May 29

Writing A New Me

Today I am participating in the Writing Contest: How Writing Has Positively Influenced My Life, hosted by Positive Writer.

I am a writer

I am a writer

Chronic illness takes, and takes, and takes. I lost more than my health when I became sick almost nine years ago. I lost dear friendships. I watched a budding career slip away. I missed proud mama moments watching my children’s soccer games, awards ceremonies, band concerts, and even graduation. Date nights with my husband, those times with my best friend that let us remember that we were more than parents or mere roommates, dwindled to special occasions like my birthday or our anniversary. And although I never lost my faith, I lost the opportunity to join with those who shared and strengthened my faith.

Those early days, weeks, months were overwhelmingly filled with grief as my illness stripped me to the bone. My life was as naked as the day I was born.

It’s not surprising that I turned once again to writing to fill the blank spaces. Writing has always been my safe place, the only place where I can scream and curse and cry. I leave blood on those pages, and it heals me.

Writing gives, and gives, and gives. I no longer sit at the window and watch the world go by. Instead, I create worlds of my own to explore. When I’m writing, I go beyond these four walls, and I fly over the Leech River on fairy wings. I work a whore house at the One Eyed Jacks back in the Old West. I’m a ballet dancer, a spy, a mermaid assassin. I leave this impotent body and become both hero and villain of my stories.

In writing, I shake my fist at the unfairness of life. I prod old wounds and expose the ugly darkness for what it is…universal…and sometimes, I let in a little light.

So, yes, I would say that writing has positively influenced my life, but it has done so much more. It has given me hope and permission to dream. It has given me my life back, a new life, a different one, one that I didn’t choose but one that is more rich and amazing than I could have imagined.

Tell me, how has writing positively influenced your life, either as a reader or a writer?


  1. Eydie

    Wonderfully said, Shelli! May I quote parts of this post in my own post on my Grief Coaching blog? http://www.eydiestumpf.com

    1. Shelli Proffitt Howells

      Why, thank you so much, Eydie, I’d be honored.

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