Writing to bear witness - Deepstash

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How writing about difficult experiences can help you take back your power

Writing to bear witness

  • Brainstorm and jot it down: Start with the prompt, "The time when..." List at least ten things.
  • Narrow it down and focus: Go back to your list of ten and pick three things that are really bothering you, and you feel strongly about. Take 30 minutes of uninterrupted time to write. Focus on the details, the order of events, and especially how they made you feel.
  • Pick one and tell your story: You don't have to write a memoir or be a creative writer. You can also write it from someone else's perspective. Writing it down is to say that this thing did happen.

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How writing about difficult experiences can help you take back your power

How writing about difficult experiences can help you take back your power

https://ideas.ted.com/how-writing-about-difficult-experiences-can-help-you-take-back-your-power/

ideas.ted.com

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Key Ideas

Writing down our memories

There is a difference between seeing - which is passive - and writing down something you have seen, something you have heard, something you have experienced. Writing it down captures the memory and acknowledges its existence.

Anne Frank (though her diary) is one of the best examples we have in history of someone bearing witness. She simply wrote down what was happening to her family, giving us a very intimate record of her family during one of the worst periods of our world's history.

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  • "He must not have seen me" is adaptive and more likely to calm you down.

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Writing daily can help in improving our mental health.

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  • It makes us feel present for that time
  • A good habit that we enjoy makes us look forward to it
  • It heals our painful experiences by making us see them objectively.

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