May 20

Inspiration: Writing as Medicine…

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“Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic and fear which is inherent in a human situation.” Graham Greene

Inspiration: Writing as Medicine...
Inspiration: Writing as Medicine…

“When life gives you lemons, do you make lemonade, or do you rub the fruit in your wounds? … Since trying to “think” myself out of uncomfortable, dark feelings is an invitation to fall further down the rabbit-hole, I’ve invested myself in a mood-altering writing exercise.” Robyn, Happiness Engineer, WP/DP

Recently, I went searching for the old Daily Post Writing Challenge thread and couldn’t find it. Instead, I came across a beautiful post written by Robyn: Rx: Writing as Medicine. Her insights struck a chord and, like many others, I left a comment about how much writing means to me. As a child, I spent many hours in my Dad’s Study reading and inventing stories. I wrote both serious and nonsensical little pieces, and found writing both therapeutic and fulfilling.  While my writing life has waxed and waned, I’ve always returned to it because writing is a form of medicine to me too and that motivates me to write more.

When I write, I escape the daily grind of the mundane world and enter a magical world far from my current conditions.  Writing calms and focuses my mind to finish the task at hand, and each piece is a birthing of new life with its share of  strengths and weaknesses. It connects me with others and to myself. Yeah, It’s a life lifter for me and brings clarity to my thoughts. What motivates you to write?  What would I do if I could no longer express myself? What would you do if you couldn’t express yourself? It’s worth pondering…

“The most difficult and complicated part of the writing process is the beginning.” A. B. Yehoshua

Inspiration: Writing as Medicine...
Inspiration: Writing as Medicine…

Motivations for writing include publication, storytelling, correspondence and diary. Writing has been instrumental in keeping history, dissemination of knowledge through the media and the formation of legal systems.Wikipedia

Before the written word, we had forms of proto-writing which were not easily transcribed because they lacked words or codes. According to historic records, the neolithic writing from Early Bronze Age,  Sumerian archaic (pre-cuneiform) writing and Egyptian hieroglyphs are our earliest true writing systems. Writing as we know it today, started with the Cuneiform script which was in print around the 4th millennium BCE in Sumer, Mesopotamia, and continued through other forms of writing that make up the major writing systems: logographic, syllabic, alphabetic, and featural. Chinese and other languages that use characters are created with logograms and syllabic forms, while Sign Writing is a classic form of Featural writing.

The modern Alphabet is a derivative of the first phonemic form – Phoenician script – and it is considered the ancestor of Arabic, Greek, Latin, Cyrillic and Hebrew. Two more systems: ideographic  and pictographic are made up of symbols and are not fully included as languages.  Even though the original prompting to communicate in the written word came through commerce and industry, today, we also use writing to uplift, report, connect, elevate and denigrate others. Writing can be therapeutic in that it gives us space to express our thoughts and feelings, and it can be used to  help others understand data and vital information. How and why we choose to write is entirely up to us but it is worth thinking about.

“It is our choices… that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.” J. K. Rowling

Inspiration: Writing as Medicine...
Inspiration: Writing as Medicine…

“Writing means sharing. It’s part of the human condition to want to share things – thoughts, ideas, opinions.” Paulo Coelho

Whether we write for work, school or pleasure, it helps to maintain some perspective about the process and remember that our words can/do make a difference to SOMEONE! We can choose how to respond to a topic that engages our interest by creating our vision through it. We can make our stories as fantastic or concrete as we wish. If writing is a utilitarian exercise for you, so be it. Communication is community building and that is why it is important that we reflect on what and why we write. I invite you to make time to create something different that feeds and fuels your juices. It doesn’t matter if your stories are somber or soaring, write it.  Whose life is perfect anyway? Below is a story (author unknown) to lift your spirits and help you dig deep for that creative muse and make a decisive choice to get writing.

Inspiration: Writing as Medicine...
Inspiration: Writing as Medicine…

The Pregnant Deer – Author Unknown
In a forest, a pregnant deer is about to give birth. She finds a remote grassy field near a strong-flowing river. This seems a safe place. Suddenly labor pains begin. At the same moment, dark clouds gather around above and lightning starts a forest fire. She looks to her left and sees a hunter with his bow extended, pointing at her. To her right, she spots a hungry lion approaching her. What can the pregnant deer do? She is in labor! What will happen? Will the deer survive? Will she give birth to a fawn? Will the fawn survive? Or will everything be burnt by the forest fire? Will she perish by the hunter’s arrow? Will she die a horrible death at the hands of the hungry lion approaching her? She is constrained by the fire on one side, by the flowing river on the other, and boxed in by her natural predators. What does she do? What choice will she make? She focuses on giving birth to a new life.

More Below!

“All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.” F. Scott Fitzgerald

Inspiration: Writing as Medicine...
Inspiration: Writing as Medicine…

The most important thing is to read as much as you can, like I did. It will give you an understanding of what makes good writing and it will enlarge your vocabulary. J. K. Rowling

We live in a world where reading seems to be lacking in many circles. I don’t know if I should blame the internet or view it as just a shift in the way we function in society. Why are we reading less?  Perhaps, our access to instant gratification through the mass media, ( internet, social media and a zillion forms of interruptions), has made us less inclined to read. While the book publishing world looks for new avenues to encourage us to read, we must make great effort to encourage our kids, our friends and our families to READ. The more we read, the more we cultivate ideas that help us write, invent, and share knowledge. Reading remains a fundamental tool for any kind of writing. Use it well. The rest of the story is below. What is the message?  What does it say to YOU?

The Pregnant Deer – Author Unknown Cont’d As the pregnant deer gives birth, the following sequence of events unfold: Lightning strikes and blinds the hunter. He releases the arrow which zips past the deer and strikes the hungry lion. It starts to rain heavily, and the forest fire is slowly doused by the rain. The deer gives birth to a healthy fawn. This time, all ends well for her. In our life too, there are moments of choice when we are confronted on all sides with negative thoughts and possibilities. Some thoughts are so powerful that they overcome and overwhelm us. Maybe we can learn from the deer. The priority of the deer, in that given moment, was simply to give birth to a baby. The rest was not in her hands and any action or reaction that changed her focus would have likely resulted in death or disaster. Ask yourself:  Where is your focus? What inspires your writing? What gives you hope and faith? Go WRITE it!

This post was inspired by a WordPress Daily Prompt Rx: Writing as Medicine  For this week’s writing exercise, give it a go. You can set your alarm for whatever amount of time works for you. A short, concise period suits me best, but you’ll find your own balance. Would you rather tell your story in photos? In poetry or song? The possibilities are truly endless. Please let me know if and how you adapt the exercise, and how it impacts you. Thank you Robyn!

Positive Motivation Tip: Writing can be used in many ways to help, heal, educate, inspire, deviate, denigrate and even motivate. Choose your form and purpose with care.  Go to it!

PHOTO CREDITS/ATTRIBUTIONS: All Photos : Orbis Erudite, Fountain PenSign handshakes, Trilingual inscription from John Hill, Category: Writing In Art, Writing, and Category: People Writing Deer and Fawn, all via Wikipedia

Until Next Time…
Ask. Believe. Receive. ©
Elizabeth Obih-Frank
Mirth and Motivation
Positive Kismet


Tags

creative writing, DPchallenge, Happiness, inspiration, love of writing, Motivation, Motivational story, postaday, storytelling, The Pregnant Deer, Therapeutic writing, Weekly Writing Challenge, writing


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  • That dear deer story really appeals to me.
    I’m not so sure of the GG quote, though. Writing as therapy? When the bug really bites it can be seriously harmful to the health, with lack of both sleep and proper meals!

  • When I first started blogging, I did it as an outlet. It’s since taken on a life of its own and I am ok with that, but it’s definitely not the way it all started.

  • I feel the same. I could be having a terrible day and feeling blah but I write and all is well. It’s a great form of medicine for lots of things!

  • Writing is so therapeutic for me. It’s tougher now that I do it for a living because the joy of it often gets clouded by deadlines and such. I want to find more time to journal and write creatively just for me.

  • Writing is a form of therapy, indeed you are absolutely right because it happened to me. The past experiences; frustrations, dreams, goals, and everything within my total personality wanted to be told. That’s why my novel was born last year.

  • writing really is some really great medicine! I get some of my best material when mad or frustrated lol… Great stress reliever

  • I couldn’t agree with you more that writing is therapeutic. As an English teacher, I tried to create such a calming and relaxed environment for our writing workshop classes so that kids ignored typical high school frustrations and used either public or private writing to take time to find and build themselves.

  • Writing has become a therapy and outlet for me. It’s truly amazing how powerful the written word is. Both for the writer and the reader.

  • writing is indeed the best way to document life, things and pretty much anything that you wish to be keep and later on be read again.

  • Thank you for all these inspirations and guidance. What I can share is writing is easiest when what you write comes from the heart.

  • It’s sad really, when people are content with just reading facebook statuses or other social media stuff instead of actual manuscripts. I think writing more material would encourage the people around the writer to read, and gain more perspective about the writer’s thoughts in the process, just don’t make it too long.

  • Growing up I was never fond of writing and it wasn’t something that I was good at. When I started blogging, my writing was less than stellar. I didn’t let that stop me. The more I write the better I get, or at least a work in progress. Writing for me has been very rewarding. I love sharing my knowledge through stories and helping other people.

  • I always love writing.. Never knew writing could be treated as medicine.. Very interesting!~

  • This post is so detailed and informative. I love the history of writing and will have to share with my son tomorrow.

  • What a beautifully written post. You learn something new every day don’t you 🙂 Thank you for sharing!

  • Great article. I am glad that I can write and speak English (although it is not my 1st language). I write a diary when I feel it 😀

  • I couldn’t agree more. Writing gives me a sense of comfort and relieves my stress. Now I have humor and writing as alternative medicine. ha,ha,ha..

  • True! The beginning is the hardest. And yes, this confirms so much of what is happening with me. Writing for me has become a therapy and an avenue for me to speak and express myself! 😀 Totally agree with the points!

  • I agree. I find writing to be therapeutic. I feel so much better being able to express myself.

  • I don’t know if you’ve noticed but most of those who write are good readers. That’s why a local book writer was bashed and for me, lost his credibility as a writer, when he said he didn’t like reading books. It’s just so ironic and pathetic!

  • I find writing very therapeutic too . It is a great way for me to sort out my thoughts.

  • What a beautiful post this is. I love to write, more than talking. I can say things better. I just do not know now how many people actually read the blog we write. Yet, I will keep on writing for me. – Fred

  • Just before I read your post, I honestly replied to an email stating how therapeutic writing was and that they should consider starting a blog! An awesome post! x

  • I have been writing for as long as I can remember. I think I was born to do this. 🙂

  • Writing was essential to my wellbeing as a teenager. I was going through a lot, and keeping a journal and writing poetry and fiction really gave me a huge outlet for all of my emotions. Oddly enough I find I turn to writing more when things are tough, and very rarely when things are going well!

  • Writing can be quite therapeutic, can’t it? I think it’s a great way to get out what you’ve been bottling up.

  • I’ve been writing since I was 10. I’ve experienced great healing.

  • I agree. It’s a therapy. It is also a way to express our thoughts in writing. It is also a powerful weapon. 🙂

    Mhar Sefcik

  • 3 years ago, I would have totally disagreed with you. I was in permanent writer’s block.
    2 years ago, I might also have disagreed.
    But now… I wouldn’t totally agree, but I have to admit, writing and pouring out my thoughts make me look at a matter in different perspective…

  • I find writing helps me get motivated and helps me heal. This is a great inspirational post. Thanks for sharing

  • Oh, that story of the pregnant deer. Love it!

    Writing is my therapy/outlet and I love sharing my thoughts/ideas to my readers and I know it can be a help in some ways.

  • I have always found writing to be therapeutic & calming. It has always been an outlet for me whenever I’m sad or disappointed about something. It’s also been my outlet when I’m happy ( because I want to immortalize the moment ).

  • Writing is definitely a very cathartic thing for me. It can help me feel so much better when I write down what is bothering me.

  • Writing is a good form of brain exercise. I love writing, it makes me a storyteller of sort. 🙂

  • Very well said, writing is indeed a therapy for mostly people, it’s how they write and manage themselves after having a very stressful lifestyle.

  • I think writing in itself is incredibly therapeutic! It grants a temporary escape for a lot of people! 😀

  • Writing is not easy. Anybody can write but not all can write with sensible topics or so. I love reading and that makes me start to write and blog

  • Its not easy to write. Anybody can write but not all can write with sensible topics or so.

  • Something that we’re passionate about and gives us relaxation and piece of mind can definitely be therapeutic. I agree about Writing as a kind of medicine, it soothes me and relieves my stress on the rare days that I get them.

  • It depends on people. Some may find writing is so annoying if they would need to crack their head in order to write something with flow. But I find myself calm when writing~

  • I love writing because you can pour all your emotions out either good or bad.

  • Writing is a motivation inside and outside; the feelings and experiences have to be told for others to read.

  • I truly love the statement that writing is a therapy. I myself feel so relieved just by writing anything which comes to my mind and sharing it with everyone. It felt like some mission accomplished.

  • Beautiful post! I’ve always loved writing, but how I write now is totally different from my writing a few years back. I sometimes feel unmotivated because of the way I write nowadays… But it’s posts like this that inspire me to try something new. 🙂

    By the way, this is so true! “The most difficult and complicated part of the writing process is the beginning.” Most of the time, I’d spend close to an hour to think about how to start a post. Then when I’m finally happy with my first paragraph, things will just start to flow naturally. 🙂 For me, this is when writing feels therapeutic.

  • I like to write to express my thoughts and reflections down. It is therapeutic and mentally refreshing to me too!

  • Writing as a form of expression is most likely what drove me to blogging. I’ve also kept diaries over the years, although I haven’t done so recently as someone close to me got into them and was then offended by my private thoughts.

  • Agree, writing is a way for us to express myself and also sharing information with my friends.

  • Writing can really be a good medicine. When I have something in mind that I can talk to someone, I write it, it makes me feel good.

  • Writing is a healthy way to express yourself without doing any damage to people or property And it’s quiet and peaceful, that’s the best thing. If you get your feelings out in that way, it really is therapeutic!

  • I love the beginning quote at this post. Also, the tale of the deer is quite inspirational and led me to reflect on my own life.

  • Yes, I agree, writing is a form of therapy. In my case, I write for pleasure. Writing for my blogs makes me happy.

  • For me, writing is a release. I can say anything and not be judged for it. I really enjoy it.

  • I wrote a lot when I was a kid and through my teenage year. A lot of bad things happened to me when I was younger and rather than do drugs and other bad things I just wrote songs and poems. I don’t know where I would be if I didn’t write.

  • Writing is helping me find my own voice in sharing my thoughts, experience, ideas and opinions. I may not yet a good writer but because I love to read, it gave me the confidence to write.

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