I signed up for a 21 day writing challenge being put on by writer and artist Lisa Hsia, called Writing from the Core. The purpose is to pick a topic that you’ve always had trouble writing about, and then write about it. Every day, participants will receive a prompt in their email to write about, free of judgement, to try and push past the blocks set up in our own minds about these touchy subjects.
When I signed up for this, I cast about for a topic to write about. What would be hard, but not too hard, that I feel like I need to write about, and that I could write about for this? Eventually, I settled on writing about touch: being touched and how I touch other people as a survivor of sexual trauma living with PTSD. Hard, right? But it didn’t seem too hard. (Check out that self-delusion…)
This morning, the first prompt arrived in my inbox: When did you first notice the pain? I had forgotten exactly what I planned to write about, and I went back to my initial email to check: touch, sexual trauma, PTSD. I put the topic and the prompt into a Word doc, and looked at them together.
Whoa, I thought, nope. That’s not gonna happen. That’s a terrible idea! What on earth was I thinking?! I can’t write about that.
And I saw it happening. The thoughts spun out instantly; I felt the fear and panic creeping in. And that’s when I knew I had to write about it, because that fear’s been holding me back. I’m going to do this. I’m going to conquer this fear, and write about this challenge, and I’m going to be open and honest and authentic. I’ll write about this, and I’ll be okay. It’s time to get started.
But first, I’m going to get a quart of chocolate ice cream. I need self care for the ride.
Is there something that’s been holding you back? Think about why. Then, make art. Draw or write. Create.
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