To write or not to write?



There is only one point to writing. It allows you to do the impossible. … writing makes sorrow endurable, evil intelligible, justice desirable and love possible.

Roger Rosenblatt (2012). Kayak Morning.

Welcome to the inaugural newsletter of Prairie Wind Writing Centre. Whether your interest in writing is personal or professional, writing is an available, affordable, effective tool for enhancing your life.

The following short overview is a reminder of the reasons to write.

Writing supports reflecting on our lives. Our culture abounds with invitations to neglect our inner lives. The seeds of distress are everywhere in the complex world in which we live. It has been said that “if you don’t go within, you will go without.” Writing for the purpose of reflection returns us to our values, priorities and to emotional being, even in times of uncertainty. Having a toolkit for reflective writing is a mental health strategy. Every newsletter provides you with solid research and anecdotal evidence of the effectiveness of reflective writing. Each newsletter reflects on a different emotion.

Writing supports helping our clients, students, families and friends. In whatever professional role you have, there is often a place for inviting our clients (and colleagues) to write. Writing can assist them in clarifying goals or feelings, or options during a difficult time. This is true not just for those of us in the mental health fields. By encouraging them to put their thoughts on paper, we are encouraging them to take a greater role in seeing a future in which they wish to participate.

In the role of an educator, being familiar with multiple writing strategies increases the creativity of assignments in this world of on-line learning. Increased motivation means increased learning.

The newsletter offers suggestions for guiding client and student writing.

Writing supports reflecting on our own practice. Many roles in our society are now fraught with additional stressors. During the COVID pandemic, the practice of almost everything has changed. What is commonly called reflective practice is the interface between our personal and our professional lives. The greater the gap between the two in terms of values and behaviors, the greater the distress. Whether you are a truck driver, a hairdresser, a physician or a counsellor, minimizing our burnout potential is important. The newsletter provides examples and strategies for maximizing career satisfaction.

Writing improves writing. The act of writing is a complex experience. It is not just developing a structure and choosing the words. With rare exception, the writing process involves a dance between the writer and the writing. Our beliefs, feelings and behaviors interact with our writing experience. Ronna explores this in her book Living Life as a Writer and in our “Your Inner Author” workshops. Exploring your strengths, needs, frustrations and delights in relation to writing frees your inner author. Whether you write the occasional poem, pour your heart out in a journal, are preparing a formal manuscript or have an ongoing project underway, having a good relationship with your inner author makes writing more meaningful and enjoyable. The newsletter provides tips on how to get to know and encourage your inner author.

Evidence: This month we chose to highlight four different areas of research. The first is work by James Pennebaker who is renown for the research that he has done or spawned based on a protocol he calls “expressive writing.” In the area of relationships, you will find a reference to a study that looked at marital relationship satisfaction and writing.  The third article explores the use of expressive writing and work place injustices. The fourth article is a sample of the large body of work in the area of health conditions. The described study looked at a writing intervention with early stage breast cancer patients.

Suggested reading:

From among the many books related to writing for reflective reasons, we chose a sampling. Deena Metzger’s Writing for Your Life is a favorite for using for understanding our lives. Pat Schneider’s book Writing Alone and with Others is a resource for the beginner writers and for those facilitating writing with groups. Look forward to further suggestions in each newsletter.

Recurring features:

In each newsletter will include a:

writing strategy ( a

photograph with a question for reflection


Special book offer

Purchase 10 or more copies of a given book for a class or for  friends and receive a free online interactive session with Dr. Ronna Jevne, the author.

We want to hear from you: In the ensuing months we want hear about your interests and experiences with writing. We look forward to your suggestions, stories and questions. Contact Ronna with your ideas.


Special Offers

With proof of purchase of 10 or more books, Ronna offers a free, 40 minute conference session.