You have a soul in you of rare quality, an artist’s nature; never let it starve for lack of what it needs. ~ Marcel Proust
My own healing journey with writing began quite unexpectedly. As a writer of fiction I rarely had to delve into any “uncomfortable” areas of my subconscious. I made up the stories I wanted to read and I didn’t make it personal.
But there was something missing for me—a sense that I needed to explore so much more with my words, and in an entirely different way.
I didn’t understand what that meant until I began writing and editing for a magazine where writers share their deep vulnerable stories. At first, I didn’t think I could write in this way. I didn’t know how to. Sure, I had kept a journal for years, but I was more inclined to share the highlights of my day than the low heavy sighs of my heart. Entering into this new space scared the heck out of me. I simply didn’t know where to begin.
I sat down to write one part of my story—a part I knew I had been burying for years. But again, I was more inclined to talk about what happened in a removed and indifferent way—as a spectator watching a performance.
When I submitted my story, the response was almost immediate: “Go deeper.”
What did that even mean?
I stewed over that piece for days, staring at it, waiting for it to reveal some unknown truths to me. And then one morning I sat down and began again.
This time I didn’t look at the words; I didn’t even think too hard about what I was saying. Instead I listened to an old Barbara Streisand album my mother used to play when I was small. The music was a trigger into old memories, and—more importantly—deeply hidden emotions. I lost track of time, tears falling onto the page, enveloped in a place I thought was lost.
When I had finished, the piece looked entirely different from the original. This was a vulnerable piece, one that explored my experience, perspective and emotions. It was the artist’s sketch with every detail carefully shaded.
This new way of writing was a doorway to knowing myself better and taking control of my story.
The collection of articles you’ll find in this section are principally about how we use expressive writing as a tool for personal growth and healing. You’ll find journaling techniques, stories and inspiration. And my hope is that you will begin to explore expressive writing as tool for your own journey of growth.
If you would like to learn more about writing as a tool for personal growth, check out my course Write Your Way Whole.
“The therapeutic process of writing goes something like this:
We receive a shock or a blow or experience a trauma in our lives. In exploring it, examining it, and putting it into words we stop seeing it as a random, unexplained event. We begin to understand the order behind appearances.”