“Writing Through the Pain” / Becky Lyn Rickman

Becky PicBecky was raised as a gypsy military brat and went to 15 schools in 12 years. All the relocations fed her a steady diet of characters and plot twists. Reading was her coping mechanism and at some point, writing took over as her therapy. She has also helped raise over 50 children (4 biological, 5 step and around 45 teenage fosters), which has added to her ability to know humans and their motivations. She draws stories from her life, and even though they are, ultimately, fiction, she says they are very real to her. Becky’s most recent novel is The Convict, the Rookie Card and the Redemption of Gertie Thump (WiDo Publishing, 2014)

(The following post by Becky Lyn Rickman first appeared on Colleen Story’s Writing and Wellness Blog. It is used here with Colleen’s permission.)

Physical Wellness

I do suffer from a degenerative disc and that gives me quite a lot of pain some days. I also get lost in my writing and forget to cook meals for myself.

For my back, I keep changing positions. I make reasons to jump up and move around at least once an hour. I also use a yoga ball to keep limber. The writing itself gets me so focused, I don’t think about the pain a great deal. It brings me such joy that I get lost and sometimes don’t take the time to cook good meals, but because I’m a 90% vegan, I can always grab some veggies and hummus to snack on or heat up a can of beans and have it with salad.

Emotional Wellness

I have learned through prayer that writing is a gift from God that I am to use to uplift and enlighten. I believe that so strongly that rejection simply means I’m not finding the right market and I need to keep trying. The days of self-doubt have been replaced with drive and motivation.

I do have days when I’ve written so much that I begin to have a love/hate relationship with words and become less productive. That is a clear signal that I need to stop, walk away from the laptop, grab a big glass of dark chocolate almond milk and a Cary Grant movie.

I sometimes have difficulty writing about things that have caused me pain—abuse, wayward foster children, broken marriages. When that happens, I stop and explore the good lessons each has taught me and the darkly humorous twist it has put on my life. Then, I write on and give the pain a name, a personality and a physical description. From there, I can do anything I want to it, including having it drive off a cliff! ;o)

The One Thing That Has Kept You On Your Path

I have a lot of social anxiety and am a profound introvert. Fame has never been appealing to me. Paying my electric bill on time, however, does have great appeal! I think that because I know this is my path and I am doing as God would have me do drives me on and gives me tremendous satisfaction.

I have found so much support in this from family and friends, and now from strangers who tell me how much they love my writing, I take it as absolute affirmation that I am doing the right thing. I love words and their power.

Advice for a Young Writer

I think the hardest part of writing is holding true to who you are. There are people in our lives who try to mold and lovingly suggest that you should write this or write that and what those people should do is write their own story. Listen to your heart and you will know what to put on paper . . . or Kindle.