Writing as therapy

Have you felt yourself lately?

when do you feel like your true self?When was the last time you TRULY felt like yourself? Felt full of the goodness of life and perfectly comfortable in your own skin? When were you last free of worries and stress? When did you last feel like you actually belonged somewhere?

It may have only been yesterday. At home, in the garden with your dog. Or it may have been last night, on the couch with your best friend. Or maybe you’re struggling to recall that feeling. It may have been a really long time since you felt that comfy, relaxed self.

If you have felt this feeling, then try to replicate it as often as possible. Whether it’s the activity, the people or the place that made you feel yourself, try to be doing that thing, with those people or in that place again…as much as possible.

If you haven’t felt it, or it’s been ages since you’ve felt it, then maybe you’re trying too hard to be something you’re not. Maybe the career you’re pursuing, the friends you’re spending time with or the place you’re living is just not right for you now. People change and grow. That’s the fun of being human. And what was right a little while ago may just not be right now. You morphed and didn’t realise it!

Either way, why don’t you feel like yourself more often? Your true self is wonderful, so don’t hide from it or push it away. Embrace who you are and be proud to tell people about it. Your story is a great one.

Writing is like sex….

Slide1First you do it for love, then you do it for your friends, and then you do it for money. (Virginia Woolf)

So true Ms Woolf! Three great reasons why they can compare. But there are some others I’ll let you in on in just a second….

What’s weird is that I’m not quite sure why I was contemplating this thought. It’s kind of unlikely on a Wednesday afternoon as I sit at my desk with a cat on my lap, having just finished some lunch and a call with a client. Next on my to do list was certainly not writing about sex. I should have been calling the bank about my payment gateway, I needed to do some revisions on a flyer I have to produce, and I really ought to have been working on my new website. But instead, this idea popped into my head. So I’m taking my own advice and I’m going to run with the 25 minute writing theory and see what falls out.

Hopefully it will make for an amusing read too!

Top seven reasons for why writing is like sex:

1. The more you do it the better you get at it.

Self explanatory really. 😉

2. You can’t always wait until the mood is just right

Waiting for the perfect moment when you’re both relaxed, freshly waxed and ‘feelin’ it’ can sometimes mean you’ll be waiting until Christmas. Flickering candles and angels singing may be the desired picture, but in the end, the bedside lamp and the sound of the kids snoring might be as good as it gets.  Sometimes you just have to do it, even if the setting isn’t as Mr Grey would want it.

Same goes for writing. How awesome would it be if every time you sat down to write the desk was clean, the air was still and quiet and the words just flowed effortlessly? Well, there are days – weeks – when that may never happen, so sometimes you just have to get down to it and do it regardless of mood or atmosphere.

3. Sensitivity comes from practise

Whether you’re in a long term relationship or are trying on a few partners for size, the more practise you have the more attuned you are to your own needs and those of your partner. Sometimes it’s all about two souls deeply connecting, fulfilling heightened emotional states. Sometimes it’s pure carnal knowledge. Physicality in its most primitive state. Either, way the more you do it the more you get to know how to read the situation and deliver the goods. So to speak..

Same same for writing. The more you do it, the more you know how to deliver what your clients want/need or what your publisher desires. You become aware of the peaks and troughs of your own writing habits and emotional states and you become more sensitive and attuned to the needs of your clients.

4. There aint nothing wrong with a quickie.

If there’s only a few minutes spare when both of you are in the same room, the kids are being dropped off in 5 minutes and the dinner is not yet burnt, go for it! It may not be romantic in the typical scene-setting, fluffy-pillow, lingerie-clad kind of way but hell it’s exciting! And sometimes spice is just what you need.

Short bursts of spicy, focused energy can produce amazing writing too!

5. It’s ok if it’s not mind-blowing – every time!

Yes it’s disappointing, yes we can feel a bit ‘meh’ after it, but in truth, even a mediocre session should not be considered ‘wasted’ time.  Your still spending time with your loved one, building on your relationship.

Being out of sync with your writing can also produce disappointment, but it doesn’t mean it’s not a useful experience. Bonding with your writing over the good and bad times is what brings you closer together and helps you grow.

6. It’s not all about the destination

Keep in mind that, both in writing and in sex, the journey can be just as fulfilling as the end goal. Sometimes the result/climax/outcome actually disappoints – or at worst case isn’t actually reached at all! So whilst there’s no harm in having your eye on the prize, it’s important to remember there are learnings and joy to be had along the way.

7. Do it with a partner you actually like…

Don’t go sacrificing your time, energy, focus, love, emotions, body or soul for someone who isn’t worth it. They don’t have to be your forever partner, but I reckon it’s really important that you at least dig them for now.

Same goes with your writing. If you don’t like it, don’t do it.

Here’s to happy days with blogs, boomboom, business and books!

Jo xx

I wish I had said…

frustrated_girl

ever felt like this?

Do you find yourself in situations, particularly with strangers, where you wish you had said something different?

I was there about an hour ago and I’m still fuming. So I’m going to write about it, to get it off my chest and move on. (By the way, doing this is a really great tactic for anything that’s plaguing your mind – be it good, bad or indifferent!)

I’m not a confrontational person by nature and I don’t thrive on inane chit chat with people I don’t know, however this morning I really wish I had opened up and let rip.

I was talking on the phone to a client in my car, parked in a shopping centre carpark. I was chatting away when I heard a BANG BANG BANG. I turned around and there’s a woman wrestling her little boy (maybe 3 or 4) into the car next to me – and HE’S KICKING MY CAR! Full on kicking it. Now, most parents have experienced the annoyance of little monsters who won’t cooperate and don’t want to get in, but she DID NOTHING to stop him! In fact, worse, she stopped trying to get him in the car and stood there motionless, watching him kick! Allowing him another couple shots… AS THEY BOTH STARED AT ME THROUGH THE WINDOW!!!

I was mid-conversation and kind of incredulous so I left it for a minute. After the woman got her boy in the car, I hopped out to see if there was any damage – thankfully there wasn’t. But that’s not the point. She was hurriedly pulling out of her car spot and ready to drive off when she rolled down her window and shouted at me “Your car was parked crooked so I couldn’t get him in the car. And it’s also a big car so there wasn’t much room.” And drove off. All I could get out was “Hang on, my car was a bit crooked because the car next to me was too.” What I really wanted to say to her was “But I’m still in between the white lines of my parking bay! And anyway, that’s no fucking reason to let your kid kick someone’s car! And my car is not bloody big – it’s no bigger than yours. And why the hell am I in the wrong here!!!??? What lesson are you teaching your precious little shit right now?”

Man. I was mad. And still am. But it’s subsiding as I write this; getting emotion out through written word is good therapy. Whilst I know it wouldn’t have helped one iota, I really wish I had managed to get more of that retort out. I think it would have made me feel better…. perhaps….

Hindsight is a marvellous thing, isn’t it? We’re all braver, more confident, stronger, wittier, more charming in hindsight. In the moment however, I was so stunned that I could be neither rude nor factual. Just dumbstruck. And obviously, a deep-seated aversion to unnecessary confrontation, especially with someone who could potentially be a loose-canon nut-case, held me back. I’ve read too many accounts over the years about people ending up in hideous situations because they’ve caused an argument with a stranger, so I am definitely cautious. You just never really know who you’re dealing with do you?

Anyway, that’s it really. Just a bit of a rant this morning. I’d had such a good start to the day, and week, with cuddly, co-operative kids getting ready for their days and then this came and burst my bubble. People are damn annoying and just plain strange sometimes.

But writing it out is helping. It gets rid of the angst, pens the words I wished I’d said and makes space for more stuff – positive stuff. And I will move on. And truth be told, I know that in the end it wouldn’t have helped if I’d yelled at her. I would have been acting no better than her. “Don’t lower yourself to her level” is what my mum would have said.

And I won’t.

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