The Writing Can Heal You

We’ve all, at one time in our life, experienced the “day after” crash.

The day after the book launched. The week after the marathon. The night after the big concert.

Seth Godin describes this period after we reach a big milestone “a kind of death.”

All the adrenaline of the big event has now drained from our system, and the destination that we hoped would offer our healing and redemption has left us feeling empty and ordinary.

In her beautiful TED talk, Anne Lamott offers words of wisdom for anyone who hopes to hold their course through both success and failure, speaking from her context of writing a bestselling book:

Try to bust yourself gently of the fantasy that publication will heal you, that it will fill the Swiss-cheesy holes inside of you. It can’t. It won’t. But writing can. So can singing in a choir or a bluegrass band. So can painting community murals or birding or fostering old dogs that no one else will.

And so, on the day after, the writer continues writing, the runner laces up her shoes, and the musician plays his scales.

Because even while we were straining towards the destination, it was the journey itself – with all of its struggles and strains – that was healing us all along.