Writing to Heal and Transform:
By MJ Schwader
Last year, after years of writing my memoir in those precious moments of
time I found between coaching writers and editing their books, I finally
came to a point where I needed to read through my entire manuscript.
hinking I was close to finishing, I
thought it would only need a final
polish and I’d be ready to hand it to
my editor, with publication soon to
Imagine my surprise when the nar-
rative started to repeat a disturbing pattern: in
nearly all of my stories, I realized that I had posi-
tioned myself as a victim. Someone or something
else was almost always the cause of my pain and
suffering. In my stories, I had rarely taken account-
ability for my life’s choices.
That realization rocked my world. It was profound-
ly apparent to me that I really didn’t like the person
I was reading about, and therefore, there was no
way I could publish my story as it was. If I didn’t
like the character in the stories, why would other
readers be any different?
So, instead of putting a few final touches to my
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