Sharing – How to heal through life writing

This is an interesting way to think about writing, whether you do it publicly like Uddipana did, or just write for yourself.

“Life writing encompasses a variety of genres – from autobiography and memoir to diaries and journals, as well as oral testimonies and eyewitness accounts. Writing short memoir pieces and personal essays proved most therapeutic, helping me reflect on my situation, accept it, reach out to people through it and, finally, heal. I wrote a newspaper article on why I married a wife-beater and another on why men abuse women with impunity, and the process helped me realise that, in writing about my trauma, I was also acquiring certain life skills that were helping me cope in my day-to-day life. In giving vent to my deep-seated pain and sadness, I was learning to accept them as a part of me. In accepting, I was healing; and, in sharing my story with my readers, I was emerging from my isolation and seeking solidarity. Victims of domestic violence remain silent because, often, they aren’t believed. But the response from my readers overwhelmed me. I found strength to move on. Subsequently, I concentrated on my scholarship and on publishing other forms of writing – social and academic – and started teaching students how to write.”

Personally, I have struggled with the idea of keeping a journal regularly forever. I’ve never really been able to do it. Starting out here was in some ways a form of life-writing and even now when sharing posts like this I feel like it’s a form of life-writing, just by sharing and commenting on information that I find interesting and useful.

More importantly, she goes on to describe what life-writing can look like and how to get started telling your own story in writing. No matter whether you plan to ever share it I know that simply writing can be healing, so if you’re unsure of where to start, this might be a good place to learn.


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