“Write What Haunts You…”

“Biddy Bytes” appears once-a-week, on Mondays, while this author works on her book, Patient Witness, about her ongoing, lifetime experience with the medical industry.  Her posts are often snippets from the life of its creator, Colleen Kelly Mellor, and like their author, they’re sometimes crazy and often, all over the place.

“Write What Haunts You” is the name of a piece appearing on writer Jane Friedman’s website. That title spoke to me, for that’s exactly what I’m in the process of doing….


For years, I put it off, as I wrote various pieces that appeared in journals and publications.  It was nice enough, jockeying with phrasing…playing around. I harnessed humor, too, and learned how to deliver it. You see, in writing, (as with comedic routines on live stage,) timing is critical. And today, in the rapid-fire world of instant messaging and 24/7 cable, quick delivery (with pitch) is crucial.

But, I faced a dilemma:  Could I write that close to the bone?  I’d need to lose my anonymity…I’d need to delve into my past….Waaayyy into it.

Some asked:  “Why don’t you use a pseudonym?” (You know, like women writers in the day, when they weren’t supposed to write, so they effected male names.)  But writing anonymously is not an option for me.  Why?  I’m not writing fiction here.  The events I tell about really happened, and more important, the soul-killing still happens, today, to countless girls and women. I know–I had girls who were products of that, in my classrooms, for years, as students.

You see, I was born to a high-functioning family where it was “All About the Boys.” As a young girl, I learned the abysmal difference in being “Not One of Them.”

So, I need to step out, today, into the sunlight and bear witness…No matter how personally difficult.

I just know one thing:  I want you on this journey, with me. If you’re a regular Biddy Bytes’ reader, I want to keep you as Valued and Cherished Audience…I don’t want you to fall through the cracks as those who say (I’m sometimes one of them): “Gee, I liked that website, but I don’t remember what it was called or how I got there.”

I’ll love you even  better, if you’re vocal and weigh in, as in the Comment section.  So, stay with me,“Hang a reminder from the ceiling…” “Make a label for your chair”…“Post a sticky note on your computer”…”If you’re tech-savvy, Bookmark it as Favored Site” (so you can come back easily.) What’s the “it” in all of the above?  My website address or URL—www.biddybytes.com

Why’s it so-o important?  In this year #4 (yep, I’ve written 3 years of posts for this blog) I get into deeper stuff, and I know much of it you’ll definitely want to know…to protect yourself against similar things happening to you (the domestic abuse component…the”patient” stuff).

I’ll be giving you some seriously-important insight.

But be assured–I’ll still use humor, for I like to think it’s my hallmark, even in ghoulish circumstances.

I’ll shed light on my past—my background, being raised in a family that marginalized  women. Why?  That factored in, significantly, in what happened to me, as I went from atrophied childhood, to two highly-abusive marriages. But make no mistake:  I’m not into  “Poor Me-ing” myself, either but rather state a reality, as Jack Webb of “Dragnet” fame said, when he offered:  “Just the facts, Ma’am.”

My work now—writing of situations that affected me—are borne out of that difficult past. I believe we’re all like rivers whose various tributaries feed into us.

The blog has allowed me a platform on which I can flex my creative muscles. Like an amorphous mass, my past sometimes lacked cohesive form I could understand. It took me waaayyy longer, in living, to figure it out. 

When I was younger, I denied its power.  Later, I got stuck in it..Finally, I grieved over it and moved on. But I always wrote, often in privacy, and into the wee hours of the morning (my old notebooks are pictured above…)

Years ago, the Deputy Executive Editor of a major newspaper asked me, “How many books do you think you have in you?” I recall coming away, thinking:  “What’s she mean by that?” (I thought I had only one, at the time.)

Now, I know I have several….Two books are in my immediate future, Patient Witness and In the Shadow of Princes (both close to completion.)  These are the works that haunt me (they have for as long as I’ve been writing, which is about 35 years.)

What I find truly extraordinary? This editor knew my writing future… even before I did.

Now, my question:  “Are you writing what haunts you?” (if only in personal journals that you someday may publish……….) “If not…why not?”

Next Monday’s blog?  “When Social Networking Reaches Out from the Grave” (seriously, it does.) Now, please…Sign up, in Subscribe area…top right-hand corner of my blog site, so we stay connected.

I’m not in the grave…yet…and if you’re reading this…. neither are you.

About admin

A lifetime teacher and realtor who's now a published writer, Colleen Kelly Mellor is a humorist first, ever aware of the thread that connects us all. Her works have appeared in the WSJ, Providence Journal, and CNN and NY Times-acclaimed medical blog, kevinMD.com, to name a few. All material on this blog is exclusive property of the author and cannot be reproduced without this author's express written consent.
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