How Writing a Novel Helped Me Heal

How Writing a Novel Helped Me Heal

Ashlyne Huff Revelette always knew that there was a story inside of her, she just didn’t realize it would be inspired by her own life. After a non-consensual sexual encounter with a boyfriend, Revelette found that her love of songwriting wasn’t helping her heal. Instead, it was novel writing that allowed her to open up and begin sharing her story with those around her. The road to recovery is never easy, but here Revelette shares just how powerful it can be when you arrive there.

When I was 13 years old, I longed for something real to write about that I could share with the world. My dad told me to be patient and that my story would come. And he was right. It wasn’t until my life flipped completely upside down that I realized it wasn’t just about getting a story out, writing was about sharing and learning to grow. That was when I started working on my six-book series.

I was 19 when a boyfriend decided that my body was his to have, even though he knew I wanted to wait until marriage. The event wasn’t violent or the way I’d imagined an assault, so I was left confused and broken. I had no idea how to comprehend what happened or how to make the pain go away. But I did know how I felt about it.

I knew I hated that someone had taken a piece of my heart and thrown it away. I knew I was confused because I still wanted someone who clearly wasn’t worth wanting, and who didn’t want me anymore. I knew I felt used and useless. Ultimately, I realized none of it was my fault but that took time. Back then, I felt stupid, like I should have known better.

I’ve always been in touch with my feelings, and in the past, I’d turned to songwriting when dealing with problems. I thought surely that would be the answer to this one. I had been writing in a journal since I was little, and I wrote songs on a daily basis. My creativity and sense of self had helped me get my record deal and songwriting deal. It also helped me to get into Nashville’s Belmont University for a music business degree. But songwriting alone wasn’t helping me heal.

Despite being in touch with my feelings, I was losing control. Getting my emotions out on paper in a private journal and singing the words I’d written in a cryptic, vague three-minute song just wasn’t cutting it. Even though I was opening the wounds and allowing my feelings to come out through song, I wasn’t healing in the slightest bit. I continued to hold on to those same feelings. I was masking them with a bandaid, and I was becoming infected with self-loathing, shame, regret, and the question “why me?” I was still hiding what had happened from the people in my life. I was creatively expressing my feelings, but I didn’t have the support I needed to fully recover.

Writing Falling Stars was the key to finally letting go of the pain I’ve held onto for so long. It’s fictional, but knowing that I was writing down events inspired by parts of my life has helped me to truly heal. I found my calling as a novel writer and also began to recover.

In the process, I’ve learned that life is like a novel. If the main character in a book experiences all this angst and tragedy, but never grows from those mistakes or losses, the story gets taxing and the reader stops reading because the story isn’t going anywhere. It wasn’t enough for me to know how I felt. I had to do something about it so that I could learn, grow, and move on to the next chapter. We are all the authors of our own lives, and we have to be sure our story is moving in some direction.

And so, I write with the hope that I will inspire readers to do the same. Make a move and be the author of your life!

Ashlyne Huff Revelette is an author, songwriter, and singer. A self-proclaimed coffee and sushi addict, she loves anything associated with music, words and Nashville. She currently lives in Music City, U.S.A with her husband Mason and yorkie Charlie. Falling Stars is her first novel.

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