The Act of Writing
‘My journal is a vision quest, searching for something, entry after entry, finding myself.’ Burghild Nina Holzer, Author of ‘A Walk between Heaven and Earth, Bell Tower Press (1994)
For a number of years I’ve been keeping a creative journal. It has helped me through some challenging and difficult times. To write from the heart and soul is a way to express our deepest fears, joys, anxiety, emotions and thoughts. The blank page is a safe space. It welcomes us, empowers us and delivers us from a place of helplessness. It is like drinking water in the desert. I turned to writing when I was confined to my bed and it gave me a sense of purpose. Now, a professional writer I still journal and process my thoughts on the page. I also see writing as a way to live more deeply in the moment. Just consider all the things we save for later or put off because we aren’t quite ready. Writing can help us take that leap into the unknown. It can be our witness and our guide.
Writing pain. Writing loss.
When we first start to write about pain or loss it may feel like the end of the world but as we embrace our fear, even terror we become connected to the process of growth and change. We can switch from being utterly downcast to feeling elated just by using our creative spirit. We do this by writing creative narratives, going with the flow and allowing ourselves the perfect freedom to just be.
If you are a writer, you may want to look at deepening your craft, revisiting the work that you have already written or trying something completely new. You may like to try ‘automatic writing,’ ‘stream of consciousness writing’ or perhaps switch forms of writing. If you are a short story writer you may like to write poetry or memoir. I have loved experimenting with ‘haibun’ a mix of prose writing and haiku. I am now looking at ‘nature writing’ and am excited about the possibility of writing something completely different.
I recently came across this poem by Carol Muske and was so taken by its honesty and verve.
Here’s the little dressmaker/on her knees at your feet, / mouth full of pins: / fixing you in the dummy’s image.
Your belled satin shivers like/ a goblet of fizzled brut- / You wanted it late in life, / happiness, wanted a little family/
But after the kids grew up. / Like a saint on her death pallet, / you longed for an erotic God/ but a refined deity -/
Not some oversexed Zeus / in a see-through raincoat, / spritzing gold coins, / rattling the canopy. No, /
At last you’ve found a groom / born to forget the ring, / the bride’s name – / a regular holy ghost./
You forgot yourself / with each glittering pin, / each chip off the old rock, / each sip of the long toast/
To your famous independence ,/ negotiated at such cost – / and still refusing to fit.
I will be running monthly workshops for Therapy Friends for anyone that wishes to write. The first one is called ‘Finding Our Way Home’ – re-establishing our connection to the world and to ourselves. We will use writing and self-enquiry to find our own unique path, to rebuild our confidence during this precarious time. We will look at establishing our ‘ground of being’ and using this as our starting point we will find new ways to let loose our creativity. Do join me on 1st October at 2.30pm. you can sign up via the Therapy Friends website.
‘My writing is the glue that holds my fragmented self (selves) together.’ An anonymous diarist.
Keep well, live well.
Raine Geoghegan, MA. DIP RWTA. (Member of Lapidus & the Society of Authors)