Write, baby, write

Keeping a diary is healing for body as well as mind, says this article, and based on my experience, I agree.

This is why I have returned to the simple practise of blogging.


Maia Szalavitz at Time magazine reports on a new study suggesting that writing about traumatic experiences, and the emotions associated with them, for 20 minutes a day greatly accelerates the healing of physical injuries – in this case, tiny skin wounds administered as part of the research:

Researchers led by Elizabeth Broadbent, a senior lecturer in health psychology at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, studied 49 healthy senior citizens, aged 64 to 97. For three days, half were assigned to write for 20 minutes a day about the most traumatic event they had experienced, and were encouraged to be as open and candid as they could about exactly what they felt and thought at the time…

The other participants wrote for the same duration about their plans for the next day, avoiding mentioning their feelings, opinions or beliefs. Two weeks after the first day of writing, researchers took small skin biopsies, under local anesthesia… Eleven days after the biopsy, 76% of the group that had written about trauma had fully healed while only 42% of the other group had.

I know this to be true. I started blogging five years after a life crash, and it definitely helped me heal. My wounds were mostly psychological, the results of a disastrous relationship and some bad life decisions. I more than survived, I thrived after pushing the medical establishment for answers, finding them myself, and undergoing deep psychotherapy.

I also concur with this:

…you shouldn’t view journalling as an attempt to formulate solutions to your problems; the real benefit comes from the third-person perspective that’s attained when you externalise your thoughts. It’s interesting to speculate whether the effect may be similar to that of meditation: not changing your thoughts and feelings so much as changing your relationship to them – so that you no longer take them to be an unquestionable, intractable, non-negotiable reality.

Write, baby, write.



La vie continue..

I start to write and find tidy formulations. I skip the hard stuff to be entertaining even before I have noticed. I sit down with thoughts in mind but once the words are there, the meaning is slipping away. Better not to write, than write like that.

So, I trust my nonsense, the mimbling burblage which emerges from the half-conscious, the semi-sleep state. There is uncensored truth. I am not scared of deranged and alarming words. People, yes, words, why? They are only words. We pretend we control them but of course the opposite is possibly true. Taboos are not only rendered powerless, they are usurped, made into playthings. Style is meaningless. Structure finds itself.


Pill Creek

I once stayed in this lovely Richard Rogers house in Pill Creek, Cornwall, with its rubber floors and moveable walls. I cooked for the owner, a remarkable 90-something year old lady who lived opposite. Dicky had been married to her daughter. Her more traditional house on the opposite side of the creek had a modern wing he’d built for her and her husband. It was a gallery, and full of great art, including many gifts from British artists from the 20s to the  60s – Bridget Riley, Ben Hamilton, etc. As the years went by, she said, the money situation would demand she choose which one to sell next. So the few dozen she had left were stunners.



I used to write a diary

I used to be a blogger, started in 2004. It was the most exhilarating ride. I started just rumbling along a personal diary under a pseudonym and discovered I was rather good at it. I got noticed, it lead to recognition in a small way, which I turned into work for money.

I had a cracking audience. That people cared really did matter to me. They were a funny, sharp, expressive bunch whose comments meant that most days I had contact with souls scattered far across this tiny planet.

Along the way I forgot the reason I had started writing, or maybe I didn’t. Maybe the pressure of London got to me, at last. I had a mortgage, I was buying the place I lived in. Personal expression, freedom to write openly was slowly relegated except for a few precious outlets, subsumed by the need to be diplomatic, to show a confident front to clients, to be tough enough to fend off the fierce, sly competition which arrived in the work space I had accidentally come to occupy.

Since that time I have not stopped writing, but I have stopped blogging. And, I still really miss old fashioned, shooting the breeze, as it arrives, not having to be delivered to a deadline or to anyone in particular, funny, boring, smart or stupid, wayward, flawed, whatever comes along blogging.

I knew I had made a mistake stopping, but there, I had very effectively exited. Every so often when asked I would flex my writing muscle and pretend it still worked, and technically it did, but I didn’t have the motivation any more to write several times a week. The odd song, prose pieces, a play, two little books, pieces for publication, pieces for theatre. But one of the things I liked about blogging was its mess – an unruly tangled bunch of underwater weeds which harboured life.

So I kept on thinking, from time to time, and more just recently: where can I write the stuff which deals with the everyday fable?

Then I remembered WordPress.com

Hello again.


One Way Journey by Dean Whitbread

As events reveal more about himself than he bargained for, an Englishman’s spontaneous midwinter break in the Egyptian Red Sea produces an unexpected Christmas gift.

Kindle: One Way Journey
PDF eBook: One Way Journey
Paperback: One Way Journey

One Way Journey Paperbacks

Funk: Smell of Sex

And here’s the link


Open Sesame

Here are a couple of my real blogs:




and I also run various other blogs, but that’s enough to be going on with.