‘Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader.
Not the fact that it is raining, but the feeling of being rained upon.’
The connection between human emotion and the written word is, I believe, what draws us back to words and literature again and again. Whether as individuals or as societies, we return to shared histories, myths passed on through generations, bedtime stories, well-loved novels and gratitude lists. Whether it’s reading a classic novel or simply putting our worries on paper, there is something cathartic about the written word – whether we choose to read or to write.
I have been writing creatively since I was in primary school. I compulsively return to creative writing, lists and journaling. For me, writing has been a creative and emotional outlet for as long as I can remember. However, it was only when I began practising yoga that I realised writing is a part of my self-care routine and I whole-heartedly believe it can become a part of your mindfulness practice too.
Since the oral storytelling of the ancient Greeks, writing has been seen as a mystical process. It was once believed that writers channeled ethereal muses when telling stories and this mysticism has not entirely left our perception of writers and creators. I would recommend reading Elizabeth Gilbert’s Big Magic for more on our understanding of creativity and how these perceptions can hold many of us back from writing and creating.
I believe writing, just like reading, is meant for all of us. Everyone can use writing as a wellbeing tool. We don’t all need to be authors, poets, essayists and journalists. But we can all write journals to keep track of the good things in our lives.We can all write lists during the night to ease insomnia and stress. We can all write stories and create characters just to see what happens. It’s important to have fun with words for the simple joy of putting pen to paper.
The great thing about writing is that all you need is a pen and some paper and there are a million possibilities of where your writing could go. As a mindfulness practice writing can help you to process emotions as you write about your life and memories. It can help stop spiralling thoughts as writing down your worries can often prevent the thought process and give you a break from anxiety. Writing can also distract from current worries as you create something and use writing as escapism.
Getting started can feel like the most daunting part of writing, but starting with list writing or simply journaling about your day can be a great place to start. Using photographs to start describing scenes or writing about well-loved characters can also be a great way to start writing creatively. Writing should be about being creative, don’t put any pressure on yourself to please anyone.
Give it a try, you never know, you might just find a new hobby to add to your self-care practice. For more creative writing prompts you can visit Hannah’s website >> www.hjbullimore.wordpress.com