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Inspiration: Writing as Medicine…

20/05/2015

“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

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92 Comments leave one →
  1. 20/05/2015 1:46 pm

    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!

    Like

  2. Masshole Mommy permalink
    20/05/2015 2:59 pm

    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.

    Like

    • 21/05/2015 6:42 am

      That’s for sure. It started as a way for me to help my agents get motivated and exchange ideas… It evolved into this and yes, still motivational. 🙂

      Like

  3. Jeanine permalink
    20/05/2015 3:06 pm

    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!

    Like

  4. Katie @ Pick Any Two permalink
    20/05/2015 4:11 pm

    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.

    Like

  5. 20/05/2015 5:33 pm

    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.

    Like

  6. martinkadelux permalink
    20/05/2015 6:51 pm

    I find writing to be so therapeutic. I love this post. Beautiful, as always!

    Like

  7. The Trophy WifeStyle permalink
    20/05/2015 6:51 pm

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

    Like

  8. amanda permalink
    20/05/2015 6:55 pm

    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.

    Like

  9. keikilani permalink
    20/05/2015 7:20 pm

    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.

    Like

  10. Nova permalink
    20/05/2015 7:32 pm

    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.

    Like

  11. tweenselmom permalink
    20/05/2015 7:53 pm

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

    Like

  12. phyliciamarie permalink
    20/05/2015 8:37 pm

    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.

    Like

  13. upliftingfam permalink
    20/05/2015 9:11 pm

    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.

    Like

  14. Kylie permalink
    20/05/2015 9:13 pm

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

    Like

  15. kristrange permalink
    20/05/2015 9:27 pm

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

    Like

  16. Michelle hwee permalink
    20/05/2015 10:02 pm

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

    Like

  17. Beth@FrugalFroggie permalink
    20/05/2015 10:06 pm

    I can’t write or journal. But I can jam out to music.

    Like

  18. julianarw (@julianarw) permalink
    20/05/2015 10:06 pm

    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 😀

    Like

  19. Papaleng Pagulong permalink
    20/05/2015 11:14 pm

    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..

    Like

  20. John Lopez permalink
    21/05/2015 2:37 am

    I love all your post, this is really interesting.

    Like

  21. Raymond Vasquez permalink
    21/05/2015 3:22 am

    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!

    Like

  22. Letty (@BellaVidaLetty) permalink
    21/05/2015 5:06 am

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

    Like

  23. 21/05/2015 5:12 am

    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!

    Like

  24. Dominique Goh permalink
    21/05/2015 5:32 am

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

    Like

  25. Fred permalink
    21/05/2015 6:04 am

    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

    Like

  26. sriches permalink
    21/05/2015 6:07 am

    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

    Like

  27. 21/05/2015 6:44 am

    Writing can be a great stress reliever. It’s one way of releasing stress and frustrations.

    Like

  28. Rebel Sweetheart permalink
    21/05/2015 7:03 am

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

    Like

  29. foundfrolicking permalink
    21/05/2015 7:43 am

    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!

    Like

  30. Rosey permalink
    21/05/2015 7:47 am

    Writing calms my husband’s mind too. I think it’s wonderfully therapeutic for him.

    Like

  31. Liz Mays permalink
    21/05/2015 8:29 am

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

    Like

  32. Dhemz permalink
    21/05/2015 9:08 am

    a lot of people find writing as therapeutic, but I find it as an outlet of everything.

    Like

  33. Crystal (The Imperfect Mom) permalink
    21/05/2015 9:15 am

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

    Like

  34. marly_ms permalink
    21/05/2015 10:23 am

    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

    Like

  35. Tiffany Yong permalink
    21/05/2015 10:32 am

    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…

    Like

  36. 21/05/2015 12:26 pm

    I’m so glad you shared the second half of the story!

    Like

  37. DogVills permalink
    21/05/2015 12:34 pm

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

    Like

  38. mrenkema79 permalink
    21/05/2015 12:37 pm

    Great post!! Thanks for sharing!

    Like

  39. Ayesha Heart permalink
    21/05/2015 12:37 pm

    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.

    Like

  40. MyKidsGuide permalink
    21/05/2015 1:58 pm

    Writing is healing for me. It helps me get back in a good mood

    Like

  41. R U S S permalink
    21/05/2015 2:22 pm

    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 ).

    Like

  42. lisa permalink
    21/05/2015 3:17 pm

    Writing is totally therapy! I know I use it as such!

    Like

  43. Nicol Wong permalink
    21/05/2015 3:21 pm

    i always find writing can get things off your chest too. like a diary.

    Like

  44. Stephanie Pass permalink
    21/05/2015 4:33 pm

    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.

    Like

  45. SweetMemoirs Page permalink
    21/05/2015 5:58 pm

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

    Like

  46. Nova permalink
    21/05/2015 6:24 pm

    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.

    Like

  47. Jason Panuelos permalink
    21/05/2015 6:53 pm

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

    Like

  48. I Love Paars by: Lee permalink
    21/05/2015 7:19 pm

    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

    Like

  49. I Love Paars by: Lee permalink
    21/05/2015 7:21 pm

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

    Like

  50. Anne V permalink
    21/05/2015 8:49 pm

    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.

    Like

  51. sinyees permalink
    21/05/2015 8:49 pm

    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~

    Like

  52. Papaleng Pagulong permalink
    22/05/2015 12:44 am

    Writing is a passion for me but reading is a must for me.

    Like

  53. Papaleng Pagulong permalink
    22/05/2015 12:45 am

    Writing is a passion but reading is a MUST thing for me.

    Like

  54. JessicaACassidy permalink
    22/05/2015 6:29 am

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

    Like

  55. Fernando Ceballos Lachica permalink
    22/05/2015 6:40 am

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

    Like

  56. Pooja Kawatra Gupta permalink
    22/05/2015 6:52 am

    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.

    Like

  57. Sumi Go | The Purple Doll permalink
    22/05/2015 7:42 am

    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.

    Like

  58. Prayerfull Mum permalink
    22/05/2015 8:16 am

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

    Like

  59. Laura O'Neill permalink
    22/05/2015 11:11 am

    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.

    Like

  60. Sunshine Kelly permalink
    22/05/2015 11:52 am

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

    Like

  61. Chubskulit Rose permalink
    22/05/2015 2:48 pm

    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.

    Like

  62. Dawn McAlexander Crawford permalink
    22/05/2015 6:20 pm

    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!

    Like

  63. Yona Williams permalink
    22/05/2015 10:15 pm

    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.

    Like

  64. Maria Teresa Figuerres permalink
    23/05/2015 4:56 am

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

    Like

  65. maggiesblog2 permalink
    24/05/2015 7:48 pm

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

    Like

  66. Jillian Fisher permalink
    25/05/2015 9:03 am

    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.

    Like

  67. SJAG SocialMedia permalink
    26/05/2015 2:49 am

    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.

    Like

  68. michelle co-huertas permalink
    26/05/2015 8:39 pm

    wow, these are very informative. Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  69. Marie Shaff permalink
    17/06/2015 4:12 pm

    Writing is always a great way to express yourself and release the stress

    Like

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