Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper

art-artistic-bright-600pix3 Kinds of Writing Therapy (plus literary events from 22 October 2019)

Smiling is not what most of us feel like doing when something bad has happened and we may never come to the conclusion that we should smile about it, but writing is for everyone and it can ease our troubles. You can express your anger or your sadness, your pain or your delight. It matters how you feel and it will help to write it down to get it outside of you so you can have a look – and then change, move on. Angela J. Phillip investigates 3 kinds of writing therapy.

black-and-white-chalk-chalkboard-275pixHave you ever tried it? It works. And you don’t have to bother with punctuation, grammar, spelling, spacing. This is for your eyes only. You can write about that (∗∗∗!!!) man who parked in front of your drive for the hundredth time and blocked you in and if he does it again you don’t know what you’ll do but it might be something like smashing his car with bricks and slashing the tyres, heaving it upside down until it’s finally out of your way. Forever. He thinks it doesn’t matter but it does, it does, it does and this time you needed to get to your gran’s because she’d had a fall. He needs to crawl on his hands and knees in apology. But you know he won’t and your anger rises again, so you need to write more, all your fantasies. It won’t solve the problem but it will get rid of a little of your anger so that you will be calm enough to see what to do next.

nordwood-themes-220pixI don’t need to tell you that every day is full of dross and glory and there is plenty of research to show that if we write down the good things at the end of each day then we start to feel better. “Being grateful can help people cope with stress and can even have a beneficial effect on heart rate. This action is easy to do yet its benefits have been scientifically proven. In tests, people who tried it each night for just one week were happier and less depressed one month, three months and six months later.” ( There are five references on the site to provide evidence for this finding.

Yes, I mean writing a poem. This is probably the most effective therapy of all, but it is also the hardest. It is the most effective because it’s the kind of writing that takes us furthest from the initial emotion that felt so raw and impossible. A poem starts with a feeling and we give it a form so eventually there are two experiences, the one we started with and the one on paper that we have worked at as we watched it grow.

Poetry is a natural medicine; it is like a homeopathic tincture derived from the stuff of life itself ––your experience,” writes John Fox in Poetic Medicine: The Healing Art of Poem-Making.

Don’t say (as I have often said) – ‘Oh, I can’t write poetry’. You can and I can, too. What stops us is the knowledge that our poem won’t be ‘good’ but that doesn’t matter if we are writing for ourselves – and like everything, if we want to write better, we need to do more of it, more and more and more of it.

If you want to hear some poems (or even read out your own), the Sheer Poetry session is on at Bookbuster this Thursday 24th October from 6 – 8pm, entry £2 (see below in ‘Events’).

Writing Emails/Letters
thom-holmes-k-220pixThis is the most dangerous kind of writing therapy. Proceed with care. There are two kinds of emails/letters you can write. The first kind is to a trusted friend. Write and tell them honestly about the things that concern you, the things you don’t feel you can talk about. You don’t have to send it, you only have to write it. This is the safe kind.

The second kind is the unfinished business email/ letter that you write to someone who has made you angry. It could be to your boss, a lover, a family member, a friend. Write whatever you want to write with no inhibitions, but DO NOT SEND IT. Read it through and then leave it for at least one day and preferably longer. Then REWRITE it. When you read it through, before you rewrite it, think about what result you want from your letter. It will only hurt you more if what you want is made impossible by the way you have written your email, or by the things you have said.

Right to write-220pixfrom The Right to Write by Julia Cameron:
“We should write because it is human nature to write. Writing claims our world. It makes it directly and specifically our own. We should write because humans are spiritual beings and writing is a powerful form of prayer and meditation, connecting us both to our own insights and to a higher and deeper level of inner guidance as well… We should write because writing is good for the soul… We should write, above all, because we are writers whether we call ourselves writers or not.”

images courtesy of, &


Carol Dennard & Louise Mooncie

Carol Dennard & Louise Mooncie

Book Launch – Between two worlds by Louise Mooncie
The Bookkeeper Bookshop 1a Kings Rd, St Leonards
on Sunday 20 October
The venue was full to overflowing when Louise Illig Mooncie gave a talk and read from her  book on past experiences as someone in a personal and spiritual crisis, and particularly as a German woman who has struggled with her country’s troubled past. Louise answered questions on her experiences and the beliefs that she holds today.

Bookbuster 39 Queens Rd, Hastings
Thursday 24 October 6 – 9 pm £2 entry Sheer Poetry: An open mic poetry night
Go to Bookbuster’s Facebook page and see more.

Printed Matter Bookshop 185 Queens Rd, Hastings TN34 1RG
Jan 2020: Book launch of Paul Anderson’s Suedeheads & film screening of Horace Ove’s ‘Reggae 1970’ at The Electric Palace Cinema, Old Town.

The Bookkeeper Bookshop 1a Kings Rd, St Leonards
Come and look at the Bookkeeper Bookshop Facebook page to see more.


Well, folks, that’s it for this week. I hope you’ve all had a good week and that your projects are going well.

For an update on my writing, please see: Breakthrough.

For a selection of other posts on my writing journey, please see

Thanks for reading and happy writing.

Angela J. Phillip







Posted 09:00 Tuesday, Oct 22, 2019 In: Hastings Bookchat

Also in: Hastings Bookchat

More HOT Stuff

    HOT is run by volunteers but has overheads for hosting and web development. Support HOT!


    Advertise your business or your event on HOT for as little as £20 per month
    Find out more…


    If you like HOT and want to keep it sustainable, please Donate via PayPal, it’s easy!


    Do you want to write, proofread, edit listings or help sell advertising? then contact us

  • Subscribe to HOT