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Written Wellness | Writing and Reading as Therapy

Written Wellness | Writing and Reading as Therapy

pen on a notebook with notes

One day, my brother came to me and asked, "Whom do you run to when times get tough?" My answer was—"Writing! Writing is that part of my life that keeps me motivated to lift myself and keep walking through the tough times." I never stopped myself from moving on, even when there were multiple twists and turns in my life, because I write. Writing has been a pleasant experience for me and many others for a long time.  

I once wrote, “Even the darkest phase can become colourful if you grow the flower of hope.” To colour my darkest phase, I grew the flower of hope, which for me, is writing poems. 

To get through hard times, I write poems to give voice to the tangled ponderings gushing in my brain as they sort the chaos in my mind. These scribbles on a piece of paper always turned into a poetic reality of my feelings and life. Thinking emotionally and practically through poetry has helped me lead a more balanced and happy life. When my heart feels heavy with a load of overwhelming emotions, God provides me with a pen to share that heavy load with the paper. When I need solutions to solve my difficult situations, I write poems. You can do the same. 

Now, you might be wondering, “I don’t know how to write,” “I am not good at writing,” “How do I write poems or fictional stories?” and so many other questions. Well, my dear York Lions, you don’t have to be a Professional Writing or English major to be a writer. Just let your mind and fingers be free. Write what makes you happy, what is bothering you, what you feel deep inside! Just write as if you are writing in your journal. Writing poems has been my solace activity that keeps me calm when times get tough. For you, it may not be writing, but reading poems, fictional stories, non-fiction, motivational quotes, or anything else can be your solace activity that helps you in your hard moments. Therefore, as an English and Professional Writing Major, I would suggest everyone start either reading or writing or both, whichever method makes you feel more comfortable and motivated!  

The bleakest moments of my life become cheerful and colourful when I express myself on paper by writing rhythmic verses. On a personal level, writing makes me believe in myself, boosts my confidence, and strengthens me to stand up again and always move forward. For you, reading might help you in a different manner, but in the end, it will help you to figure out your situation and how to be brave enough to take a step forward. In essence, writing has turned into a mirror, reflecting my self-discovery and personal growth. It can be a friend that analyses your thoughts and advises you well. 

If reading or freewriting makes you want to learn more about creative writing or professional writing, then you can enroll in many of the writing courses offered by LA&PS faculty. Some of the courses I have taken this year that have helped me enhance my creativity and sharpen my writing skills are AP/PRWR 1003 Professional Writing with Professor Andrea McKenzie, and AP/EN 1001 Introduction to Literary Study with Professor Natalie Neill. 

The writing centre at York University also provides great opportunities to its students and helps them improve their writing. Moreover, many writing journals, events, symposiums and contests also occur throughout the year; if interested, you can participate by sending in your submissions. These opportunities will give you good experiences in writing. Be sure to follow their social media accounts to stay updated. 

At last, I would say that reading and writing brings out a person's true identities and perspectives. In times of adversity, it will guide you on the correct path of life and help you make decisions. When you write, flaws in your thinking are exposed and, once realized, can be improved upon to help you work through your hardships. Reading and writing will give you meaning to survive through the darkest times. It will make you stronger, wiser and with a story of victory inscribed on your journal's pages. 

Putting my mind and heart’s battles into rhyming verses helped me become a poet and author of two solo poetry books. In the same way, it can help you achieve what you want from yourself and your life. It will help develop your vision and develop the purpose of your life. It will help you write the story of your own life! 

I am a versatile and budding poet from India, currently in my first year at York University as an international student majoring in English and Professional Writing. I began my journey as a poet in 2021 and I love to try new genres and styles of poetry. I am the ‘7th English Sainoist’ in the world. I have been appointed as the ‘Youngest Moderator’ of the digital poetry forum “Motivational Strips” on Facebook, with over 30,000 members from around the world. Being an optimistic and cheerful person filled with enthusiasm, I want to spread positivity everywhere through my writings.

— Dipanpreet Kaur

Dipanpreet Kaur Headshot