IWSG 68: I Found Answers As I Wrote


This post was written for the Insecure Writer’s Support Group where we share our encouragement or insecurities on the first Wednesday of the month, to join the group or find out more click here.




Powell Coltrin | Victoria Marie Lees | Stephen Tremp | Renee Scattergood |

JH Moncrieff


What started you on your writing journey? Was it a particular book, movie, story, or series? Was it a teacher/coach/spouse/friend/parent? Did you just “know” suddenly you wanted to write?

What started me on my writing journey was none of the above,

or to become famous.

Or the deep need to create.

Or tap into my imagination.

It came down to how much venom a person can carry before they explode all over their world. Leaving emotional scars on people they say they love. Leaving words that should have never been said hanging between me and the rest of the world.

It’s a fact that teenagers are full of emotion. It’s part of what makes Young Adult books so inviting.

Some kids put their energy in sports, drama, fashions shows. Others think about love, independence, or dream about what or who they want to be.

That wasn’t me.

I lived in a darkness that kept me angry and I was pretty vocal about it. It got so bad, I often heard the people around me ask me to just shut, let it go or—the worst of the bunch–to get over it.

I went to counselling to find answers to questions like:

Why are we here?

Why do two-year brothers die?

Why do I constantly hear the last words I said to him?

Counselling helped, but it took years.

Meanwhile, I discovered how cathartic it was to write out what no one wanted to hear. I could go on and on until I was exhausted. No one interrupted me. No one told me to let it go or get over it. No one judged.

The biggest bonus was I didn’t have to carry my venom around with me anymore.

I accidentally discovered that if I went on and on long enough, I could sort out my feelings. Zero in on the crux of what triggered me. Recognize answers that worked for me. And eventually could make decisions that were not only good for me but also logical and safe.

When I say writing saved my life, it is not an exaggeration.

Without it I would have been a suicide statistic.

How about you? Do you write to sort out a problem or rid yourself of emotions you’d rather not let loose on anyone or am I the only one?


96 responses to “IWSG 68: I Found Answers As I Wrote

  1. Rosemary Reader and Writer

    What an interesting post! Yes, teenagers are full of venom, and how thoughtful of you to write it all down instead of hurting others, and putting it into a book.

  2. Therapy – that’s exactly how I felt when writing my 5-book series. I got a lot out on those pages. I’m sorry you had to carry that anger so long but at least you found a way to work through it.

  3. A very important post, Anna – thank you for sharing.

    It’s also a good reminder for me to get back to journaling when things start to get too crazy.

  4. I am glad you found writing as an emotional outlet. The world needs you. Me, I wrote to roam a world where I had some control and could find magic under each leaf. Doing that helped me discover I could had both those things in the real world if I but looked hard enough. 🙂

  5. This was so touching to me. I’m so glad you discovered the benefits of writing and are still here with us as a result. Thanks for sharing your story – I admire that you did.

  6. I write to give my imagination free reign. I’ll admit that I avoid any subjects that have any personal connection to me. Glad to hear you were able to take the hurt within you and translate it through creativity.

  7. Natalie Aguirre

    Glad your writing helped you through a hard time when you were a teenager. I also had a hard time back then and wish I would have considered writing like you.

  8. “It came down to how much venom a person can carry before they explode all over their world.” That’s powerful. What you went through makes me said. I’ve often used writing as a form of therapy and to heal.

  9. It’s so good to hear that a positive came from it all, I periodically suffer from depression and have found that writing daily pages of all my angst helps me to cope with it all

  10. I think writing is a great tool, we were told to simply start writing, random words and before you knew it, the words flew from our minds.

  11. Oh, my heart aches for that young you. Sending hugs!!!
    I’m so very, very glad that you found a way to work with your feelings. Letting them fester and grow never works well. Good for you for taking those steps and making your world a better place!

  12. Wow. A few facts changed, this is my story. Writing is what kept any semblance of sanity in my life. Although it is difficult to believe, even on good days, we are not alone. Thanks for sharing. I seldom do.

  13. I’ve read a lot of interesting posts today, but yours really touched me. You’re so good at putting emotions into every word you write. I’m glad you found writing.

  14. Writing does so much. It helps us clear our thoughts and work through issues. I love writing! 🙂

  15. It is therapeutic. I always feel better after I write. My br

  16. I’ve been writing since childhood — and making up stories in my head even before I knew how to write. I was shy, introverted, and isolated — because, unlike all my classmates, I lived on a remote property with no neighbors within walking distance. While everyone else seemed to make friends in their housing developments, I was stuck at home, not even able to join a club after school because we only had one car and my dad needed it for work.

    So I made up my friends, and with them, amazing adventures.

    • That sounds so hard + lonely and fun + mind-blowing in an imaginary friend kind of way.

      I always try to remember, no matter what we go through, it made us the writers we are today. And that something I’ll never regret.

  17. I’m so glad you found writing as an outlet. I meet with many teenagers who feel such venom, and I’ll keep that in mind as a suggested release valve.

  18. Six toenail fungus ads have a way of putting a humorous touch to any page, no matter how serious the subject matter. See you tomorrow.

  19. mlouisebarbourfundyblue

    I can’t imagine what it must be like to lose a two-year old brother, Anna! It’s beyond heartbreaking. Thank goodness you found a release in writing. I have written in a journal off and on throughout my life, and that has gotten me through some tough spots. Nothing like what you survived though. Wishing you a happy 2020!

  20. Life is a tough road, and the toughest is through those early years when we’re not yet equipped with the thick hide of experience. You had a terrible loss. I’m so sorry, but I’m heartened by the way you saw your way to stability.

  21. Debbie Johansson

    So sorry to hear this Anna, and I’m glad you found writing to be great therapy. I tend to find my best writing comes straight from the heart. Thanks for sharing. Hugs!

  22. I’m sorry for your pain and loss, but I’m glad writing has helped. I find it cathartic as well.

  23. I am sorry to hear what you went through as a teenager and also glad you found your writing voice through therapy. A thought provoking post. Wishing you all the best for 2020.

  24. Yes writing is hugely cathartic. I so agree. I hope you have a great writing year and you can help others with your writing journey. Take care!💐💐

  25. Your post tugged at my heartstrings. Writing is indeed cathartic. Take care.

  26. Oh my, so sorry for the loss of your brother. Death is hard to process for a lot of people. I’m glad writing out your feelings helped you heal and figure out a way to get the venom out.

  27. Damyanti Biswas

    Writing helps in so many ways. I am glad it helped you and more importantly that you got help when you needed it.

  28. Your post had so many things I want to comment on. LOL Death is hard on the living. We don’t “get over it..” We have to process grief in our own way. I was furious about something. A counselor told me to write it down then shred it (or burn it). So cathartic. Like a burden was lifted.

  29. Oh sweetie, I admire you more than you know. This is an awesome post. To be honest, I began writing for the same reason as you – kind of my own person self-help therapy. Only difference between us is that I’ve yet to write the two stories (childhood crap) that got me started in the first place. I’ve been scared to write it all down. I do have one written in a full chapter-by-chapter synopsis. All I have to do is write it. I think this will be the year I do. Thanks for writing this!

  30. Thank goodness you found your outlet. I’m so sorry for your loss, Anna. How awful! They say that no tragedy is ever wasted on a writer, now you can use this greater empathy and understanding in your work.

  31. Thanks for sharing with us, Anna. I’m sorry you had to deal with all this. Catharsis for me was writing poetry.

  32. Suzanne Furness

    Writing has helped me cope with trauma over the years, it;s one of the reasons it is so special to me. Best wishes to you.

  33. I’m so glad you found your catharsis in writing. It’s often been the same for me. I think best by writing, and it really does help me set things aside when that’s what I need, too. @samanthabwriter from
    Balancing Act

  34. I’m still trying to learn to use writing that way to let the negative and bad attitude due to some hard life changes and loss of trust in people I once believed would always have my back as I had theirs. Tough lesson and I fight not being bitter.

    The writing was always playing to me until I decided to take it seriously later in life around 2011.

    I do love to play in the Star Wars world. I’m a little late making the rounds. Happy IWSG!

  35. What a powerful post! Thanks so much for sharing with us.

  36. Victoria Marie Lees

    Anna. I believe in you. I believe in the power of your positive energy. I believe in the power of your words to change your mindset and the mindset of your reader. God bless you, my dear!

  37. Channeling your emotions is a great way to approach writing. I do it too sometimes. When nobody wants to listen, writing feels like the best and the safest way to open up, to express yourself. It saves your sanity and results in something positive – a story of your own. Oh, yes, it resonates strongly with me.

  38. Anna,
    That is so rough. I did not know that about your brother. It is so true about writing things out, and as always I admire your honesty. I didn’t take on the optional question this month, but if I had it would have come down to something very similar. I like how you put it on such a positive note, talking about writing things down until they make sense.

  39. It definitely helps with emotions to be able to put these stories down on paper and work out the raw feelings that can’t go anywhere else constructive. I’m glad you found a way to get through that time.

  40. What a brave and honest post, Anna. I had no idea about your tough times and I am so glad writing eventually pulled you out of the worst of it. Of all the IWSG posts I’ve read this month, your answer surely grabbed my attention the most! And, I can somewhat relate to as well.

    I totally agree that writing down your feelings and experiences helps put things in perspective and helps with strong emotions. I do it all the time. Subconsciously, it might be why I’ve been writing a diary since I was 14. I also believe (now that you make me think about it) that me writing “everything” down makes me a less frustrating and more “emotionally stable” person than others around me who don’t write.

  41. I’m late making the rounds, but thanks for stopping by my blog.
    I find writing to be cathartic too. I have stories written that no one but certain people have seen because they were meant for only them and me.
    I also find ways to work out issues in the stories I share and or publish. I figure someone else might relate to it and get something out of it.

  42. I’m going to share your post with my 17 year old grandson. He has issues he could probably work out on paper. Thanks for sharing this. So glad you found your rock through writing.
    JQ Rose

  43. Words are a double edged sword. It can be used to uplift someone just as easily to cut someone deep. Still writing can be therapeutic and helps to emotionally and mentally detox. Glad you found writing when you did and recognized you needed it.

  44. Sorry to hear your teenage years were troubled, and that you lost a brother. I lost one as well, but it happened before I was born. Still, there was a lot of “What if?” and mourning for someone I never knew, especially since my childhood was so tough. I always wondered what it would have been like to have had an ally (assuming my brother would have been an ally–there are no guarantees).

    I’m glad writing was able to give you an outlet and save you from a worse fate. I always say it’s the cheapest form of therapy.

  45. Hi Anna,

    I, too, was angry, but sadly I didn’t turn to writing, but drawing. I found writing much later in my life, but I do use it to filter many of my emotions now and it is wonderfully therapeutic I am happy that you were able to heal yourself and keep doing so through your writing. I believe many writers write for the same reasons. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  46. Ronel Janse van Vuuren

    Writing is definitely therapeutic — and it heals so many things we just cover up. I’m so glad you found your voice.

  47. Very powerful post. I’m sorry you went through that but I’m glad you could find a way to deal with it, to some extent. I definitely think writing is the ultimate therapy.

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