Post by Cecilia, Information Services staff
Writing is therapeutic! That is one thing we all know, but at least I, tend to forget. When the pandemic started, I was lost for a while until something interesting happened. My creative writing group from Toronto, which had stopped getting together 16 years ago, started again via Zoom. Many of us were in different cities now, living different lives, but soon we were connected again and having the best of times!
Writing helped me reconnect with myself, with my partner, with my friends and family because I had time to reflect, to think about them, and write about them and myself. Not that we weren’t connected before, but it gave me a space to dig deeper into my thoughts, feelings and emotions.
You don’t need to have a project, a story, or a novel in progress to join a creative writing group. It can just be a group of friends or acquaintances. There are many resources with exercises to inspire you. Or you can do it by yourself. You don’t even need to have ideas about what you want to write. You just need to sit and write. And I promise you, it will feel good.
Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way : A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity is a good way to start.
In this book, she helps you find and explore your artistic side. Maybe writing is not your way of expressing yourself, but it definitely helps you find your ideas, organize yourself.
Francesca Lia Block offers writing exercises to help you process pain in her book The Thorn Necklace: Healing through Writing and the Creative Process. Or check out Sandra Marinella’s book The Story You Need to tell: Writing to Heal from Trauma, Illness, or Loss.
Maybe you can sit with your child and follow the prompts in Pam Allyn’s book, Your Child’s Writing Life: How to Inspire Confidence, Creativity and Skill at Every Age.
It’s not uncommon for tweens and teens to write a journal. It is at that time of growing, of understanding you have a soul, and that you are your own person. It is a time of reflection and discoveries. But it can also be a time of loneliness and misunderstandings. Writing a journal helps vent all the mixed feelings and look at them from outside.
It may not solve problems, but it lets the writer observe them and, hopefully, allow them to see another perspective. It can be about anything, from a heartbreak, a pet loss, your friends leaving you behind, or something as traumatic as a school massacre. In this E-book: Parkland Speaks: Survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas Share Their Stories, students are doing exactly that.
Now if you are ready for something bigger, if you already have a project in mind, there are many resources that can help you jump to the next level: Chuck Palahniuk’s Consider This: Moments in My Writing Life after Which Everything Was Different, Elizabeth George’s Mastering the Process : from Idea to Novel, Joanna Penn’s How to Make a Living with Your Writing : Books, Blogging and More, Walter Mosley’s Elements of Fiction, and John Warner’s The Writer’s Practice : Building Confidence in Your Nonfiction Writing.
We also have our writer-in-Residence, Kamal Al-Solaylee, giving a series of lectures and if you happen to write nonfiction you can submit him your work.
Finally, don’t forget that November is National Novel Writing Month! Learn more by reading our NaNoWriMo blog post.
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