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The Writer’s Crisis

A handwritten poem.

sometimes I wonder who I’d be
without my pen
without my time alone
eyes low
busy describing
etching interpretations
of moments—of memories—
because that’s the irony
I describe my past
my biased recollections
fleeting emotions
in a presence that fades away
every moment I review, reflect
the words I write
never truly define me
because they, like my pain,
are so very far behind me
so who am I without my pen?
who am I without my pain?
the answer forces me
to identify in frightening new ways

~ The Writer’s Crisis

Originally published in my handwritten book, “Unraveling: Diary of a Healing Soul”.

Author Note:

This poem is from my book, a handwritten poetic diary depicting my healing journey. I spent a few years actively looking within to help relieve some of my mental health struggles and trauma, and writing poetry became one of my most cathartic means of healing. This poem was about recognizing how much I relied on writing about my pain to feel relief. Writing had become my safe space, but my life revolved around creating from trauma. It was healing and powerful, but at this point, I felt ready to explore what I could create without my pain as inspiration (which led to the third section of this book).

I owed years of exploring my pain through poetry and prose to this critical turning point, where suddenly I could look forward to the future, rather than solely spend my time healing the past. But as someone who had built an identity around “healing through writing”, it was scary to imagine branching off into other realms. And thus, from these questions came “The Writer’s Crisis”.

© Samantha Burgett


  • Nicole Smith
    April 26, 2023 at 3:09 pm

    Beautiful poem and beautiful reason for writing it. Poetry is how I understand and process things as well.

    • Samantha Burgett
      April 26, 2023 at 3:16 pm

      Sometimes it’s easier to feel things out when you’re creating. I’m glad you find poetry writing helpful too! It’s a beautiful tool. 🤍 (And thank you! I’m glad it’s legible, that’s been my greatest fear with this book!)

  • Nicole Smith
    April 26, 2023 at 3:09 pm

    also your hand writing is gorgeous.

  • Michele Lee
    April 26, 2023 at 7:06 pm

    Samantha, I am deeply moved by your writing, your journey, and your personal sharing. Thank you. 💗

  • Bridgette
    May 18, 2023 at 5:06 pm

    I wrote a blog post a few years ago with a similar message (not nearly as beautifully expressed). I’d been going to therapy for several years and wondered what would happen to my writing if I healed my wounds—would I have anything to write about? The relationship between our pain and our creativity is an interesting thing to explore.

    • Samantha Burgett
      May 19, 2023 at 8:01 pm

      It sure is an interesting relationship to explore, nicely put! It’s something that still comes up for me from time to time. I’m glad this one resonated with you, and I appreciate your kind feedback, Bridgette!


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