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Writing As Therapy : Feeling mindfulness through the act of writing

I have long been finding  perfect notebooks for my own writing habits. I keep several sketchbooks and notebooks in one time because I have too many thoughts running on and on and on. They are all supposed to write down, to clear up the space in my head. Lately, I discovered that I am addicted to writing, to pour down all my thoughts on to a physical thing – paper. Putting everything in Evernote and computer makes me crazy. Not being able to write for few days make me feel suffocated. Writing down – for me it’s like talking to myself,  like one would empty a trash every Monday or manage their laptop storage every Thurs.  It really helps me to slow down and ready to fill up when new things flooding in my brain.

Although I didn’t realise before, my notebook families tend to grow in numbers every now and then. I can never get enough of them. But if there’s one thing, it would be that I would feel confused again if I put everything down in the same book – because not all of them are supposed to be together. One sketchbook of mine has all the academic notes in the front , and then started to have doodles and quotes about my miserable love in the middle, and torn pages in the end. And then I don’t want to use that book for my academic notes again. It’s really easy to get disfunction when it’s all sum up together.

So that’s probably all my 2o15 is all about – changing sketchbooks and stopped using them before they reach their last pages. It’s a real shame when I really want to join the eco-eco movement thing in my generation but just couldn’t really do it when it comes to paper and sketchbooks . How do I keep loving them ? for the rest of their life ?

For diary keeping, I have done well this year – writing about 70% of what’s going on everyday – every week. But still the pages that come with strict lines are really hard for my imagination to grow, to write creatively. And the pressure that I put to myself when I saw those blank days that I did not write…again it’s kind of losing point when you just write down mundane things that didn’t mean anything for the sake of ‘yeah , cos there ‘is’ a space to write.’ So I promised to myself that for my 2016 diary, he does not have to have dates / nor goal / nor any plans . I would just do what I want, write whenever I feel like to write – for the sake of writing.  Where is that diary that answers to everything … Why why why is it so hard to find a love like that ?

Then, the other day I have run into these guys. Like meeting a pack of soulmates, they were presented to me in a beautiful package with a deal. 4 for 3 ? Yes, of course. They come together in a set called ‘Writing Therapy’ – which their first pages were printed with an essay about writing as therapy – reading from top to bottom I feel like I am talking to myself. Things like these always heal me mentally when I got bombarded with external things that I do not need to know.

They come in four colours , each represents one category to write about : Journey , Affairs, Projects, and Night Thoughts. Clever. They know that there’s people like me waiting for a set like this because we just can’t bother to jot and mix things that matter down in one book because then it’s gonna be meaningless.  Grasp the moment , but not all, as John Evelyn said “Explore everything; keep the best”. (Omnia explorate, meliora retinete) . Revolution says – we just have to organize our thoughts.

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“Both physical and emotional journeys need careful monitoring or we are likely to become lost, directionless and forgetful. We need to record the most significant moments that befall us : the surprise we feel in a new place, or in front of a new idea or emotion (perhaps we’re just reading Lao-Tze, or properly falling in love for the first time “

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“At night, when the rest of the world is quiet, we at last have an opportunity to restart a conversation with a very important person we have neglected for far too long: ourselves.”


These guys are designed and produced by The School of Life. A startup company that devoted to developing emotional intelligence through the help of culture. They now have the locations around the world, and offer a variety of programmes and services concerned with how to live wisely and well.  I went to their shop (and headquareter) in Marchmont Street in London the other day and found that there are a lot more stuffs that will help us to step back and take care about our emotions. Not many places here in London that I would feel there is a space for this kind of energy – Mindfulness. It’s quite hard for me as a Buddhist to practice, and to find peace in this big city,  living in a constantly challenging, fast atmosphere all the time. In our increasingly convenient but harder lives in 21st Century, I find wisdom is really the answer for a more fulfilled life.

I also got this book from their shop. It’s my philosophical boyfriend Nietzsche coming in a simplified, friendlier version , by John Armstrong. I will try to write about it again when finished reading. They also have the book ranges from philosophy to literature, psychology to the visual arts – games & ideas that will exercise, stimulate and expand your mind to live well.

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I promise these would be the last notebooks I bought this year (Yes, it’s already the end of the year) and will last until last pages. Also, may inner peace and mindfulness be with you , if you can’t find it from somewhere else, find from yourself while writing too 🙂


All photos shot by me with a Fuji XT-1, 23/1.4 lens, please do not use without permission

If you’re interested in mindfulness in making art & writing, or want me to write more about it, please leave a comment or drop me an e-mail at : . It would be my pleasure to get back to you.  Ps. Find out more about The School of Life’s YouTube channel

1 Comment

  1. Beautiful. I love journals as well. I would recommend one of my favourite books for you: Writing Away from Lavinia Spalding. It deals with travel writing and its psychological aspects. Very inspirational indeed.

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