Having been a busy mum to three boys I had little time to read, and certainly little time to write. As the boys grew up and I began to have more time to myself, I began to write a bit more. I had always enjoyed writing (little poems, little snippets) but never thought anything seriously about it. It was just something I had always done. Then having graduated as a mature student with an MA in English and three boys nearing adulthood I took my writing a bit more seriously. I began blogging and then I started freelancing with a music magazine. I began a creative writing club for children. I began writing daily. As time went by and the boys all left home, I began to see my writing not only as work now, but as therapy.
I saw how children grew in confidence through creating little stories and creating new characters. I thought this might work with adults too. Unknown to myself I had also grown in confidence as a mother, a woman, and an individual, through my writing. I’m not an author; I haven’t written books, and yet writing was of huge benefit to me. Writing made me feel good.
It was January of this year that I decided to use my experience and see if I could encourage others to write and feel good about themselves. A group of adults met one Friday night in January to begin writing for wellness, for wellbeing. I encouraged this group to write little snippets, just sentences, about how they felt about their day etc. After that first two-hour session, we realised that yes, writing is of huge benefit.
Taking a little time each day, to write something down about yourself: be it what you want to do that day, or what you have done that day; be it what you achieved that day, or what you didn’t achieve that day; be it who annoyed you that day, or who made you feel good, it just helps free your inner conflicts and frustrations.
Writing a little something about you, for you, is just yours. It’s a little piece of you from within, and it allows you to express it in words. Those words can be so powerful that they do allow you a sense of freedom, and in turn feel good about yourself.
On that first meeting with adults back in January, one mother said she had never written anything before. She didn’t know how to write anything. Her challenge was to write a six-word-story about her life to date. This is what she wrote:
Been afraid; not anymore. Live life.
Her words are very apt to the life she has led and is living now. But these six words are such to inspire all of us. We must find the motivation to go on and live. This is now her life’s motto. When she feels down, she returns to her six-word-story and gets her inspiration to pull through the challenge she’s facing.
Writing down your experience allows you to put that experience into perspective. It gives you focus. It gives you reason to work through your hard times and move forward. Writing really can improve and strengthen your mental health.
Someone once said, ‘If you want to change the world, pick up your pen and write.’ I picked up mine, you should pick up yours.