17 August 2016

Writing is Medicine - The Healing Power of Writing

Everyone has their own way to deal with stressful or emotional events. Many people believe that talking about difficult life experiences can ease the emotional pain of trauma. The latest studies I've heard about even indicate that expressing emotions may also speed up physical healing. It showed that writing can have a calming effect which can cut physical wound healing time nearly in half. 
Although I had no physical wounds that needed healing when I began to write, I have had my share of emotional pain. It wasn't easy to convince myself of the need to share the traumatic events connected with my last two furry children, Lana and Darren. You see, they were both diagnosed with canine epilepsy in the prime of their life, and this illness didn't just take its toll on them, but also on my husband and I. After we lost both of our dogs within four days of each other, I felt as if I was stuck at the bottom of a deep and dark pit. And what is there left to do, but to look up and figure out how to climb out!? I decided to use Lana and Darren's story to make others aware of canine epilepsy, and to bring hope to other pet parents with a dog(s) that suffer from this illness. And the message is: Epileptic dogs can lead meaningful lives! 

For two years the manuscript for Living with Canine Epilepsy went through relentless rounds of editing, revising and re-writing. I went through it, from beginning to end, and back, over and over again. I looked at the structure, pacing, word usage, etc. and each edit honed it to the point of satisfaction. It was so easy to get lost in this story because it is my story after all. Research on the subject matter was intense. Although there are plenty of medical texts available, the variety of material on canine epilepsy from an owner's point of view was rather limited at the time.  

And while I diligently worked on my book I began to notice a change within me. I will probably always feel a certain sense of loss when I think about Lana and Darren, but it no longer sends me back to the bottom of that deep, dark pit. I can finally treasure the beautiful memories of them, without feeling guilty. And all along I can give other pet owners a glimpse of hope, and share our experiences with them. I might remain skeptical about the effects of writing, but I can't deny that working on this book has helped me learn to smile again.

Have you had a similar experience? Has your writing found its roots in a traumatic event? Tell us about your writing journey!

Piper is the author of military lifestyle books and RV travel journals. When she isn't busy typing away on her computer, she can be found chasing after her furry children or holding on tightly to a good cup of coffee. Follow her on LinkedInFacebookGoodreads and Google+


  1. What better way to speed up emotional and physical wounds than to write and speak about it. Happy you found an outlet and a way to help others with their grief.

    1. Thank you, KD Upton! It is just amazing how writing can help. =)

  2. Glad your writing helped you heal. At the moment I'm writing an intense fantasy novel which is helping me through an unwanted and painful divorce.

  3. Thank you, Kathleen, and I pray you will find the strength to help you through this difficult time! =)