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Write About What Hurts

Ernest Hemingway said that writers should “write hard and clear about what hurts.”


Because it makes us feel good.

Writing about traumatic, stressful or emotional events has been found to improve both physical and psychological health. Expressive and reflective writing can lead to increased self-awareness, and that’s good for our mental health. When we write about what hurts, it is cathartic and helps us process difficult life events and emotions.

Why should I write if I am not an author?

Writing your story is a way to release and unload all that emotional baggage you don’t need to carry around anymore. And you don’t have to show it to anyone. You can even burn it afterwards if you wish. Just get it out of your system and on to the paper. You will feel lighter.

Writing is just another form of problem solving. When we put those problems on paper, we can see them in a new way. We can create order out of chaos. There are so many pieces to your puzzle. You need to take those pieces out of the box in order to see the full picture.

How do I begin?

Just get a notebook and a pen, or open your laptop and start writing. Ask yourself, how do I feel? Why do I feel this way? Unload a negative memory. If you don’t want to go there yet, write about the happiest memory you can recall. Imagine feeling the same sensations in your body as when you were experiencing that memory. Or write about the dream you had last night. How did you feel when you woke? Was it a nightmare? If so, change the ending. You have every right to be the author of your own thoughts. Was a monster chasing you? On your page, ask that monster why it was chasing you, what message did it have for you, what do you need to learn from this message in order to grow and evolve? Clean out the clutter. Release the negativity. Make space for the light to return.

Just write. And as you would take care of yourself by eating healthy and exercising regularly, write every day. Five minutes, ten minutes, you don’t have to spend hours writing, just as you don’t have to spend hours at the gym. Incremental changes are incredibly beneficial for your well being.

Write hard and clear about what hurts until it doesn’t hurt anymore.


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