Writing is medicine. It is an appropriate antidote to injury. It is an appropriate companion for any difficult change. –Julia Cameron
May is Mental Health Awareness Month. We often talk about how difficult it is to write, how satisfying it is to have written. We don’t talk as often as we should about the health benefits of writing — what that sense of satisfaction does to overall wellness.
Daily Writing Practice
Studies have shown that a daily writing practice, such as journaling, can significantly reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Journaling helps you process your emotions and learn more about yourself. By writing about what is going on in your life, you can step back and gain perspective, perhaps even discover solutions for what is troubling you. Studies have also shown that a regular writing practice has physical health benefits as well, such as lowered blood pressure.
Remember Your Audience Is You
We recognize that the very thought of writing anything can cause anxiety for many people. Remember that this is just for you. It doesn’t need to be neat; it doesn’t need to be perfect. In the words of Tim Ferris, “I don’t journal ‘to be productive.’ I don’t do it to find great ideas or to put down prose I can later publish. The pages aren’t intended for anyone but me. It’s the most cost-effective therapy I’ve ever found.”
How Write On, Door County Can Help
Our new monthly Healing Through Writing sessions are free programs open to all. Held the second Saturday of the month at 1 pm, these hour-long labs feature guided meditation, writing prompts, and a safe supportive atmosphere. Led by volunteer facilitators, including Sammi Rae Clark, Beth Coleman, Susan Gould, Marggie Moertl, and Erika Nelson, these sessions can help you establish a regular writing practice and improve both your mental and physical health.
Intended for seniors but open to all, our free Memoir Monday programs offer the opportunity for people to explore writing their life stories in a fun and friendly setting. Sessions are held at Scandia Village, Sturgeon Bay Library, Write On, and the Aging and Disability Resource Center. These programs are led by volunteers Ann Heyse, Krista Johnson, Janis Martin, Judith Miller, Holly Miekle and Jamie Palmer.
Find Yourself In One of These Upcoming Workshops from Write On, Door County:
Life by Water: On Mindfulness and Poetic Form with Lauren Carlson
Saturday, May 6, 1 – 2:30 pm, IN PERSON, Free
An intergenerational program on poetry of place; all ages welcome
Getting Published in Small Press Magazines with Hayley Haugen
Thursday, May 11, 6 – 8 pm, IN PERSON, $40
preceded by a free presentation on submitting work to the Hal Prize at 5:30
Writing the Other with Sandra Jackson-Opoku
Thursday, May 18, 6:30 – 8 pm, ONLINE, $30
Discover how to write characters who do not share your cultural identity
One Book’s Journey with Joanne Nelson
Wednesday, May 31, noon – 1 pm, ONLINE, $20
In this session, Joanne will talk about soliciting endorsements
In It for the Long Haul with Gary Eldon Peter
Saturday, June 10, 10 am – noon
Explore writing as a life-long commitment and practice