Workshop: The Remedy of Writing

3 hrs
$65 / $50
The Bob Peet Studio, Merrigong Theatre

A prescription of writing to manage anxiety, depression and stress.

The act of writing is as old as human existence - a powerful way to make record, tell stories, craft histories, tales, and reach across cultures. Despite writing being such an effective way to tell stories to thousands, millions of people, the act of writing can be solitary - a quiet place for getting words in one's mind, onto paper, and into existence.

Writing as a form of therapy has been around for many years, and used heavily in psychotherapy to be a channel for expressing difficult memories, experiences and thoughts. However, more recently, research has found that the act of writing - the creative process of putting pen to paper, structuring sentences and paragraphs and lines and stanzas - whether it's about difficult feelings, your favourite food, an old much-loved dog, or the moon! It is the creative process itself which actually has enormous benefits in helping us remain present, reduce anxiety, promote mindfulness. Developing a regular writing practice can be such a useful tool in helping to alleviate and manage anxiety and depression.

This workshop is co-facilitated with Rumpus, and begins with delving into an understanding of how stress, anxiety, depression and burn out can manifest - what are the symptoms that come up in daily life? From this understanding, we briefly turn to the evidence that a writing practice helps to manage some of these symptoms, and over time can be a powerful habit that forms part of our treatment for these experiences.

We are joined by writer, author Chloe Higgins who will gently introduce a range of ideas, tips, writing exercises and techniques designed to inspire, foster and develop a writing practice. Whether it's short novellas, poetry, journalling, fiction, blogs, articles, science fiction or just free flowing prose that floats your boat, Chloe's experience of writing, becoming a writer, and finding ways to commit and develop this practice will help inspire your own ways to build this into your world, to help with mental health and wellbeing.

What to expect:

  • A welcoming, friendly, safe place
  • A gentle intro into writing as a practice - you won't be asked to share your work, or read your writing to the group!
  • An exploration at your own pace
  • Some information about anxiety, stress, and depression in the body, and how writing is proven to help alleviate this
  • Anyone interested in exploring this topic is welcome. Whether you have a diagnosed mental health condition, or are looking for some more tools to maintain wellness, and everything in between, you are welcome.

This workshop is part of MakeShift - a social prescribing initiative that connects creative practice, artists and people together to expore how creativity helps and supports positive mental health.

Please note this workshop is for ages 18+

Chloe Higgins

Chloe Higgins is the Founder and Director of Wollongong Writers Festival. She was the 2016 KSP Writers’ Centre Emerging Writer-in-Residence and the Varuna/Ray Koppe Young Writers’ Resident. She won the 2017 Feminartsy Memoir Prize and placed third in the February 2018 Glimmer Train Family Matters competition. Her debut memoir, The Girls, explores grief, guilt, family dynamics, and socially-stigmatised sex. The Girls will be published by Picador in September 2019 and was recently named in the SMH Spectrum’s ‘What to read in 2019’ list.

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