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Why I Had To Stop 'Method Writing'

Updated on April 12, 2019
Stina Caxe profile image

Cristina is a business professional who has a degree in art and a degree in psychology. A mother of two, community volunteer and writer.

Writing is the only thing I ever wanted to do...

I have had other interests and passions over my life however, writing is the one thing I have always wanted to do for as long as I can remember. Even as a child, I loved to write poems and stories about my friends. As I grew older, writing became my emotional outlet. Whether I was happy, sad, nervous or angry I always found myself venting in notebooks.

Writing Can Help Manage Anxiety and Deprssion

Writing when you are upset can help you by giving you time to sort your thoughts and feelings before acting on them. It helps you become more aware of the situation you are enduring. Writing through the pain has always helped me deal with whatever I was going through and eventually helped me become able to help others who may be going through a similar hardship.

What is Method Writing?

Method writing is similar to method acting, where actors draw from their own personal experiences in order to enhance their ability to act out a certain role.

An author will sometimes completely emerge themselves into a character in order to get at the real feelings and emotions of the story.

I have used this style of writing for many years. In fact, I have said many times that when I write, I want to spark emotion. The only way I knew how to accomplish this was for me to live the same emotions as my character no matter how painful they might become.

Writing is hard.

I have told others in the past that as much as I love writing, it is so hard. People are often shocked at this, especially when they know me and know how much I love to write. They often assume it comes easy for me.

I try to explain by stating that when I write I am bleeding my heart onto a piece of paper through my pen and showing it to the world. Not only does it hurt, but then my pain and weakness is exposed.

Method Writing Examples

This was a particularly painful passage I once wrote. For someone who is heartbroken, being heartbroken is one of the most emotionally painful things you can go through. Especially when that person is young and has not experienced other types of pain yet. In order to fully express the emotions in a heartbreaking piece, you have to become heartbroken.

I wanted to write one last great tribute to what we used to be. I wanted to tell how the cold weather reminds me of our last kiss, of our last goodbye. I didn’t know that day would be the beginning of our never and I drove back home with my head full of memories mixed with images of our future. There should be a way to immortalize those moments, freezing their beauty in time with my words. It seems though, that the more I try, the harder it is to remember.

I know I have held on for too long already. Maybe it’s because you told me that all those years you held onto me because you knew in your heart that we would be together. I was stupid to wait so long to trust you and accept you into my life. Maybe I just felt like I owed you the same patience that you gave me. If only I was half as good at being patient as you are. I suppose it no longer matters, I am afraid I have finally lost the last bit of feeling I had left for you.

Losing that hope is like losing a best friend and I feel sad. In a way I am grateful though. Now I can see things clearly and instead of crying over what I have lost, I will stop crying over what I never had.

I think sometimes when you love someone with all your heart, you don’t see that even though that person might say something nice here and there, deep down… he doesn’t really love you back.

Another Example

This was a true story about one of the times I was trying to fight cancer. My method writing combined with my sickness at the time caused me to become so depressed that it made it more difficult to recover. It also made me feel completely alone during a time when I was not alone at all.

Yesterday was the test.... and today the hope ended.

I did this myself... I wanted this... and it sucks but I am also grateful.
I am grateful I didn't HAVE to tell anybody else what the doctor said when she called me today.

I can sit here all night patting myself on the back pretending to be all tough and proud that nobody loves me enough to care because I did that... I caused that... for this purpose. But I think we all know how weak I truly am.

And I don't want to be alone right now.
There is one person who I want more than anything to be with or at least talk to.
And I almost called him...
But he won't speak to me.

One of my doctors joked with me yesterday that he should just install a zipper on my neck, so that way they won't have to bother cutting me all the time, they can just unzip me and take what they need.
How ironic that turned out to be when my test results came back today.

I want to give up...
I want to give up...
I want so very badly to give up.
And maybe this is just a temporary breakdown and tomorrow I will be tough again... who knows.
I don't think anybody knows because I stopped letting anyone really know me a long time ago.

I want him to speak to me so desperately. Just to tell me it will be okay because he is the only one I'd believe... Even after all this time and pain.. he is the only one I want to trust or believe in.
But he is better off not knowing me anymore.
I know this.
And he knows this.
So tonight I will shed my tears on an old cold pillowcase, alone in my bed.
And tomorrow I will go back to pretending it doesn't hurt.

Side Effects of Emotional Writing

Emotional Fatigue
Fear, Anxiety and Shame
Sleep Deprevation
Personality Changes
Psychotic Disorders

Dissociative Identity Disorder

Dissociative identity disorder can occur when a writer gets stuck in the character they are writing about. The disorder is the result of high stress and trauma and can take several months to identify. The psychological experiences of those affected by this disorder can damage the chemical and physiological makeup of the individuals.

I had to stop writing like this.

As much as I loved to write, I couldn't do it like this anymore. I had to let my life settle. I was too involved in the fear and passion I was writing about. It consumed me.

That fear, that passion, that was something that boiled inside me until I felt like I would burst if I did not let it out. The only way I knew to let it out was to write. And so that is what I did... write.

These days I still enjoy writing. My writing however, is not nearly as emotional. My life is much more calm than it used to be because of this.

Do I miss the fear and passion? Yeah, sometimes. Do I miss the pain? Sometimes I even miss that too. What I do not miss is my loved ones watching me cower in a corner sobbing. I do not miss being unable to enjoy life with my children because I am too depressed to do anything. I do not miss snapping at my kids just because they needed something from me while I was busy drowning in my sea of self pity and despair.

For me, it was just too complicated to tell the difference between real life and words.

"Every single negative thing we have ever thought or done has ultimately arisen from our grasping at a false self, and our cherishing of that false self, making it the dearest and most important element in our lives. All those negative thoughts, emotions, desires, and actions that are the cause of our negative karma are engendered by self-grasping and self-cherishing. they are the dark, powerful magnet that attracts to us, life after life, every obstacle, every misfortune, every anguish, every disaster, and so they are the root cause of all the suffering."
~Sogyal Rinpoche

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Cristina Cakes


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