Opinions & Editorials

OP ED: Writing Saved My Life

The Guardsman

Oz Litvac

Writing has always been second nature to me. But it wasn’t until I published my first piece in Etc. Magazine that I realized the satisfaction of accomplishment in a way I never have before.

Accomplishments, I should say, because there were several.

After six months, 68 reworked drafts, disputes with editors, a nasty email, too many cooks in the editing kitchen cutting away at my words, writing on a controversial topic for a specific target-market full of bureaucracy and politics dictating censorship — it was an experience to learn from.

It was my first byline, first-person feature, non-fiction story, my first time talking in such detail about an experience that took five years to come to terms with, and ignoring its lingering effects just enough to put up with the turmoil of the suppressed emotions regurgitated by writing about it.

The piece, The War At Home, is about one of many brushes I had with death in my relatively short time of military service on the Gaza strip.

There was a therapeutic aspect to writing, which clarified its necessity as a personal mental health tool. It was through writing that piece that I was able to put the past to rest, and clear from my naked eyes the cloudiness that was blocking my path to the future.

After writing that piece, I not only realized writing is what I want to do with my life, but I also slept better at night and was able to make sense out of something I had suppressed for years.

Success comes in many shapes and forms, and although my vocabulary is not the strongest (I didn’t even learn English until I was 13 yrs old), I do have an idea of how to construct a successful sentence and that is a start.


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