful writing doesn’t necessarily have to come from a place of distress, you don’t have to be a tortoured soul or have done through a traumatic experience to find writing painful.

Rather it is about getting to that place of honesty. You might want to make people laugh, you might have a passion or particular knowledge, you might just find something incredibly interesting and think others will too - whatever it is it still leaves you open. It still is about saying ‘hey I think you’ll really like reading about this,’ and then waiting to see if you receive an equally enthusiastic response. That in itself is scary, that in itself can feel painful to do.

To write from the heart

At the end of the day all our actions, interactions, and experiences come from the hand of cards we’ve been dealt in life and when you get to the core of what motivates you it could well be that there is some sort of past scar that is driving you to tell a particular story in a particular way.

You need to write from the heart, from the place that exposes you, by doing so you’ll connect with those raw, genuine emotions and your writing will be all the better for it. Avoiding the pain not only deprives you, the author, from writing about the thing you care about most, it also deprives your readers of the chance to feel connected, understood, and even to heal too. 

Being courageous in your writing is cathartic, facing your discomfort head on and being brave rather than sticking to safe subjects or trying to shape your writing into a particular mould that you think readers will want will just end up making the process more difficult and exhausting and deeply unsatisfactory as a result. 

So the next time you feel yourself avoiding writing about the painful bits why not take that leap of faith, and find the courage to do so - you could find that you produce your best work, and feel amazing as a result. 

So now you know why you should face painful writing, why not discover more about how to write with emotion?

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About Beth Cadman

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