Guest House Press (2016)
Reviewed by Tracey Rock for Reader Views (11/17)
Journaling can be a great way for those who want to improve their mental health. Those who enjoy writing, but have trouble trying to put the right words on paper may find Diane Morrow’s book, “One Year of Writing and Healing: Writing to Transform the Experience of Illness, Grief, and Other Trouble” helpful.
The book starts with an invitation to take a year of your life and “write with the express purpose of transforming difficult experiences into something…more bearable.” This gives you time to process, grieve, transcend your thoughts, and change them to allow you to function a little bit better than before. Morrow’s step-by-step guide is designed to develop writing skills and habits strictly for the purpose of healing.
Instead of chapters, “One Year of Writing and Healing” is broken out by months. Each month includes various ideas, prompts, and exercises focusing on the various stages one would enter into throughout the year as they grow and heal. For example, Morrow begins the first two months with “Creating a Healing Place.” The idea is to start the process of healing and writing in a way and an in a place that brings you comfort. Morrow visually shares her comfort and healing spaces and then gives writing prompts designed to create a comfort place for the reader.
Morrow’s guide to the reader’s journey of healing and self-discovery is easy to follow and pleasant to read. Her writing style is light and casual without rigidity. As you make progress each month you will find your own writing more therapeutic and dynamic.
Your journey of self-discovery awaits. When following as instructed, “One Year of Writing and Healing: Writing to Transform the Experience of Illness, Grief, and Other Trouble” by Diane Morrow won’t be a book you will be able to finish right away; but once finished, most readers will find themselves coming back to either the book itself as a handy resource or their own notes for more journaling tips.