Writing is Therapy
by Kaye Howarth
Writing is Therapy
Closing the living room door, I sit at my writing desk. It is quiet, the house is settled.
I roll my shoulders, head and neck, taking in a deep breath and slowly exhaling. The writing process has now begun.
Picking up a pen, I close my eyes to organize my thoughts. The world ebbs away as I submerge under the warm sea of my imagination. Mentally stirring the seabed of ideas, I find words beneath the shells and fauna of my mind. Shimmering, flashing thoughts float up, but I have already disappeared into the bubble world.
As a child I was a voracious reader, itching to get into the local library on a Saturday morning, coming home heavily-laden with my capacity to carry books. I curl up in a chair and disappear into the story before me. I had a vivid imagination, and luckily still do!
Writing has been my therapy throughout my life - providing an invaluable escape from the real world and all its problems.
In 1999 I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, thirty three years old and a divorced parent of two beautiful red-haired children. (As if the sexual abuse I had suffered in youth wasn’t enough.) Throughout this terrifying time, I kept a journal, logging an awful rollercoaster-ride of that none of my family or friends wanted to endure.
There were angry words, sad words, shouty swear words, not-enough-time words… There were help-us-words, let-me-live words, grieving words, all recording good and bad days, getting it down on paper. This helped me. It calmed me and allowed me to see in black-and-white through each treatment. It told me how far we had come (or not come).
I encourage you to find a space of your own, with people or without. Find it inside the house or, even better, in a wild open field where you can recline and look up to the sky, chasing clouds into shapes. Write what you see, smell, and touch. Close your eyes and listen to the sounds around you. Run your fingers through the soil. How does the texture feel. Can you feel the sun’s warmth on your face?
When you feel ready, pick up a pen and write whatever comes into your mind. You can do it! Write a list of words for your mood for that day. Build a short story round them.
It doesn't have to perfect - it can't be real or nothing like life as it truly is.
So that’s the point, isn't it. You have to start somewhere! If I can do it, then I'm confident you can too!
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--Bruce Cook, Publisher
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Publishing New Writers,
April, 2023 (vol. 24, no. 4)
Dr. Bruce L. Cook
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Elgin, IL 60123
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