healing powers of expressive writing: James Pennebaker

I’ve been wanting to write about Pennebaker’s “healing powers of expressive writing” ever since Isobel left a tantalizing link in a comment back in April.

Since my energies and brain-power wax and wane, I’ve been waiting to be ready to write an informative post.  Ain’t gonna happen.  The being ready.  Why wait to share?  (As it is, I am struggling here….)

To get started, go read the short article, please, linked in the next paragraph.   For more information, see below at “more info.”

For nearly 20 years, Dr. James W. Pennebaker has been giving people an assignment: write down your deepest feelings about an emotional upheaval in your life for 15 or 20 minutes a day for four consecutive days. Many of those who followed his simple instructions have found their immune systems strengthened. Others have seen their grades improved. Sometimes entire lives have changed.”

As regular readers know, illness has changed my abilities in reading and comprehension.  The good news is that back in May when I was still mired in bad muck, I could understand the intent and instructions in Pennebaker’s assignment.   No special writing ability is necessary.  Note the wisdom about being ready to write about a particular moment.  Smart.

I printed out the two callouts from that first link to use as my instructions.

callouts

two callouts I used as my instructions
source:  http://www.utexas.edu/features/2005/writing/

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more info

Truly, it is worth wandering through.  (Each link will open in a new tab.)

James Pennebaker’s home page at the University of Texas.  At the bottom, see the links, some of which include online exercises.  A sampling:

Enhanced guidelines for healing writing, still short, but with a little more to think about.

Insight into your own use of language:  http://secretlifeofpronouns.com/exercises.php.

The Online Research Consortium.  University of Texas psych research being conducted online–we’re the guinea pigs.  Questionnaires out the gazoo.  Painless.  Anonymous.  Kinda fun.

The BBC Radio 4 programme introducing Pennebaker’s research.

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I found all those links after I tried the expressive writing.  That’s me anyway–get the gist of something and full steam ahead!

(Here’s a link to the discussion that Isobel and I had.  At the end of the comments.  Thanks, Isobel.)

I’d really like to hear what you think!

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Saturday Sharesday on Sunday: JustUs Society

Another funny lady!  Also, dead serious and right on about cultural happenings, such as health care, censorship, and penis pumps!  Go visit JustI at JustUs Society.  A mathematician, statistician, and thinker.  She’s got a great Hitchcockian theme for her blog, too, which is spooky fun to look at.

Ask her how her retirement went!

(Ed. note:  I have corrected the gender of the JustUs Society writer!  Large apologies for the error!)

© No Stealing!  That’s what the little c in the circle means!
© lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Saturday Sharesday: The Life and Times of Nathan Badley

I discovered this blog earlier this winter, The Life and Times of Nathan Badley.  I’m pretty sure I saw a comment somewhere… but of course I can’t remember.  (Could it have been somewhere in the comments of a post by  The Idiot Speaketh?)  His post titled “I Sure Could Go For Some Bowling and a Decent Soup”  made me laugh!

I’ve added him to the sidebar.  Do go read his writings.  He is wryly funny and his commentary on life quite off-kilter, which of course we like!

Enjoy!  Have you discovered anything interesting?

Saturday Sharesday

Note from the Editor who has a better memory than the writer:  the inspiration for this idea came from reading Kathy’s post, Blogging: The Christmas Gift that Keeps on Giving.   _________Back to our program…… ________

Lots of those blogging awards out there, huh?  “Award” may be not the best noun to use, but at the moment I don’t have a good suggestion.  Something along the lines of a Progressive Supper, where we move from house to house snacking on good food and getting to take away leftovers to enjoy later!

The point of the awards seems to me to be to pass the word about blogs discovered.  (It may also be about advertising WordPress, but I’m a little older and cynical now.  Don’t you wonder why they give this capability for free?  Ah, digression.)  Perhaps we could keep the intent and try:

Saturday Sharesday!

Wherein we bloggers who love to share our discoveries take a moment on a Saturday (or whenever–the days were named a long time ago and the gods maybe won’t mess with us too much if we post on Thor’s Day instead of Saturn’s Day!   And here’s a shocker:  not everyone in the world has the same names for the days!).  I digress.  As usual.

Just link to a blog you’ve discovered–no other requirements.  Do several or 1 or 100!  (It doesn’t have to be a WordPress blog!  Gasp!)

Or, share a funny cartoon!  (Which is my favorite, I confess!)

Or, just make a note of the many places your discovered bloggers live:  international enlightenment.

Or, change your blog’s language to a different language and see what happens!   I’m trying to imagine the hilarious translations!

Think of it this way:   circulating good writing and pictures is good for the world.   And it’s a mighty small world and it needs continued help.

I’ll start (and may be the only one, but heck I’m used to dancing by myself!).  They live in the US, Republic of Ireland, and Canada!

Tranquil Space Designs:  cards with personality, some with painful, funny puns!

Dummy Zero’s Blogpad:  Dedicated to the Flash of Original Genius from Creative Thinkers, Entrepreneurs, Inventors, and Tinkerers.   Time to hear the truth about the For Dummies book concept.

That Is Priceless:  Art’s Greatest Masterpieces, Made Slightly Funnier

© No Stealing!  That’s what the little c in the circle means!
© lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within

Do you get stuck when wanting to write something that you just know is in your brain?  Try the thoughtful exercises in this book.  Anything to keep writing until inspiration strikes.

I especially enjoy exercises to make me come up with a new way to express a word or thought.  Remember those fill-in-the-blank party books called Mad Libs, where we’re asked for various word forms then somebody reads the story that results?   Was pretty funny when I was a kid; I wonder if it’s still funny?!

Anyhoo, supercharge your descriptive attempts!

A writer’s writer:  Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones:  Freeing the Writer Within.

Natalie Goldberg's book

 

© No Stealing!  That’s what the little c in the circle means!
© lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple, 2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to lahgitana and Rockin’ the Purple with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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