Why writing is the best therapy
Janey Lee Grace
As we line up our sizzling summer reads for the beach, I’d suggest that along with the Kindle or the paperbacks, you pack a notebook. I’m increasingly aware of the benefits of writing, not necessarily because you want to be published, but because it can be an incredibly cathartic experience and is well documented to be good for your health. I was recently lucky enough to speak at an event with Julia Cameron, the author of The Artist’s Way – which has sold more than four million copies and to this day remains a classic for anyone who wants to expand their creativity. She believes it’s imperative to write ‘morning pages’ – at least three sides of longhand writing every morning, yep, handwriting – remember that? No laptops, tablets or phones, just an oldfashioned pen and paper! There’s something unique about letting the words flow on to a page. Unsure what to say? Just write anyway. It can be about nothing, or everything, but the act of writing it down is very cathartic and brings peace. It’s rather like a creative form of meditation – in fact Julia says spirituality and creativity are intrinsically linked.
They do say there’s a book in us all, too. My favourite saying is ‘You don’t have to get it right, you just have to get it going’. Mindy Gibbons Klien, founder of The Book Midwife, says: “I strongly believe that expressing yourself articulately, and sharing your biggest, boldest ideas articulately, are critical for strong self-esteem and mental health.” Mindy runs an organisation that literally helps people to ‘birth’ their book, starting with the idea (the conception) and through to delivery. Visit bookmidwife.com for more information. So pack writing material in the hand luggage, and if you are the kind of person who loses pens all the time, (I swear there’s a pen monster in my house), I’ve just seen that a company in the US is launching the world’s first trackable pen – perfect! Now you can combine your love of tech and stationery (or is that just me?).
Janey is the author of Look Great Naturally and runs the website imperfectlynatural.com
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