How to write without adding trauma.

This week we’ll discuss how to write the hard stuff without experiencing trauma while you write. Notes and guidelines Whenever a writing prompt is suggested, feel free to write whatever you want. You never have to stay with the prompt. Don’t stop and think, just follow your mind and write wherever it takes you. What’s on your mind is more important than the suggested prompt. Keep writing, don’t cross out, don’t erase, don’t stop and think . . . keep your pen moving. If you get stuck: Rewrite the prompt. Literally, write the prompt and see where that takes you. Or write, “What I really want to say.” And go from there. If you don’t like where you’re going, start over. Start over by rewriting the prompt. Or just start writing about something different. When we have an emotional situation, we tend to replay it in our minds. Perhaps we…

Guest Blogger Alison Luterman . . . Go deep into your writing.

Guest Blogger Alison Luterman  writes about going deep with your writing. Originally posted in her May 1 newsletter. Many years ago, in Hawaii, I got a chance to go “scuba diving.” I’m putting the words in quotes because it was really pretend scuba diving for tourists. There was no training involved other than the most basic instructions on how to breathe through a tube connected to the oxygen tank that was strapped to each person’s back. I think we had to sign a waiver saying we would not sue the company if we drowned. Then a group of us waded out, submerged, and voila! We were “scuba diving.” Well, not quite. My man-friend, S., had heavy bones and big muscles and he descended like a stone to the ocean floor. I could see him fifteen feet below me picking up beautiful shells while I floated directly above him. I couldn’t…

Guest Blogger Susan Hagen: Birthdays, cupcakes, and healing through writing

Note from Marlene: Guest Blogger Susan Hagen encourages us to have fun. And shows us how we can heal through writing . . . one of my strong beliefs, also. I hope you enjoy Susan’s post: To celebrate our 62nd birthdays, my best friend and I recently spent the weekend in Disneyland. Despite creaky knees and stiff backs, we were ready to party like … well, like eight-year-olds. We had great fun on the (not-too-wild) rides and enjoyed being playful and somewhat silly. But in that space of awareness about our childhoods, what arose in both of us were memories of disappointing birthdays of the past. It’s never too late to have that birthday cupcake. For me, it was 1963, the year I turned eight. My mother was supposed to bring chocolate cupcakes to my third-grade class at the end of the school day. But a few days before my birthday, President…

Write A New Story . . . Prompt #356

Ready to explore? Today’s writing prompt invites you to look at your old stories in new ways. Perhaps you can rewrite your story. Excerpt from October 2016 Reader’s Digest, “Down Off The Cross,” by Debra Jarvis, a chaplain and cancer survivor. “Let’s say I meet you on a bus. We really hit it off, but I’ve got to exit soon, so you’re going to tell me three things about yourself that help me understand who you are, that get at your essence.” Note from Marlene: Prompt:  List three things that define you. Back to the article: “Of those three things, is one of them surviving some kind of trauma, like being a cancer survivor, a war survivor, or an abuse survivor?” Note from Marlene: Or perhaps you are currently experiencing a difficulty or a trauma. Back to the article:    “Many of us tend to identify ourselves by our wounds. Claim…

Revive Your Past . . . Prompt #334

Revive Your Past Something inside you is too loyal to permit you to turn your back on everything you loved and simply walk away. No matter how many times people tell you to let the past go, it’s never possible. You’ll never move wholeheartedly into the future unless you take your beloved past with you.  And that’s exactly as it should be. There’s no reason to turn your back on a happy past. Sometimes we try to turn away from the past because we feel it somehow betrayed us. It’s as though we loved our past, but our past didn’t love us. So we go on strike and pretend we don’t care, as if to punish fate for being unkind. Fate never cares, of course, so we only hurt ourselves. Prompt:  What do you . . . or what does your character pretend to not care about? Today’s prompt is…

Make Sense of Your World Through Writing

“Portable Corona number 3. That’s my analyst.” — Ernest Hemingway Heal Through Writing “Several incidents contributed to social psychologist James W. Pennebaker’s interest in ‘healing writing.’ But when his parents’ visit during college launched a bout of the asthma he thought he’d left behind in the dry Texas of his childhood, he realize climate wasn’t to blame; his emotions were. Once he recognized the connection, the asthma attacks stopped.” —“Writing to heal,” by Gail Radley, May 2017 The Writer magazine. Pennebaker has conducted multiple studies indicating that writing can lead to healing. Dr. Edward J. Murray investigated healing through writing and concluded “’It seems that putting our thoughts and feelings into language helps confront them, organize them, and wrest the meaning from them. . .” —Gail Ridley, May 2017 The Writer magazine. Perhaps we can make sense of our world by using freewrites as a vehicle. Note: If you are experience troubling…

Every Moment of A Fall by Carol E. Miller

Every Moment of A Fall by Carol E. Miller Carol’s true account of her life, beginning with a plane crash that killed her sister and severely injured her and her parents, through her turbulent years, ending with healing through EMDR – Eye Movement and Desensitization and Reprocessing. The book jacket describes this as “a brave and revealing  memoir of recovery and a vividly narrated account of the author’s experience using the increasingly popular eye-movement therapy developed to heal the wounds trauma leaves in its wake.”  A good read for anyone who has experienced trauma. An excellent resource for researching alternative methods of therapy.

Use your writing to heal.

Use the difficulties in your life and represent them in your writing.  Describe the difficulties as if writing a scene in a novel. Look at your situation from a different point of view – from that of a character in a story. Take A Break When your writing becomes too difficult, stop. Take a break. Take a walk. Treat yourself to a glass of iced tea or hot apple cider. Wash your hands with special scented soap. Do something physical to relax your mind. Use a focal point as a reminder to relax and breathe deeply. A focal point is anything you like to look at: in your home, your writing environment, or outside. Have A Plan Have a plan for when you are feeling overwhelmed and need relief from emotional tension while you are writing. Prepare a healthy snack before you begin to write. When the writing gets difficult,…

Difficult Time Part 1 Prompt # 298

Write about a difficult time . . . something that happened to you or something you witnessed that made your stomach churn. Perhaps a crisis, or an argument, a disagreement. Write about an event that got you hot under the collar. Write as if you were a reporter narrating the facts. This happened and then that happened. See your story and tell it. How to write without adding trauma. 

That Family Member . . . Prompt # 292

Let’s do some relaxation exercises before writing. Settle into your chair.  Feet flat on floor. Hands relaxed. Rotate shoulders in a circle. Reverse direction. Stretch arms out in front. Arms overhead. Arms to the side. Big deep breath in. Hold. Let go. Feel your feet connected to the floor. That connection goes down into the earth, way down, deep down, to the center of the earth. Firmly planted, deeply rooted. Take a nice deep breath in and bring your shoulders up to your ears. And then let them down with a loud hrumph sound. Another deep breath in, shoulders up and down with the outward breath. Completely supported in your chair. Feeling the connection to the earth. Feeling connected to the center . . .  the core of the earth. Your connection goes deep. We’re going to do a bit of exploration here. . . scanning memories. Sitting comfortably in…