Writing from the Core Day 6

Today’s prompts is: How are you like what you fear/resent? How has it made you into yourself?

Honestly, I’ve no idea what to do with this. I’m not sure how to write about my topic, touch, through this lens. I am going to free-write today and save this to ruminate on.


What are you afraid of? Think about where that fear comes from and how it is connected to you.

Previous posts: Day 1Day 2Day 4Day 5


Writing from the Core Day 5

I finally broke through my block on Day 3’s prompt, and have done some writing. The hardest part was not analysing the memory I was writing about for Day 3. Day 4’s prompt was easier, because I know that my PTSD partly stems from the loss of my father, but thinking about touch and my family is a little uncomfortable. I know that I hugged and kissed and touched more before my father died than in the years after. I’m sitting with some discomfort around this, but I think it’s important—I chose the topic of trauma and touch for a reason.

Anyway, the prompt for today is:
Multisensory collage: When you think over your topic, what fragments come to mind? Words of course, but also images, sounds, smells, tactile memories, movements, tastes, recurring dreams or visions, moments, emotions? List them, stream-of-consciousness, for 20 minutes (or as much time as you have). Try not to think or reflect too much.

Y’all, I am super excited to do this. Trying to generate writing from the last two prompts was really hard—it was scary and I spent some time avoiding it—but this is a different kind of exercise, and I think it might unlock some stuff for me.


If there’s something you’ve been struggling with lately, try coming at it from another direction. Move locations or make a collage or build a mixtape or… the possibilities are endless, and thinking of new ways to engage with something difficult might help!

Previous days: Day 1Day 2 • Day 4

Writing from the Core Day 4

Yesterday was hectic! Sorry about the missing post, y’all. I didn’t get writing done on the Day 3 prompt either, because I was swamped with school work, so here it is: Day 3’s prompt was “Write a memory relating to your chosen topic. No analysis. Write it as if you are there.” I’m not sure how I will write about this in the context of my chosen topic (touch aversion and PTSD), but I’ll wing it and figure something out.

As for today, the prompt is: I miss you. This one will probably be at least partly about my dad—I’ve been processing a lot of thoughts and feelings about him and my PTSD lately; in fact, that was the basis of my Camp NaNoWriMo project last month.

I’m gonna play catch up tonight, after my midterm presentation. I need to sit down and write, but I’m feeling kind of stumped. Hopefully I can break through that today.


Is there someone you miss that you haven’t been able to write to or about? Maybe write them a letter today—even if you can’t or won’t send it, writing things down might help. (If it’s a father, check out dear Gerald; I sent my letter in yesterday.)


Previous posts: Day 1Day 2

Writing from the Core Day 2

Yesterday was the start of the Writing from the Core 21 day challenge.

After I got the prompt, I procrastinated on writing. I felt apprehensive about actually writing about my topic, so instead I checked my Facebook notifications, then my email, then I wrote a blog post, and then I went out to get burgers and ice cream. Then, I checked Facebook again. But I knew it was time to stop stalling, so I wrote.

It was hard. I wrote explicitly about things I don’t usually. I thought about touches that bothered me, and when and how and why. I thought about partners I’d had and the behaviours I exhibited in those relationships. I wrote it down, nervous and uncomfortable. They can never see this, I thought. It’ll only hurt them.

This exercise is seriously uncomfortable. As I’m writing, just thinking about this trauma around touch is making me itchy. I don’t want to do it. But I need to.

Today’s prompt is: Do they mean me harm? The obvious answer is no, they don’t; yet, my feelings are too complicated for that level of simplicity. And that’s why I’m grateful for this experience.

It’s called a challenge for a reason. It’s not meant to be easy.


Is there something challenging you right now? Is it time to confront it?



Previous posts: Day 1

Writing from the Core Day 1

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.