Is it possible to overcome anger by writing it a letter? Continuing this week’s theme about why creatives write letters to self, author Bonnie Lacy brings us this guest post about how she turned to personal writing when life issues mounted to overload.
You know when you are working on an idea, a book, a project and there are pictures, people, words, references to your subject all over—on TV, in a magazine, or when you’re out-and-about—that you’ve never noticed before?
Coincidental? I don’t think so.
This happened to me when working on my book, Rage Rising: My Walk Through the Dark Tunnel of Anger. I was led to a certain podcast in just this way
Overcome Money Problems By Writing
I tuned into Joanna Penn on The Creative Penn podcast (#357) interviewing Orna Ross about authors’ relationship with money. Orna pointed out that like any relationship, it could be improved, and recommended an exercise she uses in her workshops of writing a letter to money.
“Tell money what you think of it,” she said.
So I did. I wrote a letter to money. It felt crazy and awkward at first, but as my true feelings began to show up, I learned some things.
Overcome Sugar Addiction By Writing
A while afterwards, I read how Joanna took it one step further and wrote a letter to sugar for her book, The Healthy Writer.
Her letter starts: “Dear Sugar, We’re breaking up. You’re an addiction, and you’re killing me slowly, sweetly—”
So I turned to the big one for me: anger.
Overcome Anger By Writing
In my book, Rage Rising: My Walk Through the Dark Tunnel of Anger, I relive two and a half years when my husband was in an accident, my daughter was very sick and disabled with West Nile, my Mom was dying of lung cancer and my son was using cocaine.
[At that point] I don’t think I knew who I was without anger. It had become such a part of me. I didn’t realize how it had infested my bones, my peace, my health, the very depths of who I was.
So I wrote a letter to my anger.
The point of a letter-to-self is that it remains private so I won’t tell you what I wrote except for three sentences that were turning points:
… You gave me power beyond anything I’d ever experienced. …
…You will no longer rule my life …
…You no longer own me.
Anger and I broke up.
Bonnie Lacy has written many books, stories and articles for adults and children. Her fiction includes The Great Escapee Series (Book One) and Rage Rising: My Walk Through the Dark Tunnel of Anger , which launches today. Watch out also for Cash Envelopes: You’ve Never Had So Much Money.