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Writing for Mental Health

Updated: Sep 16, 2021

I find that writing creatively and freely is what gives me a daily outlet to process subconsciously my emotions and thoughts, particularly the negative ones. Each day, I have moments when I get impatient, snappy, cranky, reactive, overly anxious, the list goes on.

Instead of starting with a blank slate so to speak, I turn to Twitter for word prompts. I like to take two words from different sources and find a way they intersect or play off each other in one poem that I write. Once this gets to be a habit, then I only need about 10 minutes a day to do this exercise. It might seem to take longer at first but the daily practice does make a quick write easier.

If you don't use social media, then consider finding two random words you encounter in the course of the day. Just down them down somewhere from headlines, on a car trip, in correspondence, or from something you're reading.

One of my greatest sources of inspiration is the Twitter site called @MHealthPrompts . The moderator offers an optional combination writing prompt of a phrase and usually a photograph of someone's credited modern art. I enjoy letting someone's art shape and guide what I write in my free-verse poem. I wrote one of my most popular poems "Orange" (listed in my poetry page) from Mental Health Prompt's phrase of "wither and decay" and a modern art photo of a woman's side profile partly obscured with paint. When I first encountered the phrase "wither and decay" I wanted to reject it. But I decided to work through that initial reaction and was delighted with the result.

I'd like to express my sincere gratitude to the moderator for Mental Health Prompts. Her offer as stated on the site "dedicated to providing writing/journaling prompts as a tool to manage mental health" is generous and considerate. As long as the writing posts are tagged appropriately with #mentalhealthprompts, then she usually retweets and acknowledges having read it. That takes time and energy when so many folks don't offer those kinds of opportunities for expression. I am grateful for the chance.

I plan to start my own daily writing prompt to send to anyone interested through email and on Twitter. So, if you are interested in receiving a daily writing prompt from me, please share your email address with me (my email address is listed on the Contact page of this website) or find me at @bethcusack9 on twitter.

My watercolor weave painting below

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