You’re not a writer so why would you write? It may have never crossed your mind since leaving school, college or university to write. Today, I want to convince you to give writing a try. It’s cheap, (pen and paper) it’s portable and it’s time flexible (you control how long you write for) . Writing is a fantastic tool for self care, I wouldn’t be without it. It’s cathartic, soothing, and just sheer fun. Write your way to happiness.
How incredible that everyone learns the art of writing from a very young age. That means we ALL have the ability to share our thoughts, ideas, stories and dreams with the world or just with ourselves and our own world.
So simple yet so powerful, the written word! It’s about a 4.5 minute read.
- Why we should write – the benefits.
- Rediscover your writing.
- How and where to write.
- Your Authentic and Honest thoughts
- Bringing light to dark places.
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Why we Should Write – The Benefits
Writing can help get things you should be saying or facing said. Perhaps things you have been blocking out.
It gets things out of your head and onto paper and out into the world which is somehow satisfying. Like a burden being lifted from your shoulders. Maybe it’s enough to know that somehow you said them. And even though no one has listened you have still somehow been heard. By the universe perhaps!
I know we all have thoughts in our heads but writing them down on paper, it somehow makes it more real. Brings them to life, enables you to formulate them clearly, or should I say to understand them better.
You find things out about yourself, what you’re thinking and where you are, that you may not have even realised. When you are aware of something you can start to fix it or act upon it.
When you’re writing you’re released from thinking about all the other stuff. it’s a repreive, a stress release. It calms the mind, like a form of meditation. Similar to dance, or yoga. You get into your flow zone
Writing uses brain cells… it keeps your brain young and active.
Be warned writing can be addictive. But it’s a healthy habit.!
Rediscover your writing
We need to rediscover what its like to put our thoughts and ideas onto paper. When we are at school we do this constantly. Communicate our ideas and thoughts through writing. Especially creatively. Then unless we have a job that includes this or unless we do it as a hobby or kept a journal we inevitable loose the skill and like everything else practice makes perfect.
With practice you will be encouraged by your progress. By how your writing improves both in your ability to express yourself and in just the fun you are having. It’s an exciting journey of self discovery because you will constantly be writing things about yourself, your feelings, emotions, hopes, beliefs, truths and passions that you weren’t really fully aware of.
How and Where to Write
Pencil and paper versus keyboard warrior
Should you do your writing pencil to paper or directly onto a keyboard? The answer to that is, it’s up to you, your choice, whatever you fancy but here’s a few thoughts:-
I type directly onto keyboard for blog posts but quite honestly, when writing for self care purposes I would go with writing by hand every time.
- Pencil to paper is slower but you’re not in a hurry!
- You can’t so easily self edit. This is important, you want to see your first thoughts, your unedited thoughts. With keyboard its gone, never to return. With pencil to paper you can score them out and revise them but we can still see the original thought, that’s important.
- It’s portable, you can do it anywhere. You can get comfy and sit anywhere. Including outside in nature which is in itself great for self nourishment. Carry an A5 journal around in your hand bag and you’ve got access to it anytime and anywhere you want.
For self care writing I use a concept called Morning Pages. Morning Pages are a daily journal that you do every morning upon waking. You have to fill 3x A4 size pages of writing and you have to do it as soon after waking up as possible. It normally takes me around half an hour to do. (To find out more about Julia Camerons concept of morning pages click here.)
Morning pages and any type of self care writing must be from heart and soul to page, no editing, no corrections, no ‘ego’ involved, just authenticity and honesty. For me, pencil to paper is the only way to go.
Your authentic and honest thoughts.
Don’t think about what you write, just scrawl and let the words flow from your heart, soul and mind to the page. This gives a more authentic experience, a more honest communication of what you are feeling or thinking. Your writing, your work, should be full of YOU. Your energy, your honesty. your beliefs and your passions.
Chill out, write what you want. It doesn’t have to make sense. You dont need to think, punctuate, do capital letters, you can forget all the rules. Just write, self to paper.
You don’t have to read what you write, the choice is yours. You can write then read it straight away. You can write then leave a short time and then read it or you can write leave a long, long time then read it. Or you can write and never read it, you can throw the books in the fire. Its up to you.
For self care and discovery I would strongly recommend write then go back at a later date and read. What you wrote will amaze you!!!
Art as Divine Inspiration
It’s an interesting thought that art, in whatever form, is not just you but a higher being… the universe…just flowing through you pen to paper, paint to canvas, dance through human interaction with the music.
How hippy dippy but I like the thought of it. Certainly in Dance, which is my highest developed art form, when I improvise I’m not thinking about it at all it does just simply flow out of me as if from nowhere and this is often some of my best work!
Bringing Light to Dark Places
I think writing can really help you get through those bad times when you are in those dark places. The times when your confidence takes a nosedive and you start having outrageously exaggerated thoughts about yourself.
The times when you start criticising every part of your own body, your personality, your achievements… Below is an example from my own morning pages:
“when you feel so small and insignificant where you want to hide from the world because your heart is crushed, because you are crushed. You feel too ugly for people to see you..you are embarrassed for people to see you because you don’t want them to see your sadness…”
I mean just because we think the thoughts doesn’t make them true. In fact, to the rational thinking mind, to our friends and family , often to every single person except you, they are quite blatantly absolute nonsense, but still we believe them at the time.
Could we write these down these kinds of thoughts then immediately challenge them with counter arguments to the contrary. Lets take, for example, what I imagine to be quite a common and very simple self criticism that women often have, regardless of their age.
“I am ugly”
You could counter argue with
“No Im not, Im beautiful, both on the inside and the outside
Look at what I did to help such and such
I have great hair and skin
My friends are always telling me how good I look
I am healthy“
And so on…
Personally, that works for me. Writing in whatever form is extremely cathartic.
Writing is somehow vulnerable but in a beautiful way. You can see yourself. Write like nobody else will read it. Nobody else has to see it. Nobody else should see it. It’s your secret world, just for you.
I would love to hear your thoughts, comments, questions and suggestions below. xxx
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