• Kirsten Conner

Writing with Ghosts

Normal people think of ghosts as loved ones that they've lost permanently. They think ghosts are synonymous with scary movies, ex-girlfriends/boyfriends, and spooky halloween costumes. Writers think of ghosts as muses that they no longer find inspirational. Ghosts are long-lost ideas for novels or epic poems. The best writers live with their ghosts and interact with them daily.

For the longest time I tried to keep my skeletons in my closet and my ghosts in the spirit realm. I was too afraid to release my feelings and emotions because I felt people weren't ready to read my words. I was a shaken up champagne bottle whose cork was threatening to pop at any moment. I was tired and exhausted and terrified of my own ghosts floating inside that bottle.

But my words soon became my power and I let the Dom Pérignon flow. I poured glasses of bubbly and toasted to my ghosts. I toasted the ghost who represents my childhood trauma. I toasted my ghosts of heartbreak. I drank to my ghost of insomnia and to the one who haunts my occasional dreams. I looked in the mirror and clinked crystal flutes with the ghost I see in myself and she gave me a wink.

How do I, as a writer, cope with these spirits? I draw inspiration from my darkest moments to create beauty. I find the light in my situations so I can help myself move forward. And it's not always easy. Writing about my demons is a long, difficult process but a necessary one. I am the woman I am because of my past and through my words I get a little bit closer to laying all my ghosts to rest.