Exploring the healing power of creative writing
One time-tested method to look inward is to write. Inward-Facing Writers is here to help. Of course, writing has been a way to record thoughts and express them for thousands of years. But it is also away to dig deep into your subconscious and discover and release thoughts, emotions, and even pain.
Society values outward expression. Spoken, written, screamed. Whatever. The quicker the better, don’t worry about fact checking or consequences. But the consequences are grave. We are tense, overstimulated, misinformed and easy to sway.
It’s time to slow down. To think before we react. To look inward and explore before we project outward.
Whether you are already a writer and you want to improve your art, you want to become a writer and publish, or you want to search deep inside yourself, we can help.
The inward-facing part of Inward-Facing Writers refers to my introversion. I always knew that I preferred alone time, or time with a special few, to a crowded party. But I thought of it as a weakness of my personality. Something to fix or cure.
But not only is introversion not a weakness, it’s a strength. Much has been written recently on the brain of an introvert and the way it functions differs from that of an extrovert.
One of the major theories of Inward-Facing Writers is that everybody can benefit from some inward reflection and self-investigation through writing. I approach and explore my introversion through writing. And as it turns out, writing humorous pieces about my life and times as an introvert. You can check them out here.
My writing journey…
I’ve been a middle school math teacher for the last 20 years. But throughout that time I’ve used writing as part of a healing process without even knowing it. A few examples:
When my wife was still my girlfriend of about a year, she went on an overseas trip. This was before cell phones, before email and the internet, so we went two weeks without talking. I was sad and missed her terribly. I found myself writing. Writing an awful story– by hand– in a spiral notebook. But I found that while I was in the fictional world of my creation, I forgot about my real-world worries.
And no, I wasn’t ignoring my problems. She was in Europe whether I missed her or not. I found a way to carry on and produce something of (questionable) value. You don’t have to mire in your woes. You can acknowledge them, then allow yourself to move on and feel good. I had no idea I was doing that. And I certainly wasn’t good at it. But that’s what I was doing, one ink-smudged paragraph at a time.
Another more recent example. The world of education has changed, even since the mid-90s when I started teaching. Whether it’s been for good or for bad is an argument for a different blog. But there is no question that high-stakes testing and the desire for accountability has dropped a cover slip on the microscope slide of America’s schools.
Some consequence of this accountability are paperwork and meetings. And emails, emails, emails. So much that it cluttered my brain with stuff. Thoughts and concerns and lessons and Individualized Education Plans. About three years ago, my attention again turned to writing. And what I found what that writing cleared my mind. It was like a thumbnail pushing the stem of an air bladder, releasing the pressure of the day. Writing, and free writing especially, allowed me to crack through the scorched-sugar brûlée crust of my day and allow me to enjoy the sweet crème underneath.