This Month's Writerly Witterings
Happy April! The clocks have gone forwards and hopefully you are feeling full of renewed springtime energy.
This month’s ‘Writerly Witterings’ is going to consider the power of Writing as Therapy. As writers, we are blessed to have this outlet. For some, this can be an outpouring of angst into a journal or poem. For others, it can be the exploration of a situation within our fiction.
I think whatever we write, some of our own experiences, dilemmas and emotion (whether past or present) will inevitably creep into our work.
The Different Forms
A poem can be an outlet for the unravelling of inner turmoil, perhaps examining a set of circumstances from every angle. The sonnet can be a great form to do this as its two-part structure allows for a contrasting of viewpoints or scenarios.
Often the poems we write in this way will never see the light of day. I thought this would be the case with ‘Poetry for the Newly Single 40 Something.’ However, if we are ever brave enough to share our work, it can help other people living through similar life events.
A diary is a wonderful outlet for anything and everything, allowing us to reveal our innermost feelings and responses that are private and not intended to be read by anyone else. Often the reading back of these, years later, can demonstrate how far we have come in our lives.
An autobiography can be written to share our ‘survival’ story, therefore providing empathy to someone else in a similar place. It can also be used to set the record straight and finalise a set of circumstances we have lived through. Examining something real through our writing brings resolution and closure.
A single scenario can be played out through the medium of the short story. Inserting fictional characters into a real set of circumstances can help us explore a variety of ways with which to go forwards.
Similarly, a more detailed and complex set of circumstances can be explored through the writing of a novel. Real relational dynamics can be lived out through characters. This can be based on real people but contain enough fiction so that we can tell a story that is not only cathartic to us, but also immersive and helpful for our readers.
How Writing Helps
Writing as therapy can be done in a very positive way, for example, where visualisation is used to imagine ambition and goal. This can be affirmative and contribute towards it becoming an actuality.
The cathartic effect comes about through our ability to unleash raw emotion onto the page, therefore extracting it from within ourselves. Reading what we have written aloud can be particularly powerful.
From 18-30 April, I am offering a free mini writing course, ‘The 12 Days of Easter Writing.’ If anyone is interested in receiving a daily writing prompt which will enable the therapeutic power of writing to be unleashed, please click here to add your name to the list.
I will, as always, follow this blog post up with a Facebook Live. To avoid the Easter weekend, this will take place on Thursday 18th April at 6:00 pm. Click here to link with me on my Facebook page.
It would be great to hear whether you believe that writing serves you in a therapeutic way, and how.
My next ‘Writerly Witterings’ blog post will be in May on the theme of ‘believing in yourself as a writer,’ something we can all use a bit of help with, no matter what stage we are at in our writing careers.
With best wishes, Maria
PS I’ve now finalised the retreat for September ‘Finish your Novel and Get it Published.’ Follow this link to find out more or to take advantage of the ‘early bird’ offer.