Writer Shares Benefits of Processing

Good evening! The gift of processing! I would like to share an observation that ‘affected‘ me profoundly. Some years ago, while my mother was in the hospital recovering from major surgery, multiple physical therapists arrived in my mother’s room to assist her. One of them had true passion for his field. You see, I was very protective of my mother, which means that if I felt the requests were too demanding, I would instruct them to stop. Fortunately, one of them did not listen to me. This particular physical therapist exhibited such compassion when he was speaking to my mother, that I decided to allow him to follow through with his request. She was struggling with her thoughts in attempting to answer one of the questions he posed to her. I answered, reflexively, and his compassionate response was, “Thank you! Now I need to hear your mother’s answer.” I continued my observance. He remained very patient with her as he coached her through the session to a positive and healthy outcome. I will never forget the smile of victory upon her face at the end of that struggle. He compassionately explained what her accomplishment meant to her recovery.  Why am I sharing this experience? – To show how, sometimes, when we are too close to the story, we need a compassionate expert to step in to help us resolve the issue. Here’s a recent example of how I allowed this with my writing when I was in conflict with a character — I have been working on this piece for a few months – I was stuck on one scene because I felt that the character kept going in directions that I was unable  to comprehend. I had a specific outcome for this scene and needed my character’s cooperation. I edited this piece multiple times and was still not satisfied with the direction of the character. I decided to assign a fictional physical therapist, to mirror the skills of the one who assisted my mother.  Result – the character is in full cooperation. I was too close to the story – thus blocking the character’s process. However, channeling the therapist’s skills allowed the writer to observe – which gave the character the freedom to process their role. Viola’! Happy character! Happy writer! Scene complete – Story making great progress!   

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