- Sep 2022
Do’s 1. Write twenty minutes a day over a period of four days. Do this periodically. This way you wont feel overwhelmed. 2. Write in a private, safe, comfortable environment. 3. Write about issues you're currently living with, something youre thinking or dreaming about constantly, a trauma you've never disclosed or discussed or resolved. 4. Write about joys and pleasures, too. 5. Write about what happened. Write, too, about feelings about what happened. What do you feel? Why do you feel this way? Link events with feelings. 6. ‘Try to write an extremely detailed, organized, coherent, vivid, emotionally compelling narrative. Don’t worry about correctness, about grammar or punctuation. 7. Beneficial effects will occur even if no one reads your writing. If you choose to keep your writing and not discard it, you must safeguard it. 8. Expect, initially, that in writing in this way you will have complex and appropriately difficult feelings. Make sure you get support if you need it.
On the other side of my notecard, I wrote a set of warnings I'd gleaned from Pennebaker: Don’ts 1. Don’t use writing as a substitute for taking action. 2. Don't become overly intellectual. 3. Don’t use writing as a way of complaining. Use it, instead, to discover how and why you feel as you do. Simply complaining or venting will probably make you feel worse. 4. Don’t use your writing to become overly self-absorbed. Over- analyzing everything is counterproductive. 5. Don't use writing as a substitute for therapy or medical care.