Writing as Therapy

For awhile I have been wanting to write a blog post about journaling. It is a practice that I believe will be beneficial for anyone who partakes in it. The most important thing that a journal does is allow you to read about your own progress in life. The potential lessons learned are endless. To make a long story short I got to meet George from TumbleMoose Productions where he writes about freelance writing. We started talking and I told him it would be awesome if he could write a guest post about journaling. Wouldn’t you know it, he said he would love to write about this subject, and so here it is…

I remember when I was younger and had the entire weight of the world on my shoulders.  The issues and problems were so big and no one else could possibly understand.  I had to turn somewhere to get these issues worked out.  I turned to a journal.

Journaling helped me work through the problems and troubles of the day.  With that said, there wasn’t anything profound that came of it.  I didn’t have any kind of grand epiphany.  It was the sheer act of putting my thoughts on to paper.  Digesting all of my troubles through my fingertips and into a book of my thoughts.  Just the act of writing things down brought closure for some items, and with others it brought a much needed sense of relief.

There is something cleansing about being able to put all of your thoughts into a journal.  Being certain that the journal would be a private affair, I stuck to dead-honesty.  Nothing was off limits as I wrote.  I spewed feelings and all manner of emotion – hate, fear, anger, love.  All of it.  I think that the type and amount of energy it takes to formulate the thoughts to write down contributes to the cleansing effect.  Often, after an intense journal writing session I would be exhausted and need to sleep.

Now, some twenty-odd years later, writing is still therapy for me.  It’s taken on a little different perspective of course.  I’m no longer the brash 19 year-old know it all with a chip on one shoulder and the weight of the world on the other.  Now when I sit down to write I am inspired in a different sort of way.  I’m inspired because I know that I am good at what I do and I want others to benefit from what I know or at least be entertained by reading it..

You see, back then my writing was for me.  I didn’t see it that way at the time but I sure see it that way today.  Today my writing is my living.  It’s what I do every day and it puts bread on the table (in a good month butter and jam, too – but that’s another story).  My writing these days is still cleansing and gives me a sense of purpose.  My writing today is for everyone else and it gives me great joy to do so.

What I have to say may touch many people and for others it will be just so much jibber-jabber.  That’s ok because my writing is a therapy for me, and a gift for you should you choose to accept it.

I think what you should take from this post is that the act of putting your thoughts to paper can be very therapeutic.  It doesn’t matter if the writing is in a personal journal, or posted on the web for all to see.  Discover the healing energy of writing by just doing it.

6 thoughts on “Writing as Therapy”

  1. Jeremy. I’ve also found journalling very helpful at different stages of my life. I find that putting the stuff that’s going on inside my head and heart on paper gives me some distance from it. If it’s negative stuff it’s almost like lancing a sceptic wound (not a pleasant picture but I think it captures the idea well!) and allows cleansing and healing.

    My preference though, is to find someone who’s willing to listen and someone I trust not to judge anything I say. Hearing the words come out of my mouth and letting them go can be even more cleansing. When they’re on paper that stuff stays alive in some way .. speaking them allows them to disappear into the universe. Such people, however, are as precious and rare as gold-dust .. so journalling is a very useful back-up.

    Thanks for another excellent post! Ian

  2. Hi Ian,

    Thanks for swinging by. I agree, having someone to talk to is oftentimes better, but journaling certainly has a place in our therapy too.


    p.s. You can thank George by visiting his site at TumbleMoose.com Its a good place for any writer to visit. He has a lot of great info there…

  3. As much as I am a writer, I’m so not a journaler. I used to journal in my late teens and early twenties and if you went back to read them now you’d find a whole lot of negativity and whining. My writing now is much more structured. My muse and I sit down and have a planning session before we let the creativity flow. For me that works so much better than random rambling…

    But I can see how for others it’s a great tool.

    Alex Fayle | Someday Syndrome’s last blog post..Fear, Unique Pathways & Self-Awareness: Lessons from the Lab-Rats

  4. I do like to keep a journal. When I was growing up it was a way to get my thoughts and feelings out on paper; now I journal in hopes that one day my children will enjoy and appreciate the daily and/or weekly events that I record.

    Great post, as always George!

    AverageGal’s last blog post..What is a Blog Carnival?

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