This is my happy place: a sunset over Lake Michigan. I feel incredibly alive and blessed when I experience this place. But it wasn't always so. I didn't always have the ability to sit and reflect and enjoy Creation. Many things have helped me arrive at this place, both figuratively and literally, time, friends, family, my faith. The one thing that helped my get in touch with all of those things and this beach sunset was learning about the power of writing.
Almost 10 years ago, at a time when I thought I had it "all together," I received the diagnosis of breast cancer. To say that I was depressed and angry is, perhaps (at least according to my husband), an understated. But God moves in mysterious ways and I found myself in a Writing through Cancer workshop and then support group. (More about that in subsequent posts.) I began to heal, both physically and emotionally through the act of writing. I went on to become a certified Writing Group Facilitator and then graduate school to study writing. I wrote my Master's thesis on how the therapeutic aspects of writing can help first year college students be successful in "the class the love to hate," English/Composition.
Now I teach first year writing students at a community college and have spoken to many support groups and churches on the topic of therapeutic writing. I may not be an expert in terms of having published works about the subject or conducted my own research, but I am an expert in the practical application of therapeutic writing principles. I want to share these with you, along with many stories from my classrooms and speaking engagements in hopes that you, too, can find joy in your own story. I will give you some of the background of why this works, hopefully without sounding too much like a teacher. I will give you tips and prompts to help you start your own therapeutic writing journey. And, I will link you other resources that you can use to further your self-discovery or understanding of the therapeutic writing process.
Please join me. I will always give careful consideration to all feedback. Thanks and happy writing!
I became a writer out of desperation...