The art of writing is the art of discovering what you believe. — Gustave Flaubert
I found this quote. Actually, Wordpress found it for me, giving me the quote as I uploaded my latest post on A Separate Life. And it made me stop, and smile. This has been my exact experience.
I always loved writing. As a teenager I wrote for fun, but then university and work, and writing theses and papers and emails and project reports and proposals used up all my writing energy for many years. But when I had my first ectopic pregnancy, and joined the EPT forums, I discovered the only way I was going to get support was if I wrote. I wrote my own posts, pouring out my heart as I went through another ectopic pregnancy and failed IVFs and reached the end of my fertility.
And being a part of the community, of course I read what others wrote, and responded to them, seeking to find what might comfort me and therefore them, and in the process, figuring out what my own thoughts were. The other wonderful women who were there with me at the time helped me enormously. They were funny, insightful, each with a unique way with words. Some of them were further on in the healing process than I was, many had taken different routes, but we all talked together, working things out together. As one of my friends said, we got to know each other inside out. And as I wrote I thought deeply about what I felt, what I was trying to say, and what that meant. I would frequently say, "I've only just figured this out" or "that's the first time I've realised this." As Gustave Flaubert said would happen, as I wrote I really did learn what I believed.
As the years past, fortified and comforted with what I'd already learnt, and knowing I was nowhere near finished learning, I started exploring the ALI blogs, found Pamela and Lisa and Loribeth. What a trio to find at the outset! And reading them, I realised that I wanted to say more; that the self-therapy of writing would only work for me if I was in fact actually writing. Hence, this blog. And just as importantly, perhaps more so, commenting on other blogs so often prompts me to think again. Writing as therapy. Learning what I believe. It’s not over yet. I’m glad.