The healing power of writing

by | Feb 11, 2023 | 1 comment

Writing for self-love

By Solano Writers Society

Happy Friday TYSAH Writers!

It has been nearly a week since we came together and spent some time healing our soul through love notes. I have carried your words with me this week—the image of your grandfather speaking to you with care and warmth, the reminder that this boy of the moment isn’t worth you, the strength of you speaking your truth out loud. Because you chose to show up on a Saturday to write in a room with others, you get to call yourself a writer. I hope you felt at least a little bit proud and a little bit more writerly this week.

During our session last Saturday, we experienced a number of things together:

  • That writing can be joyful
  • That writing can be helpful to process what you’re feeling
  • That writing can fit into your day
  • That writing can be more meaningful when you have a community to share it with

The hardest part about writing is that we put all kinds of obstacles in our path to stop us from writing. So let me lower that bar to entry! Let me make it fantastically easy to begin. Below, I’ve provided some resources that make it impossible for you to say no to yourself.

When you don’t know what to write…

  • Start with the prompts from “Love notes for your soul: the healing power of writing.” Do the same prompt with new memories or new letters, or alter the prompt and write about a memory with a different core emotion, or write a letter to somebody else. Find the prompts at the end of the blog for easy access.
  • There are some great books of prompts out there, perhaps you already have one you picked up and never used. Some of my favorites include The Storymatic, 642 Things to Write About, and The Amazing Story Generator.
  • Many writers post prompts for free on their social media, chances are you already follow some (Instagram, Pinterest, etc.). Check out Shea’s Bookshelf.
  • Look around the room and pick an object, then write how you feel about it. Maybe it sparks a memory. Maybe it takes on a personality of its own.
  • Open up a page from your last journal entry and pick a line that speaks to you.

When you don’t know what you’re feeling…

  • Give yourself grace and journal. If you don’t have a journal, open up a Word/Google doc, grab a piece of printer paper, rip a page out of your kid’s notebook, write on the back of the grocery receipt. The medium doesn’t matter. Your words matter.
  • If writing feels unnerving, try speaking it out loud. Go for a walk or talk out loud while you’re driving. There are all kinds of speech-to-text apps available.
  • The most important thing is to not judge yourself as you process. Don’t think what someone else will think. Don’t worry about what you will think when you’re reading this journal entry in 2 years. Don’t stress that the words aren’t right, just write.
  • Sometimes we don’t know what we’re feeling because we play the oppression game, “Well, it’s not as bad as somebody else.” That’s true AND you get to have your feelings validated. Writing is an excellent way to capture all the chaos inside and make something beautiful out of it.

When you don’t have time…

  • Most of our day is spent in transition: waking up to making coffee, getting ready for work to driving, the first meeting to the first break, driving home to making dinner, working out to showering, etc. All those transitions are beautiful opportunities to write. Choose 1 and go!
  • Set yourself an alarm or build in time on your calendar. Block out 5 minutes for a quick write or 10 minutes to journal.
  • Multitask—use writing as a way to decompress during your lunch break, use a speech-to-text app to capture your thoughts on your commute to work, write next to your kids as they’re doing their homework. 

When you don’t want to write alone…

  • Join Solano Writers Society every Wednesday evening at 7pm PT!
  • Start talking about writing with your friends, coworkers, family; chances are, there are other writers around you who are part of a community or would be excited to join you. 
  • Seek out local writing groups online and on social media. We’re in such a virtual space that you won’t be alone for long.

When writing isn’t your #1 passion…

  • Know that it doesn’t have to be! Writing is a tool that you can pick up and put down. It’s there when you need it. 
  • Think about why you showed up to “Love notes for your soul: the healing power of writing.” We are catalyzed to write for different reasons and they don’t need to be the same each time.
  • Change up the format! Perhaps when you’re hurt, you prefer to journal. But when you’re feeling excited, maybe a song or a poem is a better fit.

We hope this helps. Hopefully, you were so inspired by one of these ideas, you didn’t even make it to the end of this blog and you’re out there writing right now.

We’d like to leave you with a couple final resources. One of the best ways to be inspired to write and keep writing is to read. When we read other’s works, we learn new ways to craft ideas, capture images, and convey emotion. These can be any kind of books you enjoy or they can be specific books on writing. Our favorites include The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron and The Book on Writing by Paula LaRocque.

We wish you a safe rest of your February and empower you to reclaim 2/14 for self-love!

1 Comment

  1. Ale Mejia

    Thank you Solano Writers Society and TYSAH for an amazing experience during our event, and thank you for the tips, no excuse from now on, writing to show my self some love!


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