We have so many stories we want to tell.

There was the time when…

That reminds me of…

I can still remember how I felt when…

We use our experiences in our writing – the people, events and places and especially the feelings. Sharing them helps us validate them and gives others the benefit of a tiny piece of our experience. Sharing our mistakes, even, helps give them meaning and value.

But we all have some stories it might be better to forget. Stories that show someone else in a bad light. They behaved in a way we disapproved of. They were totally wrong. It could even have been deliberate. They hurt us, or someone we care about. They angered us. And now it has become one of our stories.

You could keep it to yourself. Or you can write it, blog it or get it published. Of course you’ll change the name if it goes out there. Instead of Edward you’ll call him Edgar. Instead of Pat you’ll call her Penelope. (Serve them right!) You could tell everyone exactly what they did and how devastating it was.

What a fine revenge! Except that revenge is so old-fashioned. And perhaps mean-spirited. And you have only your own perspective on the story. Would someone with a broader perspective perhaps understand Edward or Pat’s side of the story, and the reason behind their actions?

If you are carrying a load of resentment by all means pour it all out onto paper. Let your feelings have full rein. Let all the anger, all the hurt run out of your fingertips.

Then burn or shred the paper. You’ve had your catharsis. Let it go.

As the paper disintegrates,  let your resentment disintegrate along with it. Let your writing be the first step towards forgiveness, not a means of revenge. Use it as a tool for your growth. There is more to writing than being published.

If we can write away or diminish our angers and frustrations we can move along our personal track of growth more easily. As writers we have the tool to get rid of much of the negative “stuff” that holds us back, stuck in old ways of thinking.

Use your writing tool to help you with that. You have plenty more stories to tell, stories you’ll still be proud of 10 or 20 years from now.