Saving My Own Life


Words I write, seem to

pale to the words I think.

Expectations unrealized

while standards aren’t met.


Reaching for the brass ring

leaves me empty handed.

Seeking an audience

only leaves me lonely.


Clever turn of phrase

achieved occasionally

but struggle to achieve

a literary greatness.


But in scribing I’ve found

the best therapy

and the means by which

I might save my own life.


About John White

I've written off and on my entire life. It took years for me to finally take putting words together seriously. Now it's not, nor does it ever feel, like work. Writing daily has become habitual. No day is complete without words having appeared on the page.

Posted on November 24, 2014, in Poetry and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 47 Comments.

  1. myweightlossjournals

    excellently put.

  2. Yes, writing is my sanity as well! Keep writing!

  3. A perfect expression of writing; I completely relate to this.

  4. Indeed, scribbling is the best therapy

  5. You have a concise turn of phrase, that packs a lot of meaningful information. I liked the way you use comon phrases and alter them.

  6. Exactly! Why is it that my thoughts are brilliant, but my writing mediocre?

  7. Do It Anyway
    for children in Calcutta:
                  People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered.  Forgive them anyway.
                If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives.  Be kind anyway.
                If you are successful, you will win some unfaithful friends and some genuine enemies.  Succeed anyway.
               If you are honest and sincere people may deceive you.  Be honest and sincere anyway.
                What you spend years creating, others could destroy overnight.  Create anyway.
                If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous.  Be happy anyway.
                The good you do today, will often be forgotten.  Do good anyway.
             Give the best you have, and it will never be enough.  Give your best anyway.
             In the final analysis, it is between you and God.  It was never between you and them anyway.
    -this version is credited to Mother Teresa

  8. At the end of the day, that’s the point of the writing medium. Wringing out our souls onto the page. Sadistic license allows for a healthy outlet for our emotional vomit. “Marketability,” I’ll dub it, is a whole other matter. I’ve found that creativity is the clay, but literary technique is the cookie cutter or mold that the creativity must be smooshed into in order to be acceptable to society’s stream of commerce. But if I’m just trying to keep myself out of the loony bin (and I am, hehe!), then all I care about is getting it on the page.

    • I couldn’t agree more! That’s exactly how I feel. I’ve been in conversations when the question of “who do you write for – you or the reader” comes up. My answer, no matter how selfish it sounds, is always that I have to write for me. It’s therapy – an outlet. If what I write is accepted or enjoyed by someone else that’s great and makes it even more worthwhile but it still has to be for me in order for me to receive my therapy. Thank you for the comment! It’s great to meet you!

  9. Yeah…a pen or a keypad can always come to the rescue 🙂

  10. Yep. I completely understand. Well done.

  11. Reblogged this on CountMaxi's Blog.

  12. If the poem is at all autobiographical, then we share some reasons for writing. That reason is why I protect my right to write what I want, how I want, and when I want. At any rate, have a great day.

    • It is certainly that – autobiographical. I’ve heard discussions about why writers write – for their readers or for themselves. I’m not sure that any writer will ever produce anything that is truly their own if they’re writing for someone else. It has to belong to the writer and be a part of the writer for it to have any intrinsic value or merit. To your point, we should all write what we want, how we want and when we want. Thanks for the comment!

  13. *low whistle* Damn, that was simple but gorgeous.

    Thank you for sharing this particular poem of yours because it has inspired one of my own pieces. I’m not yet sure what shape or form my idea will take but I’ll be sure to give you a shout-out if something does comes to fruition.


    • Coincidence! After posting the above comment, I checked out your ‘About me’ page and saw that you had written: “I hope to move someone within my lifetime.”. Well buddy, I think you have done just that to me. And may you continue to do so 🙂 It feels great to feel sometimes!

    • Thank you so much!! I’m glad you enjoyed it but it’s always a pleasure to know that something I’ve written strikes a chord in someone else.

      • 🙂 This whole blogging thing is great; checking out other people’s work has been rather inspiring. I’m so glad that we live in a day and age where such connections can happen with ease — and I’m glad to be a apart of this diverse but damn awesome wordpress writers community.

        Nice to meet you and yeah! Continue to write and we’ll do the thing where we give each other feedback — sounds like a plan ehh? 😉

  14. Excellent

  15. Awesome! I can relate. 🙂

  16. I like this too. Glad I found your blog.

  17. Written Therapy

    It’s nice to know that I am not alone in this being “therapy”. Writing, for me, has worked when others have failed. Spilling the words out onto paper and no longer letting them fester inside me has been the best thing I have ever done. I really enjoyed this piece. I could identify with it so completely.

    • Thank you! 🙂 It’s been exactly the same for me. No amount of therapy while spilling my guts lying on the couch can match the benefits of letting it all out on paper. I’ve always felt if I’m comfortable enough to talk about my problems then I’m comfortable enough to write about them, make them public and deal with it. It’s great to meet you!

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