Nov 05 2013

Writing Globally

Published by at 11:47 pm under creative writing,Journaling

I have just completed a tour of four universities in Finland where I made presentations to students and writing specialists on journaling, memoir and therapeutic writing.  Every where I went it was clear to me that people are hungry for a method to express their thoughts and feelings.  People want to write.  What is more interesting is the responses to my usual questions of ‘why write’ and ‘why people don’t write’ are the same wherever I travel.  People fear they won’t do it right or that they will be exposed.

Yes keeping a journal does put your personal thoughts and feelings into tangible form.  Yes, there is always the possibility that someone will read it and judge you (or your writing).  As for worrying about your writing ability, a journal is for your eyes only.  You can misspell as many words as you like and leave the conventions of grammar at the door.  How you write doesn’t matter if you are writing for your self.

Privacy is also an issue that can be addressed.  You can write in code (ie, change names and events to protect yourself or others) or you can write about how you feel without naming the event that created the feelings.  Protecting your writing may be as simple as keeping your journal in a very safe and private place.  It may also involve letting people know that you are keeping a journal and asking them to respect your privacy. It is true that when you have no secrets you are less vulnerable but that is oversimplifying the case for some people.  If you do have secrets, you can always write and process the information then destroy it immediately – saving only your reflection on the learning gained from the event.

Whatever your excuses for not writing, know that you are not alone.  From Helsinki to Bangkok, Korea to Colorado, people are afraid to write but once they start they find many more reasons to continue. Writing helps clarify thoughts, improves your health, and inspires creativity.  Start writing today – you’ll be glad you did.

And if you’re still having trouble.  I’m sure I have an antidote for your fear.

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