Is writing ok to use for working through trauma

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  • #106792
    Anonymous

      I realized that my writing is pretty much just my way of dealing with some trauma and trying to move on. I don’t know how that glorifies God, I’d like it too, I think from a distance I could probably come up with some way that it does, but not in a way that would convince people. Sometimes not in a way that would convince myself. My question is, if I’m writing to deal with trauma and that’s it, is there any value to the story I’m creating? If it’s just a mess that comes from a lot of pain and represents a lot of pain, doesn’t that go against the creating beautiful art for God thing that I’m supposed to be doing? I know I sound stupid but I’ve been sounding stupid since forever and why stop now, can anyone help ?

      #106883
      DeepRun
      @deeprun

      @phoenix

      Not all art is beautiful.  Some of the most powerful pieces are devastating to look at.

      Also, if you write to heal, why wouldn’t that bring glory to God?

      Trauma is part of the fabric of our human life.  Others may not have experienced your exact circumstances; that doesn’t mean  they haven’t felt similar pain.  I’m always greatly encouraged, spurred on even, to read when others have triumphed in the face of great suffering.  It doesn’t mean their pain isn’t chaotic and messy.  Even disturbing.  Yet, to see a soul choosing good after that encourages me to do the same.  One good act, in the midst of a sea of darkness, burns bright.  How can it not?

      I’ve written through a lot of the pain in my own life.  It’s been invaluable.  Especially, now that I can read it again and take heart.  Not all is darkness.

      You do not have a soul. You have a body.
      You are a soul. - C.S. Lewis

      #106991
      Chelsea R.H.
      @seekjustice

      @phoenix

      Honestly, I think a lot of artists of various sorts use writing as a way to work through trauma, I definitely know that I have.
      <p style=”text-align: left;”>And yes, I think it has value, even if it’s only because it helps you to cope and to process things.</p>
      Also I don’t believe that “beautiful art” has to be super happy fluffy art. Beautiful art can be tragic and real and full of pain and still be honouring to God. You only need to look as far as a good deal of the books of the Bible.

      (And you definitely don’t sound stupid. It’s a valid question 🙂)

      Mahalo keia huiʻana

      #107072
      Princess Foo
      @princess-foo

      @phoenix I actually just got back from a writing conference where I sat on a session in this exact topic! I thought the session was about writing characters with tragic backstories. It was not. (Note to self: Read the descriptions carefully when choosing what to go listen to.)

      The writer said that there are two ways to write about trauma. There is writing for yourself and there is writing for others. One is not better than others, but it is important not to confuse them. When you are using writing to work through trauma, that is writing for yourself. As I am sure you have found out, there is something about putting your feelings into words that allows you to process them better and move past them.

      However, this is not the same as writing for others. When you write for others, you have to think about things like pacing and word choice and all these other things. People need to be able to critique it. They need to be able “I thought X didn’t work” or “I didn’t connect with this piece”. And when you are writing about something raw and personal it feels like they are insulting what you went through. Both of these things are real and valid, and that’s why we need to be careful about conflating the two.

      So to your question, does working through trauma with writing produce un-God-honoring art? My own answer would be that it is not supposed to be art. Art was made to be shared with others and when you are writing for yourself it isn’t meant to be shared with others. It’s something else and when it is done in a God-honoring way then it is God-honoring.

      And if you want to write for others, to share your experiences and bring encouragement to someone who may have gone through the same things, you can totally do that, but it will be better for everyone when you have some distance from the traumatic event. You will have some clarity that comes from distance and you will be able to look at what you have written objectively.

      The cake is a lie. acaylor.com

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