Writing in all its forms can be a therapy – a calming, grounding activity that can serve to focus thoughts, cleanse emotions, give perspectives. Words in the right order can be a thing of beauty; creative expression by one person can bring joy to others, can be a balm to wounded hearts, can cause a soul to dance. A word or a phrase put down in ink (or in pixels!) can encourage, soothe, serve or inflame a stranger’s mind – in our day and age, that could be someone across the world and the writer may never know the effect of his or her writing.
Sometimes writing is the most private of activities. Much of the time the words that get put down serve only the person holding the pen – but to that person, the act of getting it down on paper can be life-giving. Anxiety and anger management therapies encourage the concept of writing down the stress, the worry, the frustration – then burning it or tearing it up. A physical act of eliminating that heavy burden from the body or mind.
I journal – to make sense of jumbled thoughts, to reflect on and remember beauty, to chronicle these days of mine, to vent and purge my own anxieties, to contemplate the joys and mysteries of the spirit. I write this blog to share my own perspectives on life and music and the creative community in the valley I call home. I write songs – for myself first and to share. To be heard is a great honour, and perhaps something I have written will touch the life of a listener.
Maybe you don’t think you are a writer. I hold that we all are – just as we are all physical and creative beings. You may never share the things you put down on paper and that is perfectly fine, but I encourage you to try writing them down anyway. You’ll probably like it. As with many things, often the toughest part is getting started – then sticking with it long enough to give it a chance. Feel free to connect with me if you would like a conversation about it.
There are two opportunities coming up in May built around creative expression and writing in very different ways. The first is on Saturday, May 18th when I will once again be teaming up with Tara Newbigging to connect creative expression and physical self-care and awareness. Registrations are open and more information is HERE. The second is on Wednesday, May 29 – an Evening with Mike Petroff, veteran songwriter and one of the Bow Valley’s chief encouragers to the local music community. While this will be focused on songwriting specifically, I’ll nudge you to come out even if you are not sure songwriting is for you. Registration is required but there is no charge. Information and registration are HERE.
Remember though, that whether you attend one of these community events or not, writing is a good chance to pause in the full life and check perspective. Whether you tear it up and flush it or share it with a friend – or with the world – there is value to getting those tumbling thoughts and reflections out of your head and onto the paper (or screen). Give it a shot.
Shine on, my friends.