How top authors wrote with, about, and as therapy for, their hidden illness

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“This article is submitted to the June to August writing competition on creativity and resilience.”

Writer’s block

Writing about what you know —cliché, or good advice? Does the maxim apply when our muse is mental health? Can ruminating about melancholy be healthy?

Sigmund Freud’s definition of mental illness, in ‘Mourning and Melancholia,’…

Rethink how you relive the past with this prompt.

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Prompt

If memories could be stored in a physical space — what, or where, would it be?

Development

Memories are often captured in physical form: sun-blanched sepia photographs, ticket stubs, a slice of wedding cake in the back of the freezer, milk teeth reclaimed from the tooth fairy.

Keepsakes, mementoes, souvenirs, relics…

Free Verse

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Mother
sounds the claxon:
action stations.

Father
lights the remnant
of her short fuse:
preparing drinks;
getting underfoot.

The family
falls in, sits to attention:
hands crossed on thighs
beneath a pressed cloth
(knife-edge creases parallel to table edge –
no tramlines).

I
feel a frisson
as my new girlfriend
returns the…

Explore what age means to you with this prompt

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Prompt

One man in his time plays many parts,
His acts being seven ages [William Shakespeare]

How do we transition between the stages of our lives? What is the modern equivalent of the seven ages? When does someone become a teenager, middle-aged, or old?

The seven ages

In Jacques’ infamous ‘all the world’s a…

Dan Morrissey

Literature is the roadmap for understanding humanity | Reader | Writer | Teacher | Editor of the THE MUSE

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