Writing Your Way Through Mental Distress (for Service Users)

Exploring lived experience of mental distress through writing techniques including blogging, journalling and poetry


Charlotte Walker and Anna Minogue

Course overview

This one-day course is for anyone who would like to discover ways of using writing to explore their own experiences of mental distress. The course, facilitated by experts by profession and experience, covers a range of ways of writing creatively and encourages participants to experiment with a range of different writing forms in a supportive group setting.

Course Content

  • Why write? The benefits of writing for people with lived experience of mental distress
  • How real is “real”? Exploring the differences between autobiographical writing, fictionalised life writing, and fiction
  • Sharing your work with others, and decisions about anonymity
  • Thinking about form: journalling. Opportunities to involve other art forms; the role of journalling in mood/sleep monitoring; journalling to work through pain
  • Journalling workshop
  • Thinking about form: blogging. Starting a blog; how to sign up with Blogger or WordPress; choosing a name; finding your style
  • Thinking about form: poetry. What makes a poem? Using sound to represent your experience
  • Poetry workshop
  • Thinking about form: flash fiction. Building a story in a few hundred words
  • Flash fiction workshop
  • Sharing your work: opportunities for publication.

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