Creative writing as therapy

Michelle Hodgson - Festival Director

Creative writing as therapy

Anyone who has kept a diary, written poems or embarked on storytelling will recognise how therapeutic creative writing can be.

By putting our innermost thoughts down on paper, we allow ourselves to acknowledge and express our feelings. Sometimes it’s not until we write something down that we have an epiphany – that’s what I’ve been feeling. As you’ll have heard before, understanding a problem is the first step to solving it.

 

Why do writers write?

Most writers don’t write primarily for money or fame – they write because they feel they have to. Getting published may often be the ultimate goal, but the fact that so many people write without expecting to be published says a lot about its powers to transform, explain, heal.

 

Creative writing and illness

Kirkwood Hospice, where adults across Kirklees with life-threatening illnesses are cared for, encourages patients and families to write about their experiences – and doubtless most similar facilities do the same. Reading through a collection of these writings kept at the Hospice, it’s clear that those writing find some solace through getting their thoughts down on paper, whether or not they are subsequently read by others.

 

‘Misery’ memoirs

The true-life stories of people’s often harrowing experiences became known in the publishing trade as ‘Misery’ memoirs. It’s a rather unfair name as many of these stories can be uplifting and life affirming.

 

How to find your inspiration

Some years ago when I worked in publishing, I was lucky enough to have a talented editor as a colleague. Today Andrew Wille is a creative writing tutor and Book Doctor. His website begins as follows:

sometimes a midwife,
sometimes a therapist,
sometimes a cosmetic surgeon:
the book doctor is here to help you write your book

A good creative writing tutor will teach, guide, help and inspire, whether you are embarking on a novel or writing as therapy.

 

Creative writing at the Huddersfield Literature Festival

At HLF2013 there will be opportunities for all to express themselves at our creative writing workshops.

There are four workshops for the following age ranges:

5-9 (must be accompanied by an adult)

10-13

14-16

Adults (17+)

All take place on Saturday 16 March from 1.00-3.00pm, so you can book as an individual or as a whole family. We have some amazing creative writing tutors, comprising authors, university tutors and CBeebies writers, and prices range from £5-£10 for a two-hour workshop.

We hope to see you there.

 

For more information, see our Diary of Events page, for booking details see our Home page.