Let words be your poison

January 23, 2015

3, 2, 1

Happy new year!

So maybe the way we count hours, days, months and years is based on an arbitrary system but still, you and I know that time passes and that, in any case, it’s 2015. And  within those seconds that count down to a new year, you can almost feel that you won’t be the same after the clock strikes twelve. And sometimes you are not. Because this is how change happens: you close your eyes, you smile and decide to live your life differently.

Last time I blogged, I concluded that I should start asking better questions. I was deep in my summer blues and writing about it, both offline and online, helped. It helped me cope with my life’s transitions and gave me a sense of control over what felt an inexplicable wave of emotions. And that’s normal. Because that’s what writing does: rather than allowing you to banish your sadness or avoid suffering, it helps you find a way to suffer better. ‘Do not ignore or throw away your grief,’ sculptor Richard Serra says. As opposed to the prevailing empty self help jargon to stay positive, taking a moment to acknowledge and process your feelings, gives you a chance to honour them. So I now write more. Not in order to finish a novel. Not to improve my writing skills. Not to get published, but as an emotional release, as a way to connect with myself and to one another.

And through a series of workshops, I want to share my insights of the last few years on therapeutic creative writing. Because I have learnt from Victoria Field that you don’t need therapy when you have creative writing: writing is that important because, as  Gillie Bolton says,  ‘it uses our ordinary everyday worlds and puts things together in different ways rather than tearing them apart – it puts elements together that weren’t together before. It’s that congruence, that meeting of different things that makes poetry flash fire and make things happen for us.’

Forget what your teacher or anyone has told you. Your writing is valid. Your writing is enough. Your writing is important. Write more this year, write freely. Discover yourself, write in odd places, on large pieces of paper, on post-its or even napkins. Write in quiet, uninterrupted places, write in a noisy cafe, in a stuffy waiting room. Let those well hidden emotions bubble to the surface. Let it be your psychotherapy, your meditation.

Alice in Wonderland, Illustration by John Tenniel

Alice in Wonderland, Illustration by John Tenniel

If you need an extra push you can start with an exercise from the book  The Writer’s Key by Gillie Bolton. Complete the following sentence beginnings. You can write a statement or a lot more than that. Don’t think too much. You can also do your exercise in the comments below or just share your feedback on how the exercise felt.

I am…

I know…

I think…

I believe…

I remember…

I feel…

I want…

I wish…

I can…

I wonder…

I hope…

I was told…

I promise myself I will…

 Join me. Let words be your drug, your poison of choice.

Love, Louiza


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  • Motunrayo

    This is exactly what I need now, especially the last paragraph before the image. Thanks Louiza.

    • Louiza

      Motunrayo it was so wonderful to see your comment, just as I was editing to add an exercise in that I found helpful! I was thinking that I missed so much this community of wonderful people! Thank you for being here! Looking forward to hearing more about your own voyage!

  • Andrea

    Thank you for this 🙂 One of my goals for this year is to write more and I hope I can achieve it!

  • Saba

    Welcome back Louisa 🙂
    My teacher recently told us to write reflective journals. I never thought them important but I am amazed at how easier my life became with that practice. I had so many feelings bothering me, and now I don’t 😀 Though she couldn’t teach us after a couple of classes, she changed my life for the better.

    I had also tried writing a story about my confusions, it turned out well (though nobody read it because it had so many of my private confessions :p)

    I pkan on writing more. I hope I carry on with it 🙂

    • Louiza

      Saba! Thank you for taking the time to reach out! 🙂 So good to be back and be able to share things. Sounds like a lovely teacher… The story sounds intriguing-must have been so releasing to be able to do that!

  • Carol W.

    Perfect post at this moment in my life. Last week I started a creative writing course at the University I work for. One week into the course and I am freaking about ‘writing creatively enough’ for this course. My writing is technical and factual, to the point. The paragraph you wrote before the picture – my writing is enough. Thank you for the great read and the writing prompt I intend to complete throughout the week.

    • Louiza

      Carol thank you so much for stopping by! I wish you all the best in your creative journey…I am sure it will be filled with treasures! I would love to see how it will unfold!

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