澳门彩开奖

Writing your way through cancer

Tuesday 14 January 2020


I think we often take writing for granted. Many of us use writing every day, by texting, social media, shopping lists, diaries, calendars, and emails. Meanwhile, if you鈥檙e living with cancer, you may be writing down and juggling key events, appointments, tests, and hospital visits.

However, writing can serve another function.聽 It can be something you can do for yourself, and it has psychological benefits. You certainly don鈥檛 have to be a skilled wordsmith. Things like spelling, grammar, rules, neatness 鈥 they鈥檙e not relevant, unless you want it to be. It鈥檚 more about you -writing your way through and beyond cancer.

If you鈥檙e a carer, a family member of friend 鈥 cancer affects you too.聽 Sometimes, in midst of all the worrying about the person with cancer, your own needs and worries can feel selfish. They鈥檙e not, of course, but you may find you need that emotional release. 聽聽Writing can be one way to help.

Creative writing is a way to explore thoughts, ideas and emotions that you might otherwise find difficult to express.聽 Traditionally, creative writing means using our imaginations and ideas to write stories, memoirs, poetry and prose. However, others use journaling, blogs and diaries, as their inner release and exploration.

Creative writing may embrace therapeutic writing 鈥 sometimes the two are interchangeable.聽 Your writing may explore deeper issues, things that you find difficult to discuss 鈥 cutting through the emotional filter we put on speech.

Creative writing and cancer - how can it help?

Writing can allow you to explore the power of language and words - and be a way of conveying feelings and observations. It has been shown to have health benefits - and this includes both your physical and mental wellbeing.

Creative writing has been found to help relieve depression, anxiety and pain. For people living with cancer it offers a release and exploration. It can be a way to write about things which may feel painful to talk about. Writing can help you slow down your thoughts, and relax. It can also build up your confidence and self-esteem.

Tips to start creative writing

If you鈥檝e decided you might like to try writing, you鈥檙e already halfway there.聽 You may decide to use a notebook, and pen, or type into an electronic device. Choosing your pens and paper, journals or diaries can be part of the creative process.

The action of writing and the content, is much more important than spelling, typing errors, crossings out, etc, especially at the beginning. It鈥檚 like using a muscle; it takes a while to build up writing confidence.

People sometimes worry where they can write - or what they will find to write about.聽 If you carry a notebook with you, you can often jot ideas, snippets of conversations, or your thoughts, whilst sitting in waiting rooms, clinics and cafes. These could be ideas to use later on.

Sometimes people find it easier to start writing if they have exercises to do or writing prompts. There are lots of ideas on the internet, and many creative writing books and courses available, including:-

(2016)聽 Susan Gubar

聽聽聽聽 Sandra Marinella

聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽聽 Thomas Media

You may find keeping a diary or journal helps provide a place to 鈥榙ump鈥 the thoughts of the day, and keep a record of your experiences. Many people create a blog. You may prefer to keep your writing personal to you, or value sharing it with others. Having someone read your words can be powerful and supportive. However, reading back your own words can give you new insights, and be rewarding.

Maggie鈥檚 and creative writing

Most of our Maggie鈥檚 Centres hold creative writing sessions.聽 Janet Ellis, (former Blue Peter presenter) held a pilot workshop at Maggie鈥檚 in 2017, called 鈥楾he power of words鈥. It was very successful 鈥 exploring the words we use in cancer to either inspire or discourage us. You can . Visit your local Maggie鈥檚 centre, and find out about the range of creative therapies available, as well as our other workshops, courses and drop in sessions .

Meanwhile, here at Maggie鈥檚 Online Community, writing is our bread and butter. People use discussions, conversations, and journals to explore all aspects of their cancer experience.聽 We鈥檝e recently added a Creative writing/Art thread for people to post some of their work.

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Warm wishes

Sue

Links updated April 2020

Useful links

聽聽聽聽聽聽 Cancer.Net

听听听听厂丑补谤辞苍听叠谤补测

聽聽聽聽 Macmillan cancer Support

聽Maggie鈥檚 聽(You Tube video)

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