"I sat on that plane to New York in a state of total misery, yet part of me was secretly relieved to be done with swatches and couches and fights with contractors, and that part of me was thinking: Okay, Rachel Samstat, finally something is happening to you."
I read Nora Ephron's Heartburn before I knew I could get divorced. I read it for a book club, and read it fiercely and ferociously, sucking the meat off the bones of Ephron's ode to self-worth and righteous anger. When I did realize that I could choose myself instead of an institution, I reread the book as a way of gathering strength for the long legal slog to freedom.
And I wanted to write back. I wanted to write through the hurt and joy and confusion. I was a semi-famous blogger at the time, and had been warned by several lawyers not to post anything anywhere on the Internet about the divorce. So I didn't. But I started writing in my mind and on paper. And I started writing a novel about a woman who found herself when she got the courage to look for herself.
As a writer, I process my thoughts and emotions by writing them. Sometimes I need to share what I've written with others, but other pieces are just for the experience of writing, and the finished piece doesn't ever need to make it off my hard drive. Writing allows me to validate my own feelings, work out what happened, and create an idea of what I could be.
Do you write to process? Whether you write all the time, or whether you're feeling an urge to write that you haven't had before, writing can be a way of working through things by feeling them fully, organizing them, putting them down, and then moving on.
What's your favorite thing you or someone else has written about divorce or breaking up?
Want to write through your divorce with Magda? She and Deesha Philyaw (author of Co-Parenting 101) are offering "Writing Through Your Divorce," an online workshop for women to process all stages of divorce by writing through it. The workshop starts July 8 and runs for 12 weeks. Read all the details and register at WritingDivorce.com.
Magda runs and writes and reads and writes about writing and reading and running. She thinks you're the best parent for your child, and writes about that at AskMoxie.org. Read the blog she writes with her ex-husband about co-parenting after divorce at When The Flames Go Up. It gets better. All of it.