Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Jenny Rough: Writing For Wellness

“I hate to say writing is therapy, but let’s face it. It is.”

-Barbara Abercrombie, author of Writing Out the Storm: Reading and Writing Your Way through Serious Illness or Injury

A few years ago, I took the train up to New York City to attend a magazine launch. I was almost ten weeks pregnant. Later that night, on the train ride back to D.C., I made my way to one of Amtrak’s individually enclosed bathrooms. When I saw blood—too much blood—I knew immediately I was having a miscarriage. Over the next few days, the bleeding grew heavier and my contractions started. Although my husband and I tried for years afterward, we were never able to conceive again.

To cope, I turned to my journal. Flip-flopping in bed as anxious thoughts flooded my mind, I would sneak down the hall to my home office to write. For me, writing is essential to break through life’s barriers. It worked for me in college at the end of a relationship that left me devastated, it worked for me when I went through a major career change in my early thirties, and it worked for me as I came to grips with my miscarriage and infertility.

Filling my journal’s blank pages helped me process what I was thinking, what I was feeling, and what I was afraid of—it was a tool I could use to wade through all the mixed up thoughts jumbling around in my brain. At times, facing truth on the page was difficult, but writing helped me find meaning in my experience.

This Saturday, I hope you’ll join me for the workshop Writing for Wellness. We will spend time reading passages from authors who have told their own stories, and then we will use their words as a launching pad to spring us into a series of exercises. We will also talk about different ways to keep a journal and how to maintain a practice at home.

Jenny Rough is a lawyer turned writer. She has written articles for The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, AARP The Magazine, Whole Living (Body+Soul), More, Yoga Journal, USA Weekend, and Writer’s Digest, among other publications. In addition to writing Roughly Speaking, her blog about nurturing the creative spirit, she blogs for Mothering.com. She is currently working on a book about healing from infertility.

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