The purpose of the Writing Workbook is to help you express, define and contextualize your loss. Research shows that people who write about trauma in its aftermath find themselves needing no additional medical treatment. Other studies offer evidence that writing and keeping a journal alleviates trauma’s effects, helping restore cognitive functions otherwise compromised by extreme psychological stress. The process often leads to the development of what scientists call a “healing narrative.”
But sometimes, when it comes to putting pen to paper, we often don’t know where to start. The exercises in our Writing Workbook aim to get you going.
You may wish to keep your writing completely private in your secure account. Or you may decide to share it. Sharing your work with those close to you can help them understand your pain and, in turn, offer you better support. Sharing your work publicly — either with just your fellow RL Community members, or more broadly with readers of our public RL Magazine — can help others process their own grief, learn just how common this phenomenon is, and create a more global support network. By expressing yourself, however publicly or privately, you are building bridges to compassionate understanding.
- First, get inspiration with both the VIDEO and the ESSAY on the power of writing by award-winning novelist Edie Meidav.
- To begin writing, click on “Your Writing Workbook” (also in the righthand sidebar).
- Click on a Writing Prompt or the free-form section at the bottom of the page. (You may find going through the Writing Prompts in order most inspiring, but feel free to start with any Prompt that speaks to you.)
- Once you’re ready to begin writing, click on “Respond Now” or, if you’re returning to a Prompt you’ve already worked on, click “Edit.”
- Type your response in the field that appears and when you are satisfied with your entry or simply done for that moment, click on “Record/Update This Entry” below the field.
- You can come back and work on your responses at any time — there is no need to feel like you have to finish everything at once.
- All your writing will automatically be private, for your eyes only. Nothing will be shared unless you take steps to do so (see immediately below).
There are three ways to share your work, with varying levels of privacy:
- To share a Writing Prompt Response with close family members or friends, you can simply print out that page or copy & paste the text of it into the body of an email.
- To share a Writing Workbook Response with our private RL Community of fellow members (anonymously if you prefer), click the link “Share with the Reconceiving Loss Community” below your Response. Enter the name you’d like to appear with your entry and a title to be displayed along with it, then click “Share Now.” Because this site is moderated, there may be a delay in your posts becoming visible to the Reconceiving Loss community. We are reviewing all posts as quickly as possible and are grateful for your voice.