When I first took to reflective writing, it was as part of my MBA, where we were encouraged to write to help us process complex work-related problems. I started and kept up a habit of writing whenever faced with particularly difficult issues – both work related and personal. A few years later, I became interested in creative writing and, whilst ultimately I wasn’t much of a writer of fiction, I found the process of writing fiction an immensely powerful way of exploring memories, emotions and ideas. My writing turned into a mixture of regular journaling and short fiction – both unstructured and structured. I occurred to me that there is a common “toolkit” that I use in all these cases – and it is this toolkit that forms the basis for the exercises and theory I’ll be writing about here.
This toolkit includes methods to guide writing using metaphors, characters and structures, and methods to access the creativity of our sub-conscious. These range from the very practical and to those exploring the self and sources of meaning, and fall roughly into four categories:
- Creative problem-solving
- Promoting personal well-being, happiness and balance
- Working on personal strengths and weaknesses
- Self-realization, personal development and the search for meaning
Not everything here will work for everyone, and not everything will be relevant for all. But I hope that everyone can find something useful or at least interesting here.