From an early age, I have always been creative. My life revolves around writing, teaching, painting and sewing. I write a mix of things, from dark, speculative fiction to uplifting poetry, and I write about all aspects of my life on my blog.
Mental health issues are something which I am very passionate about. I started the group, ‘Well-Written’ in 2017 to bring people together in a safe space to write for wellness and positive emotional health. We shared ideas, encouraged creativity, and inspired ourselves and others. In 2018 I lost a close friend. Having a safe space to write honestly and openly about my feelings was cathartic, and crucial to my mental wellbeing.
Between May and December of 2019 I ran Writing for Wellness workshops for women in Wellington, helped by my fellow writer friend Stella Carruthers. The classes were based on the work of Judy Reeves (to which I owe a great deal of thanks for her support and encouragement) and used writing and creativity as tools to heal and empower.
You can download a .pdf of the workshop class notes to work through in your own time here:
Writing for mental health and wellness does not always mean writing about mental health. Granted, it can be, and sometimes exploring the darker or more complex side of your emotions is an important and useful strategy in establishing a positive mental space, but I think can also be simpler than that. Writing for the pure enjoyment of writing brings focus. Pouring a part of yourself into something you create is both liberating and invigorating. It allows you to take time to explore your thoughts and emotions in the way you need to. It allows you the chance to make sense of yourself.
Here you will find a collection of all my Writing for Wellness posts. Some explore feelings and emotions, others offer positive strategies to use writing to keep yourself mentally well. The aims of Well-Written are to help and support, and you are free to share any of these posts far and wide.
Well-Written: Writing for Wellness – Explaining the goals of Well-Written.
Becoming Open – an exploration of creativity and writing for wellness.
Allowing Time To Grow – Finding yourself as you get older and becoming comfortable in your own skin.
I Get By… – Understanding the importance of friendships and communities.
My Contributory Verse – Why I write, and how writing heals me.
Finding My Way Back – Recovering mental stability after a time of depression.
Don’t Self Reject – Overcoming Imposter Syndrome and being brave.
Knock! Knock! Imposter Syndrome Calling – More thoughts on Imposter Syndrome.
Why Write Horror – “Be happy while you’re living, for you’re a long time dead.” Why writing horror helps me make sense of myself and improves my mental health.
Online Connections – When a positive Tweet about embracing your wildness goes viral.
Slowing Down and Changing Gears – Taking mental health breaks and adjusting your pace.
Gremlin – A short piece of creative writing inspired by Imposter Syndrome gremlins.