For those of you who read my blog regularly, you will know that I am interested in creative writing for wellbeing. How might creative writing be therapeutic? Yes, there are ways of gently writing through the troubling emotions and teasing out understanding. But, sometimes, creative writing for wellbeing is about diversion, it is about taking our thoughts away from the difficulties and for a short moment connecting with the uplifting. This is unlikely to solve any problems, but it might help in the way we feel in ourselves which could mean we approach worries in a different way.
Here are some suggestions. Give them a try, but don’t be down on yourself if you don’t connect with them. Perhaps they will spark off ideas of your own, in which case follow them.
#1. Find an uplifting word. My suggestions would be: love; friendship; joy; happiness; pleasure; sparkle; fun… But find a word which works for you. Write it at the top of the page and answer some or all of these questions:
- what colour is it?
- what shape is it?
- what sound does it make?
- how heavy is it?
- what does it taste of?
- what does it smell like?
- what texture does it have?
- what does it feed on?
- if it were an animal, what animal would it be?
- if it were weather, what weather would it be?
- if it were a landscape, what landscape would it be?
You might want to add some questions of your own. Take about ten minutes to do this. If nothing comes, leave it. If you get inspired, follow your inspiration.
#2. Focus on a piece of nature. This might be something you have indoors – a stone, a feather, a leaf, a plant – or maybe you can look out the window or open your window and hear a birdsong or go for a walk. Find something from nature and focus on it for a couple of minutes. Then write for five minutes. To start with, write freely, whatever words present themselves. As you go on, start to think about the five senses – sight, hearing, taste, smell, texture – and make sure you are using all of them as far is possible.
Write for another five minutes about the journey this piece of nature has taken to come to your notice.
Overall, take about fifteen minutes to do all this. If nothing comes, leave it. If you get inspired, follow your inspiration.
#3 Framing it. You might now have something quite crafted or a jumble of words. It doesn’t really matter. Go off and have a break. Preferably, do some stretches, get a gulp of fresh air, have some water. Make it a longer break if you want and return the next day or the next, the words are likely to look different whenever you choose to re-engage with them.
When you come back, read through the words or sentences or whatever it is you have on your paper. Choose several, the number is up to you. Write them in the middle of a plain piece of paper. Then create a frame around them using colourful paints, paper torn from magazines, pens, crayons… whatever you have to hand.
Try not to judge what you create. The process has been the thing, the time spent with words and colour has, hopefully, helped your mood.
However, if you wish to share your experience and/or your creation, then please comment on this post or contact me. My email is on my website.
I definitely find writing therapeutic. Of course it sometimes makes me want to pull my hair out but it also helps me express feelings, thoughts and emotions I struggle to verbally.
Thank you for this comment. Hope the writing is helping you during our troubled times.
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