Getting the most out of my morning therapy (writing)

Posted: 22 March, 2012 in writing
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The pen is the tongue of the mind.        Miguel de Cervantes

I love the thought of writing being my therapy.  I have kept a journal since I was about 15 and I’ve loved having this constant outlet for all those emotions and thoughts I’ve wanted to get off my chest.  I can vent, ramble and challenge myself and others in my writing and am often able to work out solutions to problems once I’ve got them down on paper and out of my head.  It really is the most therapeutic way to connect with myself.

I’ve come to really depend on my morning writing sessions and I feel a bit out of sorts during the day if I don’t stick to my regular schedule and decide to skip the writing.  It’s like I’ve forgotten to brush my teeth – I have a bad taste in my mouth all day.

I can understand why Julia Cameron recommends morning pages for everyone, regardless of whether you are a writer or not. It is such a refreshing way to be able to give substance to the thoughts that can plague us. In a way, by writing my thoughts down, I’m acknowledging and accepting my feelings.  Once they’re on paper, they’re real and can be dealt with.

Friedrich Dürrenmatt  said: A writer doesn’t solve problems. He allows them to emerge. This is why my morning writing is such great therapy for me.  I may not have a solution to any of my problems by the end of my morning journal, but at least I’ve gotten most of the chaos out of my head and onto the paper, where I can see what’s really going on behind the scenes.

Some days I have more to say (write) than others.  When my head is especially messy I can go on for hours and pages and not really say anything worthwhile.  But when I look back at what I’ve written I can often find out just as much about what’s going on by reading between the lines – What did I not write down? Was there a particular person I was afraid to mention?  Is there anything on the page that isn’t entirely true?  Why am I being dishonest?  These are all questions a good therapist might ask when confronted with a manic patient, which is exactly how I feel sometimes.  Writing gets rid of that mania, the worry, the anxiety, the fear, the sadness, and it brings me back to reality.

And now, with today’s morning therapy session out of the way, I’m ready to move on to the rest of my day.


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