Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Writing to Heal (Again)

Yesterday, I ended up having a very difficult day. So, rather than writing anything original, I'd like to share a quote from Sharon Bray's book, When Words Heal: Writing Through Cancer. (For the ease of reading my blog, I've divided Bray's first paragraph into two. And, I've eliminated her third paragraph, which focuses on cancer.)

"In the decade since psychologist James W. Pennebaker first published Opening Up: The Healing Power of Expressing Emotions, expressive writing has taken its place among all the holistic, artistic, and spiritual approaches to emotional and physical healing. But the connection between writing and healing is hardly new: poets and novelists have used their writing to transform trauma and to heal themselves for many years.

"All writers, as Henry James said, start from "a port of grief." Writing, whether poetry or prose, allows us to say the unsayable, opening up our buried pain and emotions. Telling our stories unleashes our body's potential to heal. We begin to articulate the meaning of cancer in our lives."

"Writing helps us get through illnesses, trauma, or suffering, and even to get beyond them. Writing harnesses our imagination and liberates our creativity. Through it, we embark on a powerful and joyous journey of healing."

Any thoughts?



Hi Susan,

After Blog Action Day on October 14th, you mentioned you would like to be involved. Well is the hub of an international day of action on October 24th - just three days away.

'350' is the maximum safe level of C02 in the atmosphere (350 parts per million).

I am going out tomorrow to see how many pieces of plastic trash I can find on the streets in 350 seconds.

I shall photograph what I find and put the photo on our blog at as a follow-up to the piece I did about climate change last week.

I have long thought it is a crime to use high-grade petroleum products (that is, plastic) for things that are then thrown away.

I hope this comment finds you well and that you and everyone who reads this joins in this important day.

I say it is important because politicians listen to numbers. If they detect the groundswell of opinion is large enough they will listen - and who knows where the tipping point is in this game of chance?

Kind regards


Wellness Writer said...

Dear David,
Thanks for letting me and my readers know about this. FYI...I read your post on The Moors above Haworth and mentioned it in Monday's post. What a lovely piece.


Tamara (TC) Staples said...


So sorry that you had a bad day yesterday. Hope today is much better.

You know how much I write. I journal (and have for 25 years), I find that a lot of my trauma writing ends up being poetry. My current novel incorporates some of my childhood trauma but not much. The novel that I am beginning in November is going to be a work of fiction but I am going to delve into a lot of my own emotions, traumas, and pull more pieces of my own life into it. (I hope that makes sense) I am excited and afraid at the same time. I don't know if this is going to be therapeutic or send me into a depression. I am obviously hoping for therapeutic! ;-)

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Tamara,
I knew you kept a journal, but I guess I didn't realize you'd done that for 25 years. WOW! That's great.

And, I'm hoping your new novel will be therapeutic!


shawnalyne said...

I started writing--journaling, actually--when our son was diagnosed with autism nearly 30 years ago. I continued with a vengeance after he was killed in a car accident at age 5. Writing became my therapy, my catharsis, my refuge , , , and still is to this day.
I hope and pray your week gets better!

Wellness Writer said...

Dear Shawnalyne,
There are very few times when I'm at a loss for words, but I am right now. To say, "I'm sorry for your loss," cannot possibly express my feelings of empathy for the loss of your son.

But, I can certainly understand why writing is so important to you.

And, thank you for the good thoughts. I'm feeling much better.


KJ said...

Writing everyday has saved me! I am so grateful for this outlet. So grateful!

mmaaggnnaa said...

Hi, Susan -

I so agree with you about the healing quality of writing.

Thank you for reminding us and encouraging us to continue!

- Marie (Coming Out of the Trees)

Wellness Writer said...

Dear KJ,
Yes, it is wonderful, isn't it? For me, it's an opportunity to clarify my thoughts, and to get positive feedback from my readers, some of whom I now consider friends.


Wellness Writer said...

Dear Marie,
Thank you for thanking me. I appreciate it.