The subject for discussion this March fell neatly into Ricci’s lap and she was happy to open some new unread chapters of her life to us.
Beginning at the age of twelve, when she discovered the power of words, to heal and impress, she took us on her journey through life, accompanied with her best friend - writing.
For her, writing was a magical companion who understood how she thought and felt, even before she did. She could offload her jumbled thoughts and emotions to ink and it came back to her on paper in a clear translated format. So, the first connection she ever made through writing was with herself. And it was through that first connection, she learnt who the stranger was, walking in her shoes.
Leaving school a few years later, with no qualifications, except shorthand typing skills, she drifted from office to office and city to city in New Zealand, always writing poetry and song lyrics, before crossing ‘the ditch’ to Australia seeking twelve months leave from personal tragedy. She was in her mid-twenties, and it was the mid ‘70’s.
Continuing to write spasmodically, after arriving and working in Sydney, it was not until moving to the Southern Highlands, in N.S.W. that she began writing short stories and attempting to publish them. She also undertook various writing courses and entered numerous competitions.
Although writing has been the one consistent thing in her life, it too has been shelved for long periods over the course of her life because ‘Life seemed to get in the way,’ she said. But like the faithful friend it was, writing always welcomed her back when she returned.
Later in life she wrote a small book, at the request of two strangers, but the end product disappointed her and once again she fell into a writing slumber.
In her early teens Ricci had dreamed of becoming a rich and famous author but, with the passage of time, that aspiration has been well and truly transformed. Being rich now means having enough; fame is having friends and family who know her well and, being an author, is just being herself, when she is writing and connecting to her story whole heartedly.
These days she is writing poetry and Blogs for Embracing Women’s Potential – Transformative Learning Centre (EWP-TLC) which she said is both fulfilling and immensely rewarding, because of the authentic message and educational work EWP-TLC is actively participating in.
She was keen to assure everyone that writing is something anyone can do and that it is not a magic gift bestowed on the few. All it takes is the willingness to pick up a pen and write.
The power of the connection, (writing makes with the writer), appears to come from the raw, unfiltered emotional dialogue that flows freely between the heart and the inner-most self. This process empowers the writer to verbalise their truest feelings to themselves and later to others. This is where the transformational healing occurs through the power of writing for connection.
After hearing of Ricci’s life-long association with writing and, the strength it has given her throughout, we then partook in a brief writing exercise. Following that little exercise, we watched Jessica Lourey’s TEDx Talk, a woman who, like Ricci, began writing because of the attention she received for her work; decided writing was going to be her ‘be all to end all’ and again, similarly, shelved it until tragedy struck.
In this TEDx Talk, Jessica said that reconnecting with writing saved her life as it was her cry for help and a last-ditch effort to re-join the real world.
She managed to successfully do this through writing and later publishing a fictional book called May Day.
Both Jessica’s and Ricci’s stories are far from unique. The Power of Writing for Connection with ourselves, and others, is well documented and used by many to transform their lives. One famous book, The Artist’s Way, by Julia Cameron, has become a world-wide movement, teaching people how to connect with their true selves - through the practice of writing.
Because writing has supported her through the darkest times in her life, Ricci said she often wondered how people, who do not write, get through such times. She realised that she can’t answer that because writing has been her life-long friend and saviour too.
In fact, humanity has used the Written Word for millennia to connect with self and others. It is a powerful tool available to everyone and anyone who wants to connect with their innermost being.
That’s it from me - my pen has just run dry.
Toodle pip for now,