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There is something magical that happens when you get your thoughts out onto the page. It seems that there is more space in your brain. When you express your emotions through writing, you are able to release them and let them go, rather than letting them bottle up inside of you, increasing the internal pressure and tension. You find more to appreciate in the moment and using your innate creativity, you will design a life that is beautiful, precious and delicious to you.
As a #1 Bestselling Author, it is now my privilege to share with others how to use writing as source of mindfulness and creativity in their lives. But it didn’t start that way. I learned at an early age that writing brought a measure of peace to my life. It helped me collect my thoughts and understand myself in a better way. And you know how life is, it can through some wicked curve balls at you, so when I was diagnosed with life-threatening breast cancer at 29 while pregnant with my 6th baby, I immediately went to my journal. It became a lifeline for me.
I crave my writing time.
I know a lot of people want to get into writing and many even want to write a book, but they have no idea where to start. I was there once myself!
Here are a few things I’ve found to help you on the way as well as a fun writing therapy exercise from my FREE Workbook: Rescued Through Writing. That you can get here!
Slay the Dragon
When I was first introduced to this exercise, I knew it would change my life. I wasn’t disappointed.
There I was, stuck, frustrated, confused and scared. I wanted great things for my life, but it seemed that no matter how hard I tried, I never got any closer. “Nothing I do is enough,” I told my mastermind group one night in February. “I work so hard, but it doesn’t seem to matter. I just want things to work for me, but right now, they’re not.”
“You need to slay the dragon,” my friend, Matt told me.
“Slay the what?” I asked, half-laughing.
“Okay, what does that mean?” I asked, deciding to go along with his game.
“It means there’s a dragon that’s risen up inside of you and now you need to slay it.”
His metaphor made sense. It did feel like there was a dragon inside me. Too many bottled up emotions, just ready to burst out and set something on fire. “How do I do that?”
Matt smiled, knowing he got me, and leaned forward. “What I want you to do is get out a sheet of paper, no, get out a whole stack of papers. I think you’re going to need them in this case. Then write at the top: I feel ________ (whatever your emotion is) because of ____________ (what you think is causing it).”
“Then you write out every single thing that is bothering you. For example, I feel so mad because this person said this thing to me. I hate it when they say things like that to me. Why don’t they understand? I don’t feel good about myself…..etc. Get it all out,” he emphasized, “don’t hold a single thing back. Don’t worry about punctuation, writing in complete sentences or anything like that. Scribble if you want to. It’s not supposed to look pretty. Don’t stop moving your pen until you’ve gotten everything out.”
“Alright…” I said, wondering if this would really be such a good thing or not.
“When you feel like you’ve gotten it all out, every single thing, and there’s nothing left inside of you,” Matt explained, “then, I want you to rip it up, take it outside and burn it if you have to.”
I laughed imagining what my kids and husband would think if they saw me lighting papers on fire in our driveway. “Okay…”
“The point is you’re telling your subconscious mind, alright, I hear you. This is what is bothering us and this is why and now we’re done with that. Thank you for the information, we’re letting it go now.”
I nodded, starting to see the value in what he was saying.
“Oh, and this is an important point,” he continued, “don’t write anything positive on the paper, only the bad, negative stuff. After you’ve destroyed the bad stuff, aka ‘Slayed the Dragon’ then you can go ahead and get out a clean sheet of paper and write down what you want instead.”
I thanked him for sharing it with me, a light tingling sensation filling me with an eagerness to test it out for myself and the emotion of hope rising up in me that there could really be something to this. After our meeting, I put it to the test.
I sat down and wrote out everything that was bothering me. I didn’t let anything hide. No baby dragons would be spared. I pulled all of it out of me. Even the really dark, scary dragons hiding in the shadows deep inside of me. Those were forced out of me and became ink on the page. It wasn’t pretty. It was the messiest, meanest and most awful thing I had ever written.
I was more than eager to destroy it. I never wanted to read it and didn’t want anyone else to either. But I wasn’t so much ashamed as I was liberated. All those bottled-up emotions finally came out. It felt like there was room inside me to think and feel again.
We all have dragons inside. I usually see people do one of two things with their dragons. They either pacify them and lull them back to sleep by choosing to “numb out” rather than face their emotions. They numb themselves with food, drugs, alcohol, social media, television, video games and any other behavior that keeps them from having to feel what’s really going on inside.
Or, they breed their dragons. They’re not feeling happy inside, so they get together with their friends and let all the dragons out to breed and multiply. “Did I tell you about_____ (insert awful thing). Oh, well let me tell you!”
So many times we talk about everything that’s going wrong, we get all worked up about it together but do we actually come to any solutions about it? It might make us feel better to pull out our dragons and see that our friend’s is bigger than ours, or vice versa, but all we’re doing is letting the dragons out to go and breed more dragons.
We need to allow ourselves to process our emotions healthfully. This exercise is a safe and effective way to do just that. You’re not going to “numb out” and think that if the dragon inside is sleeping, then its not there. And you’re not going to breathe more fire and life into the dragon by complaining and raging about it to your family and friends. You’re going to get it out and then destroy it.
In letting the emotions run their course, I was ready to let them go. I brought the papers outside and took a match to them, letting the words turn to ash and smoke.
I slayed the dragon.
Now, it’s your turn.
Start with filling in this sentence. I feel ________ (whatever your emotion is) because of ____________ (what you think is causing it).”
Remember not to stop until you’ve gotten all of it out. (You may go through a small-forest’s worth of paper if you’re like me)
After you’ve gotten everything out, destroy it. Burn it. Drown it. Shred it. Whatever feels best to you.
Thank yourself for the information and tell yourself you’re ready to let it go now.
Now, write down what you want instead:
Rescue yourself from negative emotions by Slaying the Dragon as often as you need to!
Now, if you want to take it even a step further and feel the pull to write a book, I’d love to help you with that!
WHY YOU SHOULD WRITE A BOOK…
92% of people want to write a book, but less than 2% actually will. The biggest reason? Self-Doubt
I’m not a writer.
I don’t know where to start.
People probably won’t want to read it.
I don’t have time….
And so on.
But if you’re reading this, then something is pulling at you to write. Trust that instinct. If you’ve been waiting for someone to give you permission to write a book, then here you go,
“YOU HAVE PERMISSION TO WRITE A BOOK!”
You are worthy and worth it so give yourself some space and credit. Carve out a small portion of your time for an endeavor that will thrill, and delight you and will be a light to others as well.
When I started writing, it wasn’t for the interviews, media attention or fan base that I now gratefully enjoy. It wasn’t to be on the front page of Yahoo or land an agent, or hit the #1 spot on the Amazon bookstore, it was for the joy of putting thoughts onto the page. It was the thrill of seeing worlds, characters and ideas come to life. Writing is deeply personal, it opens a window to a person’s inner thoughts, experiences and feelings. No other medium quite compares to it. You will experience freedom, exhilaration, challenges, growth and satisfaction as you work on your craft.
I would love to have you join my next 12-Week Writer’s Workshop where I will walk you through how to write your first book or improve your skills.
In the Workshop, I will:
- Guide you through the initial development phase of your book
- Teach you both Fiction and Non-Fiction genres
- Show you how to create a Compelling Outline to organize the general structure of your book
- Show you how to maximize your writing time
- Help you with Character Development and Connecting with an Audience
- Show you how to add flavor to your writing and illicit emotional responses
- Plot and book pacing- the balance between detail and forward movement in your book
- Help you craft the perfect Climax and ending
- Guide you through revisions, editing and next steps
- Teach you how to overcome the dreaded “writer’s block” with fun and effective exercises
- Answer your specific questions and challenges
- Give you my exclusive, secret techniques for publishing and getting on the bestseller’s lists if that’s what you would like to do (though I cannot guarantee that you will J
If you want to learn more, I have a few spots left: 12-week Writer’s Workshop!
I want to thank you and honor you for making the choice to allow your ideas the room to come to life. You never know whose life you might bless by sharing your story. And the one that will inevitably be blessed will be your own. I commend you for saying yes to your inner-writer!
Light and Love Friends!
This was so inspiring.
Kathy Haan says
You’re welcome! Glad you enjoyed it!