Who has never felt the need to contain or externalize an internal tension and to free himself from it? How to express something too intimate to dare to reveal it to anyone?
In fact, there are many ways to stop ruminating and to escape, and in particular through art, like writing, drawing, painting, playing music…
Here, we will focus on writing, but all these points can be adapted and applied to any form of expression.
Why can writing be therapeutic?
In reality, it is not the method used to transcribe your emotions, but what you feel, how you feel while doing it, that is important. You don’t need to know how to write either, you can simply let the pencil run over the paper as your thoughts flow, and let them print as they come. According to the theories that appeared at the end of the 80’s, art is a form of therapy that, like psychoanalysis, is supposed to free speech and allow the evacuation of emotions. In this way, writing delivers and relieves, fighting stress, anxiety or depression.
“The pain most to be pitied is that which cannot be expressed.” – Publilius Syrus
Thus, it is a way to bring out a part of you, to express your thoughts or your feelings by recovering control. It allows you to see more clearly and to take a step back from what is bothering you, but also to improve your creativity and concentration.
When to write?
There is really no right time to write, it is best to express yourself as soon as you feel the need, or as soon as you have the opportunity.
However, there are times when writing is particularly beneficial: when you are going through a period of stress, sadness, when you feel overwhelmed by an event, a situation or your emotions, as soon as you feel the need to regain control over your thoughts.
In a word, the moment you feel the need or the desire to express yourself, take your pencil and write, without dwelling on it.
How to write when you have not had this habit since childhood?
1- Write for yourself
The first important thing to keep in mind is to understand that these works belong to you. You don’t need to have them read or published, they are yours. So you can choose to keep them for yourself and keep them, or even, conversely, destroy them right after you create them. It is your choice and it is important to remember that you are writing for yourself first and foremost, not for others.
2- Write on a regular basis
Another essential point is to try as much as possible to write regularly. Take some time for yourself punctually to write a few words. As a result, writing will become a daily exercise of the mind.
Like meditating or exercising, set aside a time to take the time to draw those few lines. If you find it difficult to stick to a daily routine, a good way to create this habit is to always have a notebook and pen with you. Whenever an idea strikes you or the need arises, just pull out your material and simply express yourself.
3- Find your writing medium
Whenever possible, prefer to write by hand, as this will activate your brain activity more, especially your thinking, memory and creativity. However, you must choose your own method for writing, the one you are most comfortable with.
So, whether it’s in a notebook, in a diary, on post-it notes, on your phone, on a computer or even on an old-fashioned typewriter, the main thing is that your note-taking is personal and comfortable.
4- Isolate yourself to write
In fact, the simple fact of going to your room, sitting at your desk, etc., will allow you to ritualize your writing moment and thus plunge you into a state of concentration essential to the exercise. If, on the other hand, you need noise and movement to coordinate yourself, sit in a crowd, in a public place or with your family. However, it is important to be alone in the middle of others, because you need to be alone with yourself, and well in your environment, in order to write effectively.
5- Write everything down
Finally, always come back to what you have written until you have completely freed your consciousness. Write in every detail, not necessarily in a direct way, but without omitting any feeling. However, write without thinking too much, letting the words come to you while remaining honest and sincere. Indeed, there is no need to lie to yourself, since, once again, you are doing all this only for yourself. Let yourself write everything that comes, even if it seems incoherent at first.
6- Find your style
One last thing, if you don’t know what to write. The choice is wide and specific to each person. You can write down, like a diary, your day, a memory, a conversation you had, an event you saw or your emotions and feelings. Otherwise, take a word at random and start writing from there.
Finally, you can write in a raw way, that is, express things as they come, using simple and straightforward words, or you can go through invention writing, if you feel creative. This method is particularly appropriate if you want your writing to be read. Expressing who you are or how you feel through a metaphor is also a way to free yourself, but this time by stealthily exposing yourself to the world.
Ultimately, taking notes, writing aimlessly, writing what you feel, or writing fiction, all are beneficial.
Thus, writing will become your outlet, your confidant, your pilot… A way of expressing yourself in all intimacy.
However, it is essential to turn to someone to talk if you ever feel the need, and not to lock yourself in a solitary bubble.