Blog – Becoming A Writer

Very soon after K’s death  B wrote when his emotions were intense.  It was one way he coped with his loss.  Because his emotions were intense most of the time, he wrote often.  He lost the physical presence of K but in almost every other way she was still with him.  He soon realized that she would always be with him. He was afraid that others would forget K and he could not let that happen.   That was, perhaps, the original reason why writing became his tool, his outlet in coping with his grief.  In the past, when he thought about writing, he told himself you could only be a good writer if you write about things you know.  If became very clear to him that what he knew, knew intensely, was K, their love, their life together over the almost 5 decades, what they had experienced through her illness and death, and the grief he was now experiencing.

After writing K’s eulogy he began writing a memoir of their life together.  He wrote essays about K and about grieving.  B joined a writing group and soon began writing poetry and fiction.  Most of the poetry was about K;  their  life together appeared  in some of the fiction.  Someone told him if you want to get to the truth, write fiction.  He found that to be very true.  While the memoir detailed what happened in their lives, he felt the fiction better captured their emotional being.  All the while B felt his love for K growing.   Because he thought about their life together at every stage,  he never ran out of ideas.  The beginning of their life together, the first three years, was particularly vivid.  They grew together;  he realized that it was K that made the sum greater  than the parts.  He taught her some practical things. K showed B what a good person, a truly good person, is like.

B wrote out of grief.  Most of his ideas came to him when he was alone and moving.  He could be walking along Lake Washington or driving near his home or even exercising at the gym when he would be inundated with ideas to be written.  Often, in fact most of the time, the ideas were accompanied by copious tears.  As time went on the tears bothered him less.  He did not think of the tears as out of the ordinary.  He accepted them as natural and knew they brought him to a level of emotional intensity that opened up his mind and contributed greatly to his ability to express himself, to infuse himself with thoughts and ideas that sprang from his sub-conscious.  B was more in touch with his inner being than he had ever been.  He thought of it as the gift that K gave him, that she would never let him down, because she never had.

Initially he thought he was joining a writing class. It turned out not to be a class because there was no instruction but there were  10 people who were interested in writing.  There was no single teacher; in a sense all the writers were teachers.  Each  week the members of the writing group would read something they wrote.  At first he read from the memoir he was writing.  Reading was sometimes  difficult because the memoir was very personal; it was about his life with K.  Listening to the group members writings caused him to expand his writing to very short fiction and some short stories of around 500 words.  His reward was hearing the laughter from the other members of the group because he tried to be humorous and sometimes he succeeded.  At the same time he was writing essays about K.   He thought of them as essays on grief.  To a great extent they enabled him to cope with his grief.  The essays described his intense feelings and love for K.  Soon he would be writing poems that accomplished the same thing.

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