The Therapeutic Potential of Creative Writing: Writing Myself

By Gillie Bolton | Go to book overview

CHAPTER ONE
Introduction

Trust yourself
You can’t write the wrong thing
Give yourself the gift of this writing

These are the three basic tenets of the therapeutic writing method outlined in this book. If you trust yourself you cannot write the wrong thing. That trustworthy self will help you to write material which you will learn from but not allow you to write things which you would find unbearable to read and relate to. Most of the writing suggested in this book will be completely enjoyable. In fact, the book should come with a warning to colleagues, family, lovers and friends. Writing in this way can become compulsive; it is a way of life, not just something to try. Hence the third cornerstone: the kind of writing suggested in this book feels like a gift to oneself, a luxury. You deserve the gift of some prime time on your own for yourself.

You can trust yourself to know: when would be a good time to write; when to stop; when and whom to ask for support; where and how you should write; what are the appropriate subjects for you to write about intensely and which to skim; and why you should be writing. The Therapeutic Potential of Creative Writing offers routes towards gaining that essential trust and faith in yourself.

Writing the right thing will not mean that there will never be painful or even intensely distressing parts of your writing. There will be. There should be. Unfortunately, these will be the right things at that time. All of us have memories, fears and horrors buried inside which cause problems either some of or much of the time. We can choose to live with these issues, and the problems they create, for the rest of our lives and not face the pain of examining them. Or we can choose to undertake an exercise like therapeutic writing.

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