Originally, I was going to write at length about this concept. Then, I thought it would be more beneficial to open up the floor after a small discussion. Everyone handles trauma differently and writing directly about it isn’t always the way to go. Some would never dare to try such exposure and others do it in a more roundabout way. This makes me think that my perspective on the topic is unique to me.
First, I will say that a big factor in writing from trauma is how a person is handling the effects. If one is in denial about the damage or is too hurt to face it in such a way then it’s not a source of inspiration. I think this type of action is for those who are ready to face their trauma or expose it to others. Keep in mind that writing from trauma doesn’t always mean publishing. It can be a diary that is only for you, which is fine. That’s a long-standing method of healing.
Make no mistake that this can, and maybe should, be a way to heal. It can be seen as clearing the wound of pus and infection in order to improve the healing. Of course, this depends on the trauma and person. Not to mention the reaction, which is why many do this in private. You put a raw and bleeding part of yourself on the page, but then the thought of others seeing it can make it worse. A person many wait years to share it or never do it at all.
Personally, I have written a little from trauma without directly outing myself. Various painful events have helped me get through a few tough scenes, but I don’t think it was anything major. The real traumas stay on the inside. I did try to find a way to touch on the pain I was feeling from the divorce, but that didn’t work. Mostly because I had already set up the big plot that I couldn’t change too much without wrecking my foreshadowing and planning. Downside of a series is that it doesn’t allow for writing from trauma if the event happens in the middle of publishing it. If the trauma doesn’t fit the story then you can’t use it. So, I may be waiting a while before I try to do it if I go for the big events in the first place.
So, let’s get to the questions:
- Do you think it’s beneficial to write from trauma?
- Do you feel an author can write about a trauma they never experienced?
- Have you ever written from a trauma?