Poet and artist Blake Auden shares strategies on how to use writing to handle your mental well being
I have suffered from anxiousness most of my adult lifem and I’ve attempted a variety of therapies, procedures and approaches to managing my mental well being – but nothing at all has fairly helped me in the way that writing has.
There are a lot of research that highlight the added benefits of writing when it comes to trauma, anxiety, and all round mental wellbeing – as it enables individuals to externalise their feelings, and see their experiences from a new point of view. But that is not to say that writing does not come with trauma of its personal.
In my encounter of writing poetry, I have located that becoming genuinely vulnerable and sincere – each with your self and with your readers – requires one thing from you, but it also offers one thing back.
Trying to unpack and examine complicated and deeply buried feelings was complicated, and typically unsettling possibly to hurt is only an act of remembering. However, the procedure resulted in me feeling more comfy with my memories, and superior in a position to speak about my anxiousness with the individuals I adore. Ultimately, writing afforded me an chance to face my demons in a way no other therapeutic method has completed, while assisting me to genuinely connect with my reader, and hopefully support them to deal with their personal anxieties.
So, with that in thoughts, right here are 5 straightforward strategies to support you use inventive writing to handle anxiousness your self.
1. Start by reading
In his masterclass on writing poetry, Billy Collins suggests that in order to discover your voice, you need to very first discover the voices of other people. Through reading – no matter if it is poetry, novels, non-fiction, or any other sort of inventive writing – you can familiarise your self with how other people use language, craft metaphors, and elicit an emotional response from their readers, and this can support inform your personal method to writing. By listening to other writer’s voices, you can commence to fully grasp what tends to make your writing distinctive – what separates you from these who have gone prior to.
The procedure of reading can also support you make sense of your personal feelings, especially if you are attempting to deal with complicated or traumatic experiences. Finding resonance and understanding via the work of other people can be deeply cathartic and support kickstart not only your recovery, but your personal inventive work.
2. Start a journal
I have extended been an advocate of journaling, each as a writing physical exercise and as a tool for managing your mental well being. Writing in a journal every single day aids to externalise your feelings and enables you to appear at them from a new point of view.
You can merely create about your day, or you might choose to use prompts – a swift search on line will give you lots of alternatives. By writing down how the feelings you are experiencing, or how moments from your day impacted you, you are instantly taking a more mindful method to your thoughts and feelings, and this tends to make it less complicated to procedure and fully grasp them.
Not only that, but frequent journaling gets you into the practice of writing every single day, and can typically give you beginning points for poems, stories, or even a novel. I nevertheless journal often, and lines from my journal typically make it into my poems in a single type or yet another.
3. Focus on authenticity
Once you commence producing work of your personal, I consider it is essential to attempt to be genuine and sincere, even more so than the format or style of language you use. You want to accomplish resonance with your readers, and I consider the finest way to do that is to create from your personal encounter.
It can be tempting to create what you consider individuals want to study, but a lack of authenticity in your work will probably alienate readers and protect against you from constructing a connection with them. Write about your personal experiences, feelings, struggles, and attempt to be as sincere as feasible in what you generate – each with your readers and with your self.
Not only will this make it more probably that individuals want to continue reading your work, but it can support you to face your personal trauma and your personal feelings. The potential to build one thing gorgeous and meaningful from discomfort is hugely cathartic, and this was my method for my current chapbook The Things We Leave Behind.
4. Don’t be afraid to share your work
It can be daunting to share individual work on line, especially when you are new to writing. But it is only via publishing your work, no matter if that is via standard media (books, magazines, newspapers, and so on.), on line or by means of social media, that you can genuinely connect with an audience and commence to evolve as a writer.
Feedback is a essential component of any writer’s profession, and this can come in quite a few types. Of course, vital evaluation and critiques are a component of that, but the most essential feedback will come from the neighborhood you will grow to be a component of. For me, I located my neighborhood via Instagram, exactly where I was in a position to connect with fans of poetry and with other writers. Their feedback was hugely essential in expanding my self-confidence as a creator, and in producing me really feel like I was carrying out one thing meaningful with my work. Feeling a component of one thing larger than your self is extremely essential, and it can only come from constructing a following and sharing your work with them.
5. Write letters, even if you do not send them
I’m a wonderful fan of letter writing, each as a strategy for overcoming writer’s block and for assisting you to acknowledge and procedure your personal feelings. Similar to journaling, writing letters to individuals in your life enables you to externalise how you really feel and speak openly and honestly.
In most circumstances, I would propose you do not essentially send the letters, as this offers you the space and freedom to be fully sincere, each with the individual you are writing to and with your self. It can be genuinely cathartic to get every thing out onto paper, and can essentially support your relationships with the individuals you adore, as you are no longer bottling every thing up.
Writing these letters can also support prompt your writing, especially if you are writing poetry or quick pieces of prose. I have typically taken tips, lines or phrases from letters I’ve written and turned them into poems, especially for my current chapbook.
Blake Auden is a poet and artist primarily based in Brighton, UK. He has published 3 collections of poetry, and his fourth book ‘Murmuration’ is released worldwide on 5th October 2021. You can find links to buy the book here.
If you require help for your mental well being, connect with a professinal employing counselling-directory.org.uk