Updated: Jan 26
How does writing cauterize your broken heart?
Writing to cauterize your broken heart, healing your past and moving forward. There is growing medical and psychological evidence in support of the therapy of “writing to heal.”
Writing had to come before reading, how else would we learn to read if there was nothing written? These two virtuous skills happen simultaneously. Almost as soon as we create a sound, a visual representation of it is in our mind. Also, something had to take place before the sound was created—that which prompted the creation of sound and developed the grapheme. A thought had to be witnessed. The thought became an idea. The idea became a story. And as they say, the rest is history.
One voice at a time records history for a millennium. That is the power of One that TAT Productions advocates. However, we cannot assume, one voice alone can speak for all, nor that the appearances of things are real. Each individual is experiencing his/her own reality whether it is true or not. Or is it the opposite? Everyone is experiencing their own truth whether it is real or not. What is real and what is truth?
People who have suffered trauma and also those who spend many years in meditation can come to realize truth and reality in one second. In the meditative state, we come to see reality and prove its truth through visions that escape our bodies. Through writing to heal from trauma, we do the same. We leave our bodies. And we experience truth in the writing.
How does writing fit into all this truth and reality mumbo jumbo? It makes us be the witness. It helps us separate ourselves from the occasion. Once we see from another perspective whether it is in person, time, or place, things begin to change. And we begin to heal. [i]
❝ Writing about traumatic, stressful or emotional events has been found to result in improvements in both physical and psychological health, in non-clinical and clinical populations. (Smyth & Lepore 2002)
We may not know what to write but the witness does. Instruct it to deliver what it sees in the eye above the circumstance. That eye, that witness, is your guide to story. Once the story is formulated, compare it to the other stories you have told yourself. How are they different and alike?
It then becomes the light of truth. You can use it to transcend the physical and enter the realm of peace where spirit reigns. You will be guided to pursue its purpose because truth cannot be hidden for long. It’s bright shining star will lead many to awaken the lethargic children of the tube.
At ease, your job is done. The imprint has been forged. Realized.
Writing skills for any age:
Memoirs – begin where the most exciting or painful part of the story happens and start filling in the sentiment before the sentiment, the truth before the truth in 360 degrees.
Poetry – free verse — a stream of consciousness — let the pen take you — envision — visualize — nothing is too this or that — nothing is not good enough — there is story in words — word per word.
Biography – tell the story of a loved one. Tell their story as if they were writing their own memoirs and call it creative and innovative. A biography written in 1st person? How about timeline? Mix it all up by theme.
Self-help – my favorite self-help guru was Wayne Dyer. I think it’s because he told the best stories. They weren’t all about his life and kids, they were often about famous poets, writers, and gurus lives and teachings. Thus, the best self-help for me is learning about how others have learned.
Healing is personal and whether psychology is just realizing it or not, healing is expressive. The expressions emanating from our lives are intrinsically related to our broken links, our wounds and the unattended destiny we call fate.[ii]
❝… expressive writing influences attention and habituation to stressful stimuli and to negative emotions and that it may influence restructuring of cognitions related to stressors and stress responses. (Baikie & Wilhem, 2005)
Here are some types of writing we can practice:
· Imaginary dialogues — think about ways to ask questions and establish dialogues with people whom you would like to converse with.
· letters to … write a letter or letters to people or institutions asking them to take an action and express reasons and benefits
· A to Z expressions — how do you fee beginning with the letter a-about anything that is hard to express for you.
· Essays - write an essay explaining factual information with back up links to the information.
· Lists - make list of things to do, things to say, things to be, list anything you want.
· Shape writing — you can create a shape and fill twitch words or write sentences along its outline, it's app to you.
· Screenplay - Write a short story as if you were watching a movie. Then put it into action scene by scene. You can change anything you want about reality in a movie.
· novel - sometimes the truth is biographies is not written in a way that will meet the criteria for entertainment and your readers are just not able to engage. But if you create a novel with some make believe characters and others exaggerated or twist luck here and there, you will hav a historical fiction novel, based on true events. But if it is all fantasy but your point is hidden in the fiction plot, that's great!
· Graphic novel — everybody loves pictures, illustrators can create pictures for the main parts of your novel and make it shorter that way because a picture paints a million words.
· Comics - more pictures, but this time, it's super heroic, or it's just unbelievably funny stuff that can be part true too.
How do you write to heal?
But what is a writer without direction? Writing to heal requires c0aching. Coaching is what makes good writers better. Why? When you have someone giving you constructive critique on what you are saying in your writing, you will realize whether or not you are making the impact you wish to make. You even develop the intention to make an impact.
I loved coaching kids to write and could transform a student with first grade reading level at the beginning of 4th grade into a 3 out of 6 (3/6)-getting a 3 meant you had the basics down, when the biggest thing was the FCAT. Later, the Common Core came along, and writing was even more emphasized. This time, every reading was about being able to explain it in writing using the devices and elements of writing, reading, and other disciplines tested.
This prepared me for coaching writing at the middle grades and high school level. It was very long hours reading papers and grading them against state standards for writing based on a rubric. The way of grading writing papers is holistic. One must carefully and earnestly read the paper from beginning to end and give it the first evaluation against the rubric picking out the main points. Then go back into the paper and clarify the first impression by rereading passages and making sure the content does or doesn't meet the criteria for organization, voice, details, main ideas, elaboration, devices, transitions, vividness, past tense, imagery. There are just too many to name here.
None of this is necessary when you are Writing to Heal. When you want to express your pain and frustration and at the same time come out alive on the other side you must first have a go at it. Just write whatever the heck you want. Don't worry about grammar, main ideas, imagery, or transitions. Just tell it like you feel it and tell it again as many times as you want in a page or paragraph.
Once you see where this type of writing takes you, a lot of your frustration will be gone and you will write again. It is liberating to write whatever comes to your mind, let that happen for a week, two weeks, a month. Keep sending it to your writing coach. If it's me, I will read it and dissect it. See how it can become a book of poetry, or a memoir, essays, or a biography. I'll throw these ideas at you and explain the differences, the market for it, and how you can take steps to create its vision, its structure, its stance, and its sails.
If you wait, that's fine, but you will only be postponing the happiness of being free from painful memories. You want the memories to be happy and sad, but not painful. The pain went into the writing.
[i] Baikie, K., & Wilhelm, K. (2005). Emotional and physical health benefits of expressive writing. Advances in Psychiatric Treatment, 11(5), 338-346. doi:10.1192/apt.11.5.338 [ii] Smyth, J., & Lepore, S.J. (2002). The writing cure: How expressive writing promotes health and emotional well-being. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association. https://psycnet.apa.org/record/2002-01516-005