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The Writer’s Ability to Remember



I was browsing around in some of my old writing (I have a folder that makes me cringe) and I came along something that I wrote while in an emotionally abusive relationship. I’d thought I’d tossed all of those documents away… but apparently this one clung to existence because it still had a point to prove. While reading it elicited the emotions that I was feeling when I wrote it, almost to a perfect point… at the same time, it showed me just how very lucky I am to be in the position that I am in now. Still, this post isn’t one for me raving about how great my romantic situation is (it is great though :3), it’s for me to talk about writing your emotions. I’ve met quite a few people who spill their words out like blood on paper with poetry – hell, I’ve had a few morose poems myself. However, I’ve noticed that sometimes who write short stories, full stories, whatever kind of stories… sometimes allow pain to become a writer’s block. Just looking back over that short little story that I wrote, it’s quite obvious that getting those words to document was cathartic for me. I can remember the feeling after I wrote it, like an entire wave of emotion was just released.

I think that for us, as writers, sometimes the best way that we can covey our emotions (whether they are sad, happy, bored, miserable, in love, in pain) is through writing it out. It’s more than that, I think that we put a stamp in time, a stamp on our lives, for how we were feeling at that very moment. Though that story had nothing to do with my actual situation – it was about a vampire in love with someone – I can read it and remember to a second how I was feeling and why. So… perhaps, instead of writing a journal that is just… diatribe about what happened in our day (not that there is anything wrong with a daily journal… I’ve just never been able to do it, and looking back on it, it doesn’t elicit emotion for me), as writers we can document our days through the emotions of our stories. We can record for a frozen moment in eternity how we were feeling through the telling of another’s tale.

I think that makes us pretty cool, huh?

For those curious, I’ll post the story below. I’m not editing it, or anything of the sort. This was written well over four years ago. To you, you may see nothing… but to me, it’s a window to the past. Take a moment and read through some of your old things today – see what memories you can recall.

Of course I pretend that it does not hurt-when one has led the life that I have, the only thing that you can do is hold on to the things that are most dear to you… to the things that make you feel alive. I haven’t felt life running through my body in centuries-I hadn’t held hope for centuries… not until I met him. It’s strange to think on it that the one person who makes me feel alive is the one person who can remind me that I am nothing more than a corpse animated by some demonic magic from long ago. I am nothing. I am worthless…

So how could I be enough?

If you were to look at me now, you would not be able to tell that these thoughts flow through my mind like some flame licking along every nerve that has come to life in my existence. You would not be able to tell that I am dying inside.

Take, for a moment, the clouds. I sit upon the porch of our home while I have these thoughts. I sit and I watch them flow through the air like smoke from a fire… dark, fast-the birds sing their tune and fly by my vision in quick blurs of black. The light has far since been covered by these clouds… the eternal embrace of the sun stolen from me as though it knew that I would have these thoughts… these feelings-knew that there would be a part of me that felt so dead, so ripped inside that I would seek it’s fiery embrace. The Heavens do not want me dead-the Heavens were the one who sent me my sweet Angel-my savior… my destroyer. He breathes life into me with each word that he says… but with each time that his eyes stray, that life is stolen and ripped from me, like the sun was ripped from the sky by these gray clouds that obscure everything. They obscure the purity of the blue that should be overhead, and replace it with some cynical form of shade-of doubt…. Of pain.

I suppose that gray is the color of pain then-funny, I always thought that it would be crimson… like blood. But blood… no-blood is so much more simplistic. Blood cannot lie.

Is that what this is? A lie? Some false hope that I’ve allowed myself to have because of the torment that I’ve suffered for so long? I would accept it-I would walk through it and live in it… and I would embrace the parts that still make me feel whole… if only I knew… what parts were the truth?

The birds are louder now, as though they can taste the lament in the air-as though they want to sing a requiem for these thoughts so that I’ll hush and go back to the bliss that exists inside of the door that presses so harsh to my back. They want me to turn away from the sun before it breaks through the clouds-before it singes away this pain, this agony… before it gives me a release from my doubt, from the thickness that lives inside of these walls with every passing second.

The gray sky moves above-the birds chirp louder… and there is no sun. No escape-no release. No answers….

Oh, yes… I am nothing.




So, yes… That’s a bit depressive (both to read and to stop myself from correcting grammatically) but I can read that and I can remember the exact moment that I wrote it. I was up on a cloudy day, and I was feeling distraught. From my room, I could hear the birds singing, and I went outside because I wanted to see the sun. Of course, it wasn’t there because of the clouds. I can remember the smell of rain in the air and the way that the leaves in my front yard blew in the gentle breeze. And I can remember going to my room and grabbing my laptop and writing this.

I think that the sensory memory that a story can elicit for a writer is one of the singular most amazing things that we can do. Like I said before… pretty cool, huh?

Sorry for the random blog… just some late night musings from this lady author!


Until next time, keep reading and writing!

Author Amanda McCormick

One thought on “The Writer’s Ability to Remember

  1. Whoa girl that was depressing. But I see what you get at, and I think it’s an interesting point. Having been in many a depressing state, I am often told to ‘write it out’ even though it’s the last thing I want to do. But it is so extremely cathartic and something I need to keep in mind as I work on camp this year.

    (One could also say that my current story is based on in unhappiness I find in my current situation, or you could just say it’s an interesting plot, lol!)

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