My Writing Life
As a writer with a background in humanistic psychotherapy and journalism, my writing is influenced by these two strands of my life. In the eighties, I worked for BBC Radio 4 Current Affairs and Woman’s Hour during Sue MacGregor’s tenure as presenter. In 2002, I gained an MA in Creative Writing from Sussex University.
For the last five years (with as many, if not more drafts), my focus has been writing a book about creative therapeutic writing – drawing on my own explorative writing to explain the processes involved in this genre which crosses literary and personal boundaries.
Cabin on the Hill is a studio retreat I run for women writers; I offer workshops on the healing power of writing and individual sessions.
My Personal Life
The house I live in is a post-war forties semi and feels more like a cottage. My sloping garden is abundant with weeds and slugs and I’m continually learning how to manage my veg, flower and fruit beds. I am a Mum of a grown up daughter and son-in-law, and friend to my separated husband.
My life, like anyone else’s, is a juggle and balance of domesticity and everything I want to do. This includes ceramics, which feels rather grand for what comes out of the kiln at my weekly class, with Mo the potter in Lewes. I have just started to throw pots but also make and decorate tiles.
About This Blog
Five years ago when I started outlining the shape of my book, I was hoping to be published with an illustrated cover, a pleasing font and pages to turn over. Things are changing fast and so I am embracing the digital age with a contemporary approach and awareness of other avenues for book publication. This blogging will give a glimpse and offer a taster of my work.
The content of my book, I feel is relevant to others who are interested in being real with writing, exploring more about being creative and in the long run discovering that writing is a healing and nurturing process. Writing has helped me know myself in unexpected ways and I have found this genre to be more powerful than any psychotherapy.
Here’s what two of my early readers have said having read my book manuscript:
Monica’s illuminative examples will inspire readers to try the many forms of therapeutic writing she has used.
Gillie Bolton PhD
Anyone interested in the process of writing, in the way that it is done, will find Monica’s writing valuable and interesting.
Alison Bell M.Litt
RESOURCES FOR THERAPEUTIC WRITING
Lapidus is the national organization for writing and words for well-being. Join to meet with other like-minded people.
Find courses and practitioners where you live in the UK at www.lapidus.org
Dr. Gillie Bolton has been instrumental in developing the art of expressive and exploratory writing: training those in the medical profession as well as working with academics and writers from all backgrounds. With many publications to her name, The Writer’s Key: Introducing Creative Solutions to Life (for the beginner to get started. Jessica Kingsley Publications ); Reflective Practice Writing and Professional Development (Fourth Edition. Sage Publications) & Inspirational Writing for Academic Publication (co-authored with Professor Stephen Rowland. Sage Publications). All published in 2014.
The core of Roselle Angwin’s work is her deep consciousness rooted in psycho-spirituality and ecology, informed by Buddhist practice and the world we live in. Roselle offers extremely popular writing retreats and courses in Devon, the Hebrides and France. Writing The Bright Moment: inspiration and guidance for writers (with contributions from others) is a book to stretch the imagination of the reader. Reprinted in 2014.
Clinical psychologist Patricia McAdoo has written a very helpful book with many stimulating exercises to put therapeutic writing into its psychological context. She runs expressive writing workshops in Ireland. Writing for Wellbeing.
Publisher: Currach Press (2013).