mental health: writing............ .Talent
Development Resources -..home
use writing as a tool for awareness and healing, we find the outcome,
the written word, to be useful, but frequently not as useful as the
process of writing itself.
Personal writing of this nature is intentional writing.
Its deepest intention is to heal.
Like water flowing, effortlessly finding its way around and
through obstacles, the healing power of writing uses words effortlessly
to to transform pain, confusion and internal chaos.
Listen to the words of Gabriel Rico in Pain and Possibility,
"Writing helps to direct your pain into a constructive act...thus
In writing to heal, words become vehicles, vessels for
experience, containers to hold awareness.
To use writing to heal, to really listen to your heart speak
and take good notes, it is therefore essential to be in touch as deeply
as possible, as much as the limits of your awareness will allow.
Susan Borkin - from her book:
When Your Heart Speaks, Take Good Notes: The
Healing Power of Writing
> related book: Writing From the Inside Out: Using a Journal for
Personal Growth & Transformation
> photo and excerpt from her site susanborkin.com
||I think we ought to read only the kind of books that wound
and stab us. If the book we're reading doesn't wake us up with a blow
on the head, what are we reading for? ....
But we need the books that affect us like a disaster, that
grieve us deeply, like the death of someone we loved more than
ourselves, like being banished into forests far from everyone, like a
suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea inside us.
Franz Kafka to Oskar
Pollak, 1904 / photo by
Sheila Metzner from photography : page
~ ~ ~ ~
created a situation in this novel ["After"] where I reduced things to
purest, least complicated elements: two characters, a Muslim man, and a
woman who had been widowed by Muslim extremists; and their interactions
within a 24-hour time frame.
to create a microcosm of what is happening in the world today, hoping
writing it might help me sort some issues out that had been troubling
of my goals was to capture the anxiety that we now live with, and how
anxiety affects average, good people, causing them to behave in ways
they wouldn't otherwise.
wanted to show the dehumanizing affects of objectification: the woman
my story is defined almost exclusively in the eyes of other people by
widowhood, when she lost her husband in an act of terrorism by Muslim
her lover, an expatriate from Iran, is defined by his ethnic and
the novel neither of the characters refer to each other by name, and
think of one another simply as "The Widow" or "The Muslim."
Tristram - photo and quotes from her site
Tips for Writers - by Erica Jong [excerpt]
artists, whatever smiling faces they may show you, are obsessive,
driven by some mania or driven by some high, noble vision need not
Art of Fiction
is the drive to write? The drive to make order out of a chaotic world,
to impose your own vision on chaos, to play god with the universe, to
some inner tension that can only find its release through words?
is all these things and more. It is also a life-saver to the one who is
drowning in her own feelings. Sometimes I grab the pen to keep from
and sometimes the pen pulls me to the bottom of the ocean, bubbling my
last reserves of oxygen, before it lets me rise again.
Weekly Tips for Writers by Erica Jong [a page
on her site] - November 17,
©James Kriegsmann from Erica Jong site // Sappho's
Leap: A Novel - by Erica Jong
this dark and wounded society, writing can give you the pleasures of
woodpecker, of hollowing out a a hole in a tree where you can build
nest and say, "This is my niche, this is where I live now, this is
the niche may be small and dark, but at last you will finally know what
you are doing. After thirty years or more of floundering around and
up, you will finally know, and when you get serious you will be dealing
with the one thing you've been avoiding all along -- your wounds.
is very painful. It stops a lot of people early on who didn't get into
this for the pain. They got into it for the money and the fame. So they
either quit, or they resort to a type of writing that is sort of like
by Bird: Some Instructions on Writing and Life
by Scott Braley for barclayagency.com
to say we're all very uncomfortable existentially or something in this
think of Kafka's diaries,
which I used to read at a certain point in my life, and how negative
was using the diary as a place to put down, or get rid of, certain
things. So we don't see the complete person in those diaries and we
see the happier side of him.
just dwelling on that discomfort in certain stories because I want to
something of it.
there are ways in which I am very comfortable -- wasting time and so
I'm not choosing to write about them or make something of them. It
feel so urgent, probably because those are very fulfilling times, and I
tend to write about the more unfulfilling times.
by Kate Moses, 1997
Davis is a prose stylist of incisive wit. She has authored three
of stories and a novel and has translated from the French numerous
by such figures as Maurice Blanchot and Marcel Proust.
most recent book, Samuel
Johnson Is Indignant, consists of 57 literary miniatures, each
her economical renderings of our most ordinary thoughts and moments.
& quotes from MacArthur Fellows profile
aims not at silence but at speech, not at stillness but at story or
the importance of the word, and thus the word becomes a way of
an instrument of feeling.
from his book Healing
you can imagine Anne Lamott as a working-class kid from Jersey with a
for losers, you have an idea of Spike. She's a woman grown now and
of wisdom are setting in, not that many years but a lot of mileage on
a writer, what she brings to the mountains of baggage in her life is
only humor but incurable honesty.
of her as a voice of the younger generation, even though she's
forty, because she has no protective layer on her nerve endings, no
no been there/done that, no ability to dismiss anything as too freaking
strange to bother with.
experiences it all wide open and then reports back.
Ivins, nationally syndicated political columnist and
Molly Ivins Can't Say That, Can She?
(But Don't Give Yourself Away) : Old
Found Hope, and Other Cheap Tricks
- by Spike
forty-six essays.... As Gillespie describes them, "There are odes to my
good days and bad, to trips I've taken -- both real and metaphorical,
holiness found in unexpected places, to men I have not slept with, to
to live sober.
there are miscellaneous ruminations on my alter-ego, my inner-teen, the
floor mat in my car, a dead squirrel in the road."
these pieces is the thread of hope: there are moments the thread slips
out of view only to resurface in some unexpected location.
it takes awhile, but Gillespie always relocates hope, discovering even
in her darkest times that life is full of an embarrassment of riches. [bookpeople.com
photo from her site Spike Speaks
need not be paid in suffering... It can be paid in forward motion.
the mistake is a positive move, a nurturing move.
Summons to New Orleans : A Novel
drew on her own experience as a rape survivor in writing the book.
is executive producer of tv series "Joan of Arcadia" and "Judging Amy"
~ ~ ~
about your personal pains and passions, in spite of fears, is a big
Writing into the unknown is a big risk. So once you've jumped, you
as well let gravity have its way. Going all the way means taking some
the writing wants to go off on a tangent, let it. The tangent may be
real story, or it may be a side trip that gives new meaning to the
bad things worse. (Your characters) need to hit bottom before they can
pick themselves up and dust themselves off. You may want to intercede,
but they need to solve their own problems.
the right risks. It's tricky to seek risk for its own sake. The main
is the willingness to take risk when the chance appears.
from Life: Turning
Your Personal Experiences into Compelling Stories
/ photo from her site
me, the most important thing to say about using writing to address the
silences of chronic illness is that to write gives us agency; we are
acted on by a situation, we are acting.
point by itself serves to defeat the authority of the illness. At last
the ill person is able to affect himself and others by saying the
that have lived in the shadows.
is a peculiar feeling when you write, that you can say anything and it
matters, even though you may change it later!
far as co-existing voices are concerned -- we can be shameless and
timid and bold, whimper and shout, enjoying the freedom of all these
at the same time!
we can let go of the boundaries of time and write from our intuitive
a place Tess Gallagher (1986) calls "deep time" (p. 93), where the past
and future disappear and we feel totally present.
usual story-telling intervals collapse and our state of mind is more
expressive; we are ready to be taken by surprise and let our intuition
again, perhaps most important, is that when we write we are no longer
done to: we are doing.
Chronic Illness: Trauma, Language, and Writing: Breaking
the Silence - by Peggy Penn, M.S.W.
of Tenses: Essays on Poetry by Tess Gallagher
from the age of five to fifteen... then my teacher died. She committed
suicide because her husband was cheating on her.
me, you know, because it was such a big part of my life. ... She was a
beautiful person. ...
a lot of poetry, I guess, about that time, lots and lots of poetry. And
I'd win little women's club poetry contests when I was a kid.
puremusic.com interview // CD: Fancy
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