The Myth of the Damaged Poet

Damaged Poet

Damaged Poet

There’s that myth out there… about how writers need to experience deep personal pain and hardship in order to be able to write deep, moving stories, or become literary geniuses.

That myth about the tortured mind and soul that can only find release by creating stories and releasing that pain onto paper.

You know what? It’s not true.

In fact, I dare say that most traumatized people do not feel like writing or revisiting those experiences except in a therapeutic way.

But I’m talking about that myth because I think it is very damaging to writers who are serious about their writing. If you happen to believe that this kind of personal background is necessary, and you won’t ever be a successful writer without it – this can really hurt you. In the worst case, you will create that kind of tragedy in your life.

So it’s time to let that belief fly out of the window.

I do believe that writers need empathy. They need to be in contact with their feelings and experiences. But they do not need to be in emotional pain. In fact, constant emotional pain is quite an obstacle to running a successful business – which is what being a writer these days is about.

(As an aside, I believe that people in emotional pain are quite able to run successful businesses, it’s just a magnitude harder than for a person without that kind of additional burden.)

So I believe that good writers need to be avid, empathic observers of life. I believe they need to love language and words, and enjoy playing with them. And I believe it helps to have an imagination strong enough to really “see” the characters and the story.

But trauma is not necessary.

Writers write despite trauma. Not because of it.

Please let go of that old belief. Know that you can be a good, successful, best-selling author without a devastating childhood, heart-wrenching loss or other hardship in your life.

Here’s some tapping to get you started:

Even though I always thought that writers had to have a troubled personality and deep emotional pain – just look at all those well-known writers who did! – I’m okay the way I am, and I now choose to be a good, successful writer even if I lack a tragic experience in my life.

Even though I’ve been wondering where the tragedy in my life is that will turn me into a successful writer, I’m okay the way I am, and I now choose to let go of that belief, enjoy my life and be a good writer anyway.

Even though I have always thought a writer needs to experience deep emotional pain in order to be able to write well, I’m okay the way I am, and I know choose to be empathic, creative and imaginative anyway.

Your Turn:
Which author do you admire who had a tragic life?
Who taught you that all authors need to have a damaged soul?
What would you need to finally let go of that myth?

Image Source: F. Moebius

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About fmoebius

I'm a writer and coach. I love helping writers be more creative, more productive and more profitable. With EFT, life gets easier. Blocks can fall away. Limiting beliefs just shift. You can build your dream life. Let me help you do this.
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