Categories
Therapeutic Writing Prompts

10 writing prompts to process your thoughts and emotions.

Processing our thoughts and feelings, doing deep work, is important in developing resilience, cultivating a healthy mind  and emotional stamina. Therapeutic writing, also called journal therapy, is expressive writing with therapeutic benefits and has proven to further wellbeing, improve mood and ease painful memory.

As we express thoughts and feelings in writing, we utilize the rational left hemisphere of the brain. By applying this side, the more creative free-wheeling right side is left to potter about thoughts and play. This enables it to act more creatively, allowing ideas to flow onto the page. The more we write, the freer we become of the emotions we have bottled up and can see things in a clearer context.

writing prompts to process thoughts and emotions.

With this in mind, the following is a list of 10 writing prompts to help you process your thoughts and feelings. But first, a few guidelines. 

Firstly, journal therapy is  a judgement free zone! Don’t judge the emotions you experience; the page is no place to punish yourself for feeling the way you feel.

Secondly, journaling is a way to make sense of experiences and situations. Remember to observe what you write. This means taking notice of the layers of emotions we experience.

And lastly, commit to honesty, write as much from the heart as possible. Nobody is going to read your writing, so hold nothing back from the page.

I hope these writing prompts lead to clarity, calm and self compassion.

1.How are you feeling today? What is the dominant emotion?

 2. Explore the thoughts and experiences that have perpetuated this emotion. 

3. What  effect has this emotion had on your body?

4. Are there any memories you associate with this emotion? Do you recall the last time you felt this way? What were you going through at the time?

5. What behaviours, both positive and negative, result from this emotion? 

6. When you think about letting go of this emotion are there any fears that arise?

7. What strengths, support, and resources do you have access to, that may help you from becoming overwhelmed by this emotion or lessen suffering?

8. Create two lists: one of things that push on negative emotion and cause you suffering. One that brings you joy. What can you do to bring more joy into your life?

9. Is there anything you need to accept, that you have been resisting?

10. How can you use your emotions to work for you? How can they help to bring about increased health and freedom in your life on a soul level?

Write to Rise.

For further therapeutic writing mentorship consider ‘Write to Rise’, a unique program crafted to assist participants to breakthrough in areas of their lives.  I  lead individuals/groups through a series of writing exercises aimed to unlock creativity, draw out courage and increase clarity and self-awareness. For information regarding the program go to my services page.

Categories
Publishing

3 Things Indie Authors wish everyone knew about Indie Publishing.

Firstly, let’s define independent publishing. A hybrid between traditional publishing and self publishing, indie publishing is when a writer hires professionals to assist them in the making of their print/digital/audio book. The indie author not only creates the content but also becomes the creative director/manager seeing the project through from concept to sales.

To some, taking on the role of creative director/manager does not suit them as they wish to only write. However, the days of simply writing a manuscript and turning it over to a publishing house to do the rest are gone. Even traditionally published authors have to market and promote their work. Nevertheless, traditional publishing has its appeal, particularly for those who do not want to do the hard work of producing.

Before I started publishing, I held restrictive doubts based on a mixture of fear, incompetence and pride. I was afraid of embarrassing myself; of failing publicly.  I was worried that I would not be able to learn and execute skills needed to complete and produce a quality product. I was concerned about adopting the stigma that sometimes follows independent and self publishing.

As I became more educated, these doubts lost their power. Slowly I began to see that independent publishing was not only possible, but also the most beneficial for me. If you are already an indie author, you are familiar with the benefits. You know that often the decision to publish independently is based on the fact that indie publishing outshines other publishing options when it comes to 3 things.

1.Creative control.

Personally, I desire not just to write poetry books, but to create them. I want to make the final decisions when it comes to book size, cover design, typesetting/interior design, and creative marketing. As an indie author having creative control means I can create the books I dream of  creating to serve my  targeted audience without the need to gain permission or  please gatekeepers. I can choose who I wish to collaborate with, building the right team of creatives to make my vision a reality. For those writers, who have felt contained creatively, indie publishing is a dream. 

2. Profits. 

When it comes to profits, Independent Authors benefit from full ownership of rights and higher royalties. They have significantly higher profit potential as they can  create numerous products from one manuscript. For example, print books ( paperback, hardback, large print, workbooks) , ebooks, audio books, translations, merchandise, radio plays, podcasts, apps and other online experiences can all be made by turning the same content into multiple streams of income. Indie’s can also decide the price of their books, when to offer discounts, whether to set up pre-orders or run patreon campaigns offering book extras for loyal readers.

3.Time.

Being able to publish multiple titles per year, indies publish fast to market. This is liberating, as compared to a traditional publishing, which on average takes  between 9 -18 months to publish one book. With the exception of international best sellers, most trade books have a 3 month shelf life and trade publishers are often unwilling to reprint more copies if the book has not reached a certain number of sales in this time. Indie authors have the power to rebrand and market their books over and over bringing in sales long after it has first been released. 

It is important to assess what kind of publishing is best for each project. When it comes to my poetry, indie publishing has proven to have been a great decision. If you would like to know more about indie publishing/book creation I would love to help you. I encourage all who have a ‘book dream’ to go forth and create.

Categories
Books

5 books to help heal the heart.

Sometimes we need prose, we know, has been laboured for, by poet,  prophet or prequel; void of chiche, stereotype or fleeting trend. Quotes and phrases that cry out to be underlined, highlighted, circled or copied down, whether in a social media post or within the pages of a personal journal.

Throughout my life, I have used words as a floatation device, a breathing apparatus, a flashlight, an umbrella, a ladder, a walking stick, a scalpel, and a get out of jail free card. On occasion when I wake in the early ‘am’ hours, my first instinct is to reach for one of the many books that live on my bedside table. I browse the pages looking to still my swirling mind; to find a delicious combination of letters and symbols that will send me back to sleep and season my dreams. 

I didn’t know it, but these early morning reading sessions had a name. The word ‘bibliotherapy’ comes from the ancient greek words for ‘book’ (biblion) and ‘healing’ (therapeia). It means ‘to use reading as a way to assist the healing process.’  Although I had never heard of the term, reading worked; the right words worked on me.  

Recently I discovered ‘The power of poetry, with Helena Bonham Carter and Jason Isaacs’ on YouTube. In this video, the work of many poets is read aloud from William Sieghart’s book ‘The Poetry Pharmacy’ as a way of demonstrating how poetry can provide a remedy for a number of emotional conditions. From purposeless to assisting aging parents; from loneliness to loss of zest for life, ‘The Poetry Pharmacy’ provides ‘tried and true prescriptions for the heart, soul and mind’.

After experiencing first hand the power of poetry to help the healing process, I became a collector of poems and poetry books. The following is a list of some of the books that I have collected, and how they help.

Nocturnal – by Wilder. For those recovering from heartbreak and rediscovering self.

To Be Remembered – by R.Clift. For those suffering loss, learning to let go and live with memories of what could have been.

Where hope comes from – by Nikita Gill. For those needing light to navigate our time and hope in seasons of loneliness.

Letters to a young poet – by Rainer Maria Rilke. For those needing creative impulse and surge of passion and courage.

Devotions – by Mary Oliver. For those in need of wonder, beauty and invigoration.

Reflecting on such curative works, spark the memory of a mild spring day in 2016,

‘I sat across from an Italian emissary. This is what he told me. Write. Let your tears become the waters that refresh others.’

And so I did. I do.  And so can you too, do what you do, for the flourishing of a world so precious and the healing of hearts, including your own.