Some thoughts about therapeutic writing and blogging

When I started writing I thought it would provide me with means to record my feelings (and the events) for posterity and that it might also allow me to process some of the grief and emotions. I had no idea that there is a body of evidence surrounding the value of therapeutic writing. Indeed, my blog subtitle was written in complete ignorance of this fact. So, what has the process been like for me so far? And how has having a blog affected this? The first five poems I wrote were written in one day and seemed to emerge almost fully formed without conscious thought. Some others have also arrived in this fashion but others have taken considerably more work. I have been writing for about six weeks now and I must say that I feel somewhat emotionally spent although I know there are many more subjects with which I could (and probably will) deal. I suspect that the benefits may take some time to manifest (and I confess I have not read the literature). I am trying to write some more positive, self-affirming works in order to counteract the onslaught of negativity.  Some very tangible benefits have been the positive feedback I have received from those  who have read the poems (though they are telling me in person or emailing me instead of commenting here). Several people have cried and one friend told me last night that reading ‘Suburban haven’ was just like being taken for a walk through my new home, which is exactly what I intended (we’ll see how accurate a picture I created this weekend when she visits).  The blog has been helpful in that it has encouraged me to write more – I need to feel as though I have a (potential) audience – perhaps I am an exhibitionist? The pressure to publish has thus made me more productive but also means that I am likely to post pieces that really require more work and, for that, I apologize. I am also trying to be less conscious of any literary merit the poems might have and to concentrate of getting the feelings and thoughts onto the page – once again, I’m sorry but I guess you will all stop reading if it becomes too self-indulgent. So, thanks again for reading. If anyone has any ideas or themes about which I could write I’d love to hear them. (I’m not running out though).

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