Thursday, June 22, 2017

It's So Write

Several years ago, I listened to a talk on CD by G. Sheldon Martin.
Brother Martin is a licensed mental counselor slash seminary teacher. He is equal parts behavioral science and gospel, which is sort of what I want to be when I grow up. I love me some psychology, and I love me some religion. Putting the two together is like putting gravy on mashed potatoes. It is so right.
But I’m not here today to go on and on about Sheldon. I’m here to go on and on about something he said:
"Writing is the most reformed form of thought; to write it, you have to think it."
Oooooo! Do you love it?
Let’s say it again:
"Writing is the most reformed form of thought; to write it, you have to think it."
Notice that it doesn’t say, “To write it, you have to believe it.” But you do have to think it, which means anything you write has made a path through your brain and down to your finger tips and onto paper (or screen). Anything you write has been contemplated, pondered, and processed in some way.

I love this thinking/writing connection, and as I contemplated the association between the two, I thought that there might be some articles published online about the health benefits of writing. So I did some official Google research and found a lot of great information. As I assumed, writing has been shown to have positive healing effects for mental illness, cancer, and even AIDS. I could list thousands of amazing statistics and facts about writing, but I will just sum it all up with this:
Writing is good for you.

I don’t claim to be an expert writer, but I love writing, and I feel that writing consistently throughout my life has helped shape me into who I am.
Writing has healed me, comforted me, and pacified me.
Writing has connected me to other people and encouraged me to think with depth.
Writing has allowed me to express myself creatively and to explore new perspectives.
I know that writing doesn’t appeal to everyone, but even in small doses, it can be therapeutic. Here are ten ideas, all requiring different levels of commitment and time to get you writing if you aren’t already:
1. Start a blog (or pick up where you left off over a year ago on the blog that you already have)
2. Write a letter
3. Keep a journal
4. Keep a page-a-day notebook
5. Fill someone else’s writing with margin notes ("marginalia" for the win!)
6. Document a single story from your life
7. Write a list
9. Model a piece of writing after something someone else has written (with proper credit, of course)
10. Write thought bubbles in newspapers or magazines
In slightly adapted words of country singer Lee Ann Womack:
"I hope you dance write!"

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