What is ‘Words for Wellbeing’?
We spoke with our Words for Wellbeing facilitator, Samantha Gray ahead of her upcoming course at Nottingham Writers’ Studio to find out a bit more about how writing for wellbeing and therapeutic purposes promotes creativity, enhances self-understanding and can boost our confidence as writers.
Tell us a bit about yourself: I’m a busy mum of three sons and a husky/Alsatian puppy called ‘Nova’. I started life as a teacher and recently gained credentials with the ‘International Federation of Biblio/Poetry Therapy’ to work in the field of poetry therapy – the interactive use of literature to promote healing.
I find comfort, inspiration, and clarity in words – and love working with others as they do the same. I’m a member of Lapidus, the Writing for Wellbeing Organisation and a professional member of NAWE. I have been working with Nottingham Writers’ Studio since January 2017 delivering ‘Words for Wellbeing’ courses.
What is Words for Wellbeing?
It’s so hard to capture the essence of ‘Words for Wellbeing’ in any succinct way! Essentially, it’s about using writing to get in touch with ourselves, to express ourselves, to make discoveries and more than anything to connect with our creative pulse – for me this is the most therapeutic element. In the sessions, we use different openings into writing and spend time reflecting as a group so there is a chance for discussion that can feel stimulating and supportive too.
How will it help me as a writer?
The studio offers a range of wonderful courses that enhance and develop specific skills for writers. Words for Wellbeing is different in that the focus is very much on process rather than working with an audience in mind. I think writers can benefit hugely from allowing themselves space to write spontaneously, creatively and expressively. When we engage with the images, thoughts and feelings that come up for us, not only can this enhance self-understanding, but it can give rise to the most beautiful writing. We are nourished as writers in groups like this, personally and professionally.
What do you think are the benefits of being part of a writing community like NWS?
There is nowhere quite like NWS, I feel very lucky to be involved. It really is a special resource for writers, a welcoming place to connect with others and to feel supported and valued. I think the studio’s growing focus on the therapeutic potential of writing is a good thing too!
When is your next course? The next course takes place in March – I’m really looking forward to being back at the studio!
Sam’s Words for Wellbeing course returns on Thursday 5th March from 10am – 1 pm. This series is about creative growth – balance and renewal through change and transition. NWS members can purchase discounted tickets for only £45! Find out more here >> https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/words-for-wellbeing-creative-growth-tickets-84599161369