Writing to Heal

Imagine a town with a single main street. One would think that most of the shops would be eateries, clothing or hardware stores and  perhaps other stores selling necessary items required for day to day living, but not in Clunes. Here, you will find that, for a store to exist, it must sell books in some shape or form.

Clunes is the first accredited Booktown in the whole of the Southern Hemisphere and it’s a book lover’s paradise. Each year, they hold a special Booktown Festival around the month of May and I have been going there for a few years now. You can attend panel discussions, book launches and see a level of creativity that’s hard to see otherwise. The books can be as cheap as $2 and there is such an abundance of books that people bring in backpacks to carry away the treasures that they find here.


This year, one of the panel discussions I attended during the festival, blew me away. The session was titled: “Using Creative Writing to Fight Youth Depression, Bullying, and Suicide”

I was privileged to meet a young girl (barely 18) who was suicidal and had suffered from depression and anxiety. She used creative writing to express her pain and published a book of poems. This process somehow was so cathartic that she was able to rise above her pain and was able to heal.

I sat there mesmerized listening to her poetry and feeling her pain and her resolve to get through all this. I had realized at that moment that I have had a similar journey with my creating writing.

Here is a part of her poem she wrote in the book Confessions of a Melancholic:



Take my head, rip it off

Take my head

Filled with stale air and nightmares

Take these shoulders that are supposed to hold this heavy load high

They never did their job anyway

Take these shoulders that quiver and stoop

Pluck out these eyes, as a crow to a lamb

Take these eyes of fire and ice

I don’t want them back.

What a courageous woman to show her pain so intimately to the world. There is such a power in this sort of public expression.

I have had a very similar journey with my blogs. It feels as though I am sharing a very deep and intimate part of myself with you as I make sense of the abuse and violence that happened to me and share my healing journey.

I am really curious. What do you think about creative writing?

In fact, what would you say if all of us survivors got together and wrote our stories and showed the world our deepest wounds and scars? What if the world knew the pain and suffering that we feel every day in our hearts and in our souls… Do you feel it will be very cathartic to have your story being immortalised and shared worldwide?

What if the world needs to know how abuse impacts us?  Maybe our pain can stop someone else from abusing a child

I don’t know the answers but yeah… I dream…