Words from the Otherworld: Art and pain, reclaim your power.

So I have still been a bit slow on the writing front, as you can tell. I am getting back to finishing Rain (only two chapters to go!) And I have started sketching out my next novel. Oh, and I managed to finish a short story. So things are moving forward.

However, pain is still an issue. It probably will always be an issue one way or another. Although, I have learned something interesting through the process of combining my pain management program and my writing.

Writing (as are many art forms) is a form of pain management, whether you are aware of it or not. Some people write to escape physical pain, some people write to escape emotional pain. When you write you are often in an observing role. Although it may feel like you are ‘in it’ with your characters or subject, there is a part of you observing how you are feeling towards your work, how you think your readers might respond, how your characters are responding to each other etc. Also, when you are a writer you are a vampire. Every experience and interaction is a chance for you to soak up material for your work. You are constantly observing as well as being in the moment. In psychology they call this the 70/30 rule – 70% empathy with the client, 30% observing the client and what is happening in the room.

This ‘observer’ role turns out to be very good for pain management. They say if you are able to step outside yourself, if only for a moment, and observe the pain rather than be in the pain, it can reduce the physical pain by between 20%-40%. So, in a way, building the muscle of observation whilst still engaging with the moment through being a writer plays a key role in managing my pain. It teaches me I am not my pain, that even when I am ‘in it’ I don’t have to identify with it. This has also meant I am able to take in more of the world around me thus providing more food for the Muse. And the Muse, as we know, is always hungry.

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