Welcome to my journal.
I want to share with you why I have chosen to call this space a journal and a blog. It holds a deep significance for me and the purpose behind this platform.
Why a Journal?
A journal, in its essence, represents a sacred space of introspection, reflection, and authenticity. It is a place where thoughts and emotions flow freely, where one can document personal experiences and explore their inner world. An entry can hold an intimate connection with the writer’s soul. It offers a raw and unfiltered glimpse into their thoughts, struggles, and growth. In this context, a journal refers to an intimate and reflective platform where you chronicle your personal thoughts, experiences, and insights. It can also engage with the works and ideas of other writers from around the world. A journal serves as a space for deep contemplation, intellectual exploration, and meaningful conversations, encompassing a wide range of topics that resonate with you.
Many people write journals but never share them. They often write them, as I did between 2014 and 2022 as a way to deal with something in their lives at the time. Mine became the thesis of my Doctorate called An Autoethnographical Journal: The Death of a Son, and in 2023 it became the memoir Smiler. My research focused on how creative writing or keeping a journal can be used as therapy for dealing with grief.
Creative or Self Expressive Writing as a therapy.
Grief is a deeply personal and often overwhelming experience that accompanies the loss of a loved one. During this challenging time, finding effective coping mechanisms becomes essential. One such powerful tool that offers solace and healing is creative writing. In this post, I highlight some of the ways in which creative writing can help navigate the complex terrain of grief. Doing so, allows them to express, reflect, and find meaning through the written word.
- Expressing Unspoken Emotions:
- Grief brings forth a whirlwind of emotions that can be difficult to articulate verbally. Creative writing provides a safe haven, a sacred space where emotions can flow freely onto the page. Through poetry, journaling, or storytelling, individuals can give voice to their pain, sadness, anger, confusion, and all the intricate emotions that accompany their grieving process.
- Reclaiming Personal Agency:
- In the midst of grief, individuals often feel a sense of powerlessness and vulnerability. Engaging in creative writing offers an opportunity to reclaim a sense of control over their narrative. They can shape their thoughts, memories, and experiences into words, creating a tangible representation of their inner world. This process empowers individuals to actively navigate their grief journey, finding strength and resilience in their ability to create and express.
- Reflection and Meaning-Making:
- Writing provides a pathway to reflection and introspection. It invites individuals to explore their thoughts, memories, and the significance of their loss. Through writing, they can make meaning out of their grief, finding connections between their experiences and their personal beliefs or philosophies. It becomes a tool for self-discovery, offering insights into their own strengths and resilience amidst the pain.
- Crafting Healing Narratives:
- Crafting narratives through creative writing can be a cathartic and healing process. It allows individuals to shape and reframe their story of loss, finding solace in the act of creating something meaningful from their pain. By giving structure to their experiences, they can navigate the complexities of grief, identify personal growth, and discover newfound purpose or meaning arising from their journey.
- Connection and Support:
- Sharing creative writing within a supportive community fosters connection and empathy. When individuals share their written works, they often find understanding and validation from others who have experienced similar losses. Writing becomes a bridge of understanding, providing a space for communal healing and support. Engaging with others’ stories and experiences can bring a sense of belonging and alleviate the feelings of isolation that grief often brings.
Creative writing holds immense healing potential for individuals navigating the depths of grief. Expressive writing, especially a journal, can give individuals a voice to their emotions, reclaim personal agency, and reflect on their experiences. Writing your thoughts can craft healing narratives, and find connection within a supportive community. As each person’s grief is unique, exploring creative writing as a tool for healing offers an avenue of self-expression, self-discovery, and self-care during a time of profound loss. While creative writing can be a valuable tool for grief, it’s essential to seek professional support. If your grief becomes overwhelming or prolonged, don’t be embarrassed to contact your GP, mental health professionals or support groups. They are trained people who can provide additional guidance and assistance on your path to healing.
As a Writer.
As a journal writer, I hope to give myself the agency and the freedom to express my opinions. A journal will allow me to delve into diverse subjects, and explore the works of writers across different time periods and cultures. It is a place where I can share my own interpretations, reflections, and connections between my own personal experiences and the profound literary contributions of others. I hope it reflects the honesty and vulnerability that I want to share with you, particularly through my book on grief and the journey towards healing.
I’ve written a treatise on Oscar Wilde’s The Soul of Man Under Socialism, in it, I want to explore the philosophy and politics behind his writing of that. So, by embracing the term “journal,” I invite you into an intimate space where I document not just my own personal views, reflections, and insights, but those of other writers and artists, where I possibly can.
As a Biographer.
In this journal, I want to create a bridge between the thoughts and voices of writers from the past and present. I want to engage you in a dialogue that transcends time and geographical boundaries. It will become a space where I can celebrate the beauty of literature, gain inspiration from diverse perspectives, and share my own unique insights. I hope to bring a sense of intellectual camaraderie to readers who resonate with my passion for ideas and the written word.
Consequently, embracing the term ‘journal’, highlights the deep significance it holds in my personal healing process and for those that have gone before. More importantly, posts will include other writers and poets like Oscar Wilde and William Wordsworth from my series Poets, Politics and Philosophy. I invite you to join me on this introspective journey as we walk the dark corridors of grief, and other Trauma, analyse Poets their Politics and Philosophy and discuss the demise of Western Society in my forthcoming 2024 book called, The Fish Who Wanted To Run.
Finally, thank you for being a part of this journal. I look forward to sharing the ups and downs, the insights and the revelations through my posts and through the pages of Grief and Other Minds by sharing example chapters with you.
With heartfelt gratitude,