Are you the sort of person who listens to music that reflects your current mood and reads novels that imitate your life, or do you prefer your listening and reading choices to challenge the status quo? I’m certainly in the former camp: I want mournful music when I’m anxious or depressed; uplifting tunes when I’m happy. I don’t want to be cajoled out of my sulk; I want to wallow. My reading material has to mirror my current frame of mind and, if I’m going through a particularly blue period, it should suggest an escape, or a way forward.
Committing thoughts to diaries and journals is an established method of exorcising our demons. Writing negative feelings on a sheet of paper, wrapping it round a stone and throwing it into the sea or off a cliff is still a popular way of ridding ourselves of bad vibes, so could the same effect be gained from writing fiction? Just as we use reading novels and listening to music as therapy, can we use writing to ease the kinks out of our lives? Continue reading →
I’ve never been one for New Year resolutions that involve any sort of deprivation. So I don’t resolve to lose weight, drink less alcohol or give up eating chocolate. I much prefer positive resolutions – those that require some action or input on my part – so I might decide to take more exercise or adopt a healthier lifestyle, or, more usually, read and write more.
I attended a Reminiscence Therapy seminar last week. Part of the morning was spent in an interactive Life Story workshop, where several poems on the theme of memory were recited. Then – pause for collective intake of appalled breath – we were all encouraged to write our own poems.
I don’t do poetry (unless you count a series of humorous poetic monologues in the style of Stanley Holloway that I composed when I was at college), and judging by the reaction of almost everyone in the room, neither did anyone else. However, and this might be a particularly British trait, we all knuckled down without a complaint and produced something.