Keep or destroy your writing? 

By Sarah Cannata

Should you keep or destroy your writing? Well, it depends as I explain in the video. You can find the transcript below the video.

 Hello everyone, it’s Sarah Cannata, the founder of Storytelling for the Soul. I’m back for another video. And today what I want to explore is whether to keep or destroy your writing. And look, in my experience, there are very much two schools of thought on this one.

There are benefits to both approaches.

Now, speaking from my own personal experience, with more of the day-to-day, everyday writing, I actually really like to keep it. Reason being, at the end of each week, I tend to skim back over what I’ve written and see if I can notice any patterns and ask myself a few questions: 

  • What is consistently energising me?
  • What is consistently draining me? 
  • And with everything that I’ve come up with on those two lists, what’s actually within my power to do something about now? 

If I have control—for lack of a better word—over something, I will try to incorporate more or less of that into my life for my overall health and well-being and happiness.

If there’s nothing I can do about certain things—and we all have those things in life—I just drop it and don’t really give it too much thought because really, what would be the point? So that’s more of the day-to-day writing. 

Now, when it comes to writing about something I know is more traumatic; that I’m going to find traumatic, I do actually like to go into that writing session knowing I’m going to destroy whatever I come up with. And look, for me, destroying looks like shredding. Personally, I am far too clumsy to go down the burning route. I think very bad things could happen if I tried to burn my writing. But hey, it works for some people, and if you are less clumsy than me, go ahead and burn your writing.

Basically, what I’ve noticed this does—both within myself and also with my clients—it gives you a level of freedom that is pretty indescribable. And it gives you the ability to basically write whatever you need to. And of course, with embodied writing, it’s not an out-of-body experience. We’re always feeling into the felt sense of the body.

The reality of what that felt sense in the body is at any given moment looks different for different people. 

  • Am I feeling the weight of my body on the chair? 
  • Am I noticing sensations as I write? 
  • Do I have an elevated heartbeat? 
  • Am I getting hotter? 
  • Am I getting more anxious? 
  • Am I disconnecting? 
  • Am I in more of a freeze mode? 

So we are really maintaining this curiosity as we are writing.

Of course, all parts of us are welcome throughout the process. That’s a key staple of the embodied writing process. And the thing is, sometimes when we know there’s a possibility of our writing either being found or shared, we subconsciously censor ourselves. I have known people who deliberately show their writing to people, and it’s not something I recommend, to be honest with you.

I think your writing should be for your eyes only.

The only caveat or exception to that would be is if you are working with a professional. This kind of writing can really complement any professional medical support you are receiving. So feel free to share your work with a trusted medical health professional. Writing can certainly complement any services you are receiving.

I find that if there is that possibility of someone finding our work, what we’ve written—even if it’s at a subconscious level—we suddenly lose that freedom, and we end up censoring ourselves. Going into this with the knowledge that no one will ever see what you’re writing gives you an incredible amount of flexibility and freedom.

I encourage you to try both.

Try keeping your writing, try destroying your writing and just notice what the difference looks like for you. I always encourage people to experiment because we are all unique, and the reality is that with any tools, tips and techniques I teach or that I invite you to try, everyone will be impacted differently.

So give it a go. Let me know what you find. Keeping or destroying your writing. What’s the difference for you? Let me know in the comments below. Feel free to ask any questions you may have after watching this video. Otherwise, my inbox is always open to you, so email me: I’ll get back to you as soon as I can, or you can go to my website. I’ve got free resources, online courses, and more is coming: I will leave it there, and I’ll see you in the next video.

Love the idea of having a regular writing practice but have no idea where to start?

Storytelling for the Soul’s Write Your Way to Healing Quick Start Guide is designed to teach busy people like you how to use embodied writing as a healing tool. In just 5 easy-to-follow steps, this PDF arms you with the basics for writing your way to healing and includes writing prompts to get you started. Set aside 10 minutes a day (or whatever you can manage) to write. Download the free PDF.

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