Writing as a Way of Healing

It was a November afternoon when me and two of my friends from work went for a lunch to a Lebanese restaurant in Oxford. After the sumptuous meals, which reminded me of our Bulgarian dishes, we headed back to the city centre.

On our way back, we noticed a small bookshop for donated books called “The Last Bookshop”.

Both me and my friends felt the urge to dive in between the bookshelves and pick a good and affordable book. I got two books and if we were about to stay any longer, I would have left with a few more. One of them was called “Writing as a Way of Healing”. I didn’t spend much time contemplating if I should buy it or not, I felt so attracted by the title as it resonated with something within me.

A few months passed while I was too busy working, giving start to my dream website,

socializing and reading books with more practical application. I was “too busy to read just for the pleasure of reading”, though reading is one of the things I love to do.

As I started to feel over-burnt, I took the conscious decision to get back to the basis,

to the core of myself, to find a way to get balanced and relaxed in the chaos of a busy life and goal-chasing.

Then the image of that book emerged and I decided I should just start reading – just for the sake of reading, for fun.

What I found out reading this magnificent book was more than I expected.

It reminded me why I started my blog mariatoneva.com, what was the main purpose for it.

I started my blog as a way of healing myself, of expressing my emotions, my thoughts and processing past and present experiences and hoping to help people who will recognize situations of their own life in my writings.

It also dawned on me that I need writing and reading on a daily basis

that it gives me a sense of purpose, connects me with my inner child and with my sensitivity, helps me feel more balanced, happier, calmer and more satisfied.


I want to bring to your attention some highlights from this touching book. The author Louise De Salvo is a Professor in Hunter College, The City University of New York. She shares her experience from writing classes with her students and also from her studies of some of the greatest authors of our time, as well as ordinary people, who told their stories of loss, grief, abuse and traumas.

I would like to suggest that you try practising writing as a Therapy,

even if you never considered yourself a writer or you think that’s not for you. As per all the testimonials in the book and my personal experience, writing about your problem/ painful past/ abusive experience, diving deeply in what have happened, with all the details possible, will bring back the experience in the present moment, you’ll feel all those surpressed emotions again and that will help you release them and will speed up the healing process.

You can follow the simple steps below from the book:

  1. “Write twenty minutes a day over a period of four days. Do this periodically. That way you won’t feel overwhelmed.
  2. Write in a private, safe, comfortable environment.
  3. Write about issues you’re currently living with, something you’re thinking or dreaming about constantly, a trauma you’ve never disclosed or discussed or resolved.
  4. Write about joys and pleasures, too.
  5. Write about what happened. Write, too, about feelings about what happened. What do you feel? Why do you feel this way? Link events with feelings.
  6. Try to write extremely detailed, organized, coherent, vivid, emotionally compelling narrative. Don’t worry about correctness, about grammar or punctuation.Beneficial effect will occur even if no one reads your writing. If you choose to keep your writing and not discard it, you must safeguard it.
  7. Expect, initially, that in writing in this way you will have complex and appropriately difficult feelings. Make sure you get support if you need it. “

I hope you can give a try to practicing writing as a therapy for all kind of problems as the benefits from it are enormous.

Have you ever tried to write down events from your life and the feelings that they provoked? How did you feel doing that? I would love to hear your comments!

2 responses to “Writing as a Way of Healing”

  1. Cristiana says:

    Thanks so much Maria for the encouragement that you have given us through this article.
    I’d like to confirm that writing can be really helpful. I started keeping a journal 9 years ago. It was just recently that I discovered the Christian faith and how different to other beliefs, this faith was about having a relationship with God. To me that sound very alien and I remember questioning that idea. Like every other relationship I knew that if I want to make it real and lasting I had to be intentional about it, be open and communicate. So as wired as it seemed I started to write down my toughts and prayers. I started with the basic and I discovered that the more I wrote the better I was able to express my feelings and understand who I am and who God wants me to be. Through writing I have grown so much in my relationship with God and I know that this can be such a powerful means of communication and transformation.

    • Maria Toneva says:

      Thank you for sharing your experience, my dear. By understanding ourselves better, we become more open and accepting in our relationships. Writing do help me connect with God, too and with the most precious and sincere part of myself. Keep up the good work xx

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