It's Okay to Write; the healing effects of the written word

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It’s okay to write, despite the more common approach these days to type, and not record things in longhand. Writing in longhand, that is, hand-writing, connects us to our true feelings and emotions.  Given it is a slower, more considered format than typing (or dictating), writing longhand can help us to channel what we are deeply, truly feeling and experiencing.

This is particularly the case if we are writing during or after a grief or transition period.

Often we might be unaware of how deeply we feel something until we have written about it in a journal or diary, or even in a social media post.

In this way, writing can be very healing.

Write to remember

It’s also okay to write when we simply don’t want to forget something.  Writing to remember can be incredibly powerful. Not just our daily to-do list, or the funny things our children say.   But to remember the experiences, the feelings for people, places, and the things that make our life our own.  All of this is ripe fodder for being written about, whether it be in a bullet journal, a regular journal, a diary or some other form of written record.

Writing from a place of gratitude

Another time when it is perfectly okay, indeed beneficial, to write is when someone has done a particular task or service for you.  A real note, written on paper in your own handwriting and posted, then received through the old-fashioned mail.  There is nothing more delightful and guaranteed to bring a smile to the recipients face than a hand-written, heart-felt note.  To write from a place of gratitude is a gift that gives twice; boosting your feelings of gratitude by expressing them again, and bringing joy to the person receiving the thanks.

Writing with sympathy

And of course, writing with sympathy; the sympathy note.  At times of loss, grief and great sorrow, a hand written, and heartfelt expressed letter is far more powerful and meaningful to the recipient than an email or text expressing similar sentiments.

At these times it is  acceptable, and indeed advised, to write a personal note, flowing with feeling.

Write for release

Writing can be enormously beneficial when we are experiencing significant change or feeling deeply emotional.   Just look at the number of blogs that cover significant life changes including birth, baby loss, divorce, career change and of course, travel.

Writing allows us the ability to articulate and share how we are feeling and the emotions we are experiencing, in a safe, socially acceptable way.

Writing as self-care

However, many of us will not be comfortable posting or sharing what we write.  We feel our writing, especially if it's about our thoughts and feelings, is private.

This desire for privacy does not make writing unhelpful for those of us who would prefer to keep our writing to ourselves. Rather, writing is still just as powerful or even more so, when we treat it as a private practice.  Something we do for ourselves only.

Scrawling our thoughts and feelings onto paper can be a cathartic experience.  And if we choose to undertake free-form writing, even more so.  Free-form writing is writing that is free of punctuation, capitals, or any other grammatical constraints.  There is a sense of liberation, freedom and release that comes from free-form writing where no one else will read it.

Writing can be done at almost anytime, in almost any place.  It is the ultimate low-cost, self-help.  The act of writing can take very little time comparatively and therefore provides minimal, if any, disruption to our regular schedule and daily lives.  With nothing more than some paper and a pencil, we can uncover and pour out our feelings.  In this way, writing  can be an epitome of self-care and self-compassion; to find something that helps nurture and heal us, that involves little time or cost.

Providing all this, as well as connecting us to our thoughts and feelings?

This is the healing power of writing.

And why it is okay to write.

More help is here

I love to support people as they navigate their way through life's transitions - and I'd love to help you too.

Book in for your complimentary consult and we can chat about how we can work together.