When I decided to pursue creative writing, I never considered how vulnerable I would be left feeling at the end of the day. Sometimes, it requires a lot of reflection, which can bring some darker sentiments that can be hard to talk about. I wanted to be able to spread this message to other writers and creators. One of the easiest yet hardest things to write about is your experiences. Yet, it is something that finds its way into the things we write because it is what we know from either experience or research.
During my class, we had a fascinating conversation about writing and trauma. I often hear about these poems written with “high school angst,” but perhaps, those kinds of emotions travel into college. When I hear about that “high school angst,” I think about some of the sad poems I have written. Except, I cannot think of it as a phase. The feelings that made their way into these poems were very much real.
As we spoke in class, I came to realize that some people out there write about trauma for the sake of getting attention from the audience. These writers may not know about the real effects of trauma that others face. I do want to clarify that people can write about trauma if that is what they would prefer. Sometimes, those are the feelings that really dominate someone’s day. If that is true, I respect their vulnerability. However, I hope that I can remind people that they do not need trauma to be a good writer.
Writing, at its core, is conveying emotions, thoughts, ideas, an image, and many more, to others. Sometimes, writing can be for oneself. That might lead to those works where the feelings of sadness or depression come out clearly. We do not need trauma to relate to others. For the most part, we find appreciation for the pieces that we resonate with; yet, sadness is one that can get a lot of recognition. But as people, we can recognize more than negative feelings, like sadness. We know happiness, hope, nostalgia, courage, and other positive emotions. It is more than okay to write about the good parts of life too.
It can be difficult to write about hardships and trauma. As I wrote mine, it gave me a chance to reflect upon my internal feelings. But it can be even harder to move away from that type of writing when you first start doing it. It requires a ton of practice. I cannot stress that enough. If you are seeking to expand your writing, it will take time and patience. Sometimes, I had to draw inspiration from different places. Additionally, I did a bit of research in order to expand what I knew about a topic.
In my major, I love seeing the amount of growth that other friends and I experience each day. I can only assume that many people were nervous going into creative writing because they expect so much out of themselves. However, the point of being here is to grow and to learn. We cannot be perfect, and the things we can write about will only grow as we cultivate the experiences we have. As writers, we have different purposes too. My reminder to everyone is that there can be happy writing. It is okay to write a piece that makes someone smile.