The use of creative writing as a route to personal or professional development is a powerful therapeutic tool, yet often the most difficult part is knowing how and where to begin. The experiences of others, and the strategies and approaches they have used in their own writing, can provide tried-and-tested models for practice, and 'ways in' that facilitators might wish to recommend to others.
Writing Routes is an essential roadmap for anybody setting out on the journey of self-discovery through words. This diverse collection of short pieces introduce and demonstrate many different ways of getting into and thinking about creative writing for personal or professional development. Seventy contributors from a variety of different backgrounds and circumstances explain how they came to write a particular piece and why, how they found ways of transforming their experience into writing, and how it was beneficial to them. Their writing ranges widely, from journal entries and stream of consciousness to autobiography, poetry, fiction and drama, and the pieces are organised by theme and genre for ease of navigation, designed to be 'dipped into' as and when they are needed.
This rich and varied collection will provide writing practitioners, counsellors and other related professionals with ideas and techniques to share with their clients, and is a useful resource that individuals who write for their own personal and professional development will return to again and again.
Reviews and Endorsements:
'This very readable anthology collects together over 70 contributors who offer a diverse and rich array of personal experience of using creative writing.. I read the writers' words and pieces over a long Bank Holiday weekend by dipping into different parts as the mood took me, and was variously heartened, confounded, warmed and amused. At times, I was stopped in my tracks with the pain and distress of some of the work... a truly wonderful collection of views and writings which I recommend to any reader, and especially to those who might feel the beginnings of a need to put themselves on paper.'
- Therapeutic Communities Journal
'Writing Routes is a book many of us have been waiting for, filling a gap in my bookshelf which I had vaguely discerned but not put shape to. Although the book builds on previous resource JKP handbooks, such as Writing Works (2006), Writing Routes is more than a collection of reflections on therapeutic experience. This is a well-designed navigation tool for exploring the field of therapeutic writing... I would recommend Writing Routes not just to those working in the field, but to any individual embarking on their own
- Lapidus Journal
'Writing Routes is a diverse collection of personal journeys, which introduces and demonstrates many different ways of beginning and deepening creative writing for personal or professional development.'
- The Independent Practitioner
'Detailed maps are needed for where to start in creative writing and how to proceed. Writing Routes provides just such an atlas, essential information for anybody setting out on the adventure of self-discovery through words.'
- from the Foreword by Gwyneth Lewis
Foreword by Gwyneth Lewis. Preface by Gillie Bolton, Victoria Field, Kate Thompson. Postscript by Fiona Hamilton. 1. Getting into Writing. Edited by Victoria Field. 'Writing a Journal: A Way to My Soul', Satu Nieminen. 'Natalie's Golden Mantras', Alexandra Boyle. 'Writing Yourself Forward', Debbie McCulliss. 'Writing 'Kingfisher', Abi Curtis. 'Poems Invite Us to Write Them', Kate Compston. 'Relaxing into Writing', Ray Russell. 'Happily Ever After...And Then What?', Sarah Salway. 2. Forging Identities. Edited by Kate Thompson. 'Writing Dreams', Juhani Ihanus. 'The Whole Picture', Angela Stoner. 'Letter to a Stranger - Processing the Momentary', Cheryl Moskowitz. 'The Mincer Character', Myra Schneider. 'A Rose by any Other Name Might not Smell as Sweet', Shelley McAlister. 'Lucy', Andrew Rudd. 'Dodging Rednecks with a Grudge', Tim Metcalf. 'Writing Barefoot', Shirley A. Serviss. 3. Writing the Self. Edited by Victoria Field. 'Black Sheep in the Family', Larry Butler. 'People on my Bus', Fran Creffield. 'Midnight Robber', Dominique De-Light. 'Writing as a Process of Coming-to-knowing', Rosie Alexander. 'Writing Inspired', Sue Glover Frykman. 'AlphaWrites: 26 Days to Transformation', Kay Adams. 'Writing Loops', Briony Goffin. 'Finding Your Racket Voice', Sandy Hutchinson Nunns. 4. Writing the Body. Edited by Victoria Field. 'Finding Beauty in an Ugly Situation', Beverly Kirkhart. 'Listening to Body Signals: Triggers from the Past', Jane Pace. 'Straight from the Hip', Sue Ashby. 'Dealing with Chronic Pain', Miriam Halahmy. 'Broken Face - A Poem', Bryony Doran. 'In Watching You I See Myself', Jay Carpenter. 'Creating a Legacy Out of Everyday Living', Claire Willis. 5. Writing the Troubled Self. Edited by Victoria Field. 'Cracks', Rebecca Atherton. 'The Blue Gate', Rose Flint. 'Giving Perspective', Yona McGinnis. 'The Year the Wall Came Down', Maggie Sawkins. 'Stories from the Silk Tent', Lucy O'Hagan, Gilly Pugh and Lizzi Yates. 6. Our Families, Ourselves. Edited by Gillie Bolton. 'Time Capsule', Linda Sliwoski. 'When Melancholia Strikes, Poetry Steps In', Glynis Charlton. 'The Legacy of Mothers', Marliss Weber. 'For Those Who Wish to Sing, There is Always a Song', Margot Van Sluytman. 'The Clock and Me', Nigel Gibbons. 'Come In - to the Life of the Poem', Graham Hartill. 'Never Rub Out, Never Throw Away', Jonathan Knight. 7. Relationships. Edited by Gillie Bolton. 'The Healing Fountain', Penelope Shuttle. 'Burning Want', Les Murray. 'Leaving Tortilla, My Cat', Claire Williamson. 'Wall Writing', Monica Suswin. 'Invoking the Ancestors', Reinekke Lengelle. 'A Heart-shadow Fell at Our Feet: Writing a Sequence of Love Sonnets', Robert Hamberger. 8. Personal Loss. Edited by Gillie Bolton. 'To a Gold Ear-ring, Head of Nefertiti', Wendy French. 'The Final "Good Bye"', Sarah Birnbach. 'Something We Need to Learn to Live Alongside', Yvonne Watson. 'Close up, From a Distance', Deborah Buchan. 'Writing My Mother's Obituary', Leone Ridsdale. 'I'll Never Forget', Joanne Robinson. 9. Managing Transitions. Edited by Kate Thompson. 'Writing, Waiting, Rocks', Mary Lee Moser. 'The Door', Gillie Jenkinson. 'Do the Work: A Writing Exercise that Turns You Around', Reinekke Lengelle. 'Using Dialogue to Move On with My Life', Lynda Heines. 'Writing a Sketchbook', Angie Butler. 'When I Get Old', Judy Clinton. 10. Developing Mindfulness. Edited by Kate Thompson. 'Mindful Moments', David Oldham. 'Writing a Haiku', Carolyn Henson. 'Lost Heart', Elaine Trevitt. 'Loneliness', Julie Sanders. 'I Have a Dream...', Ronna Jevne. 'Conversation with a Ponderosa Pine', Susan Wirth Fusco. 'Frustration and Me', Janice Putrino. 'Searching My Soul through Cyberspace', Christine Nutt. 11. Signals, Lines, and Reflections: Writing on Trains, Fiona Hamilton. Appendix 1. Writing Routes Map: Themes. Appendix 2. Writing Routes Map: Types of Writing. Appendix 3. Contributor Biographies. Bibliography.
About the Authors:
Gillie Bolton has worked in reflective and therapeutic writing for personal and professional development for twenty-five years, and has written and edited five books, one of which is now in its third edition. A grandmother of three, she lives in Bloomsbury, London, and Hope Valley, Derbyshire.
Victoria Field has a degree in Psychology, an MA in Cultural Policy and has worked for the British Council in Istanbul, Moscow and Pakistan. She subsequently trained as a Poetry Therapist with the US National Association for Poetry Therapy. She has received two awards from NAPT for her international work. She is also a published poet and, as a playwright, is an Associate Artist at Hall for Cornwall.
Kate Thompson is a BACP senior accredited counsellor and supervisor and a journal therapist. After gaining a degree in English Literature from Cambridge University and therapeutic training, she developed a method of combining the two. She is a faculty member of the Center for Journal Therapy and Institute for Therapeutic Writing and lives in Colorado, USA.