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Can gratitude really change your life?


Gratitude has become a bit of a buzz word over recent years.

We hear all the time how important it is to have an “attitude of gratitude” in order to live a fullfiling and happy life. But how true is that? Is there any science behind it?

Well, I would argue that it is true, and yes there is science to back it up for anyone who thinks this concept is a little too out there for them. 

What is gratitude?

Well, put simply, it is just being thankful for what you have, being grateful for your life and everything and everyone in it.

It’s so easy to drift through life and stop noticing all the things that are really wonderful in your life. We are all guilty of it. We take things, places and people for granted and just expect them to always be there. When we practice gratitude we make an effort to notice and to write down all those things we are thankful for, but also to let those people know that we are grateful for them, that we appreciate them. 

 How can you practice gratitude?

Well, there are lots of ways to practice gratitude. My favourite is to have a gratitude journal. I keep mine by my bed. Every night you write down all the things you are grateful for. Some people suggest you write three things, but I think most days that is too easy and doesn’t exercise your gratitude muscle enough, I would say to aim for between 5 and 15 a day. The more you write down everything you are grateful for, the more reasons you will find to be grateful. 

Of course you don’t need to write it down, you can just think it or say it to yourself. I find that writing it down helps to keep me accountable though because I can see if I missed a day or two. 

Some people prefer to use a jar and every time something wonderful happens to them they write it on a slip of paper and pop it in the jar, then take things out to read either when they need a lift, or at the end of the year.

Something as simple as saying thank you to someone, maybe sending them a little card, is all part of practicing gratitude though.


What’s the science though?

Well, the sience is pretty conclusive actually. You see we know now that our brains are constantly forming new pathways and changing how we go about things based on our habits and routines. 

Evolution taught us to pay more attention to dangerous and scary things, because we needed to survive. As a result, we tend to notice and remember all the bad things that happen much more easily than we do the good things. It makes sense. Those of us who survived to tell the tale were the ones that remembered that if you ate that berry you died, or that you mustn’t get too close to bears. However, now most of the things that cause us stress are far less life threatening.


When we have a job interview, or we’re worrying about how we’re going to pay the bills going into fight or flight mode and committing that feeling to memory isn’t going to keep us safe. It is going to keep us trapped in fear and negativity. 

When we begin to make an effort to focus on the positives in life though our brain begins to reprogramme itself. We begin to notice more of the positive and magical things in life and everything feels happier.


Something as simple as writing down 5-10 things that you are grateful for every day could actually begin to make you feel happier and more satisfied with your life. Don’t get me wrong, I know that times are hard for many people at the moment. Harder than I can remember in my life time. So many people are worried about the cost of living and whether they can afford to put the heating on this winter. I’m not suggesting for a minute that writing down the things you are grateful for will make all those issues disappear completely. But if for example, you are reading this, then you have a phone or other smart device which allows you to read it. If you are worrying about heating your home, then you have a roof over your head. I know it isn’t always easy, but trying to see the bright side, may not remove the issues, but it may make them feel more manageable and when you are feeling more positive, you are better able to find solutions because you begin to relax. 

Do you have a gratitude practice? Do you believe gratitude is helpful for supporting your mental health? 


Winter Writing Calendar

Mindful Journaling Advent ebook

I love a chocolate advent calendar as much as the next person, but at this time of year I start to reflect on the past year and make plans for the coming year. 

I love to journal about all the things I have achieved this year and things I have done and then create a vision board of all the things I want to achieve in the coming year. 

If there is one thing I have learned it is that if I enjoy something then there are other people out there who do too. 

What is a mindful journaling advent ebook?

Every day you will get a writing prompt to help you explore many different aspects of this festive time of year. You will also have a poem, seasonal passage or mindfulness technique to help you explore winter wellness and how writing can help you to support your wellbeing at this challenging time of year. 

You don’t need any previous experience to take part, just something to write with and something to write on. 


You might choose to treat yourself to a new notebook or use the back of envelopes. You can add it to your existing yournal if you have one or write it on your phone notes. The choice is yours. 

You can spend 5 minutes a day or 50 minutes a day exploring the writing prompts and if you have a busy day you can catch up whenever you have chance, this is an enjoyable activity not a chore.

Writing can often seem like a solitary process but it is so much more fun when we share our writing and talk to other bibliophiles. Why not follow me on social media for more healing writing tips?

If you love words and would like a gentle journaling prompt to brighten up every day of advent get your copy now.

The Power of Spelling


When we think of spells, most of us think of witches

Ugly, stooped women, stirring cauldrons while cackling and chanting while adding eye of newt and trying to cast a spell on someone. Perhaps to change them to a toad? Perhaps to make something happen that they desire. Well, apart from the fact that eye of newt is just another name for mustard seed, and the fact that witches were just women, and men, who understood the healing power of plants and nature generally. Women who had a knowledge of what we now call energy healing and ancient remedies. Women who would be called on to support other women who were struggling to get pregnant, were pregnant, giving birth or new mums. They were crucial in communities but as with all healers and medical practitioners, there were limits to their abilities to save lives and heal others. 

What they did understand and have an amazing grasp of though, was something we are only just fully understanding in the modern world, and that is the power of words. How we can use words to improve our health, our mental state and change our lives and circumstances for the better. What we now call spells, were in fact affirmations and a form of intention setting. In reality, we all use spells every single day. We use our words and our words have the power to change lives. When we use words to focus our energy and to clarify our intention we can make great change happen. By now most people are familiar with The Secret, the bestseller by Rhonda Byrne. The whole concept of this principle is around setting your intention that something happens or is created, and either using affirmation or vision boards you set your focus and keep working towards that objective until it is manifest in your life. 

Spells are magical

Spells work in the same way. Witches would create a spell jar or create a recipe, and set the intention that that combination of herbs and ingredients would heal whatever ailed the person they were working with. It may be a physical illness or something more mental and emotional such as confidence or heartache. Whatever they were working towards together, the witch would set that intention and use words to clarify that and focus their minds on what they were trying to achieve. 


Now, we use affirmations, journaling and therapy as a way of using words to heal and manifest. As a journal therapist I know the power of writing things down, both to discover things about ourselves and our lives that we may not be consciously aware of, but also for setting goals and intentions.

Speak and Spell

We know that the words we use can be transformational. As a teacher I was very aware that if I shouted “Walk” I got a better response than shouting “Don’t run!”. Children find it easier to process affirmative statements which tell them what we want them to do not what we don’t want. We also know the importance psychologically of correcting the behaviour a child is demonstrating rather then criticising the child. We don’t call a child naughty, we explain that their behaviour isn’t acceptable and then explain why. When we label a child as naughty, lazy, bossy… we plant a seed in their heads that grows and it is hard for them to break free of that label then, even in adulthood.

It is so important to use the right language when we talk, not only to others, but to ourselves. How often do you find yourself saying things like; oh I can’t do that, I can’t afford to, gosh I look so fat… the list goes on and on. We would never talk to someone else like that, but most of us are so self critical it is painful. If we heard someone talking to a child the way we talk to ourselves we would be appalled.

Let’s start choosing our words more carefully, ensuring that we are saying exactly what we mean, words really do have power and we must remember that. 

Today I encourage you to speak to yourself and others with kindness. I implore you to choose your words carefully. I correct myself regularly when I say things like “I hope I will be able to do it”, remove that doubt; “I will be able to do it”. The more we become aware of our language and the more we understand about the power of words, the more magical our lives become. Why not grab a journal and write for a few minutes something you want to make happen, start using affirmations, and watch things change for yourself and others in your life. 

Find out more about spelling and affirmations:

Affirmations video

Spelling out the history of spell

The Power of Words


Journaling to preserve memories

Journaling to preserve memories

“My memories are inside me – they’re not things or a place – I can take them anywhere.”

Olivia Newton-John

Memories are arguably our most prized possessions. They are ours and ours alone. They are uniquely portably and precious. Nothing is more special than the memory of our grandparents, the first time we saw our beloved, or the moment our children were born. We all have precious memories and they are only ours, noone can share them. They may have been at the same event but each person has a unique perspective and recollection of it. 

One of my favourite ways of preserving memories is through my journaling. I journal in many different ways, but often, especially if something significant has happened, I write about my experiences and emotions. This isn’t a diary. It is more than that. It is a record of my feelings and experiences throughout time. I write about where I have been and who with, but how I feel about it and any thoughts that resulted. It is a record of my state of mind. A way for me to process my emotions and also a record of my life.

Memory keeping

This weekend I went to visit my daughter who has just started university in York and I have documented this special weekend in two ways; journal entries and photos. These are my go to memory recording strategies. They are deep rooted too. My Dad is the ultimate recorder of memories. He has written a diary every day for over 40 years. As a result the majority of my life can be recalled in the finest detail with the turn of a page. This is such a valuable gift, especially as someone who is currently writing a memoir!


Dad’s diary is very different in form to my journal but serves an equally valid purpose as a memory recorder (arguably more so because he documents every place he visits, world wide events, the weather and even what he has eaten). This level of documentation takes serious dedication.

A wonderful example

He has also always been a meticulous photographer. He takes photos of every event and life change. As a child I found this annoying because every time I did anything there was a camera to record it. As a teenager and young adult, it worried me because I was concerned he may be missing out on experiencing the events because he saw everything through a camera lense. As an adult and parent, I now understand completely. I am not as efficient as my Dad, but I do make sure I record my life. It is important to me to have memory jogs to help me remember important events. I have seen too many people lose their memories due to dementia to not do everything in my power to record the moments that bring me joy so I can look back and be reminded should I ever need that memory reminder.


As a result I journal almost every day. Writing without any thought about everything that is in my head. Usually this includes key events and people I have had interactions with, but also anything that is on my mind, any worries I have and any emotions stirred by recent events. It is a wonderful way to work through challenges you are experiencing or any worries you have as well as documenting key moments of your life for future reference. So this morning I am still thinking about the magical weekend I have had. 

Not only did I get to see my daughter after a month apart, I also saw my parents and my sister and her family. I also spent an afternoon with my daughter’s friend, who is quickly becoming another child of mine, which is magical. I love spending time in York because I studied at the same university my daughter is attending so I have many wonderful memories of my time there. These are all stirred when I visit too. So this morning my journaling was about my emotions around seeing my daughter and family. The wonderful bookshops and shopping streets, delicious food, stunning architecture, all these elements are woven carefully together with reflections on my own time at University and the life long friends I made there. Interestingly, my time at university was when I started writing a daily journal. There have been times I let the habit slip but I still have those first writings to remind me of all my feelings and adventures as a trainee teacher in the 1990s.

It may not be as precise an art as my Dad’s diary writing, but it helps me to work through my emotions, process the events of my life, and also keep a record of what I did when.

I cannot recommend starting a journal habit enough. It honestly has changed my life in the years I have been writing every day. I feel calmer, I regularly have revelations about how I am feeling or actions I need to take while I write my daily pages. Just the act of writing something down means you have a greater chance of remembering it, so you will be boosting your memory while recording your memories. Grab a notebook and get writing, you might be surprised at what appears on the page and even if you just write down everything you have done that day and how you feel about it, what a wonderful way of preserving your memories.

Are the clues to your passions found in your childhood?

Are the clues to your passions found in your childhood?

Our childhood passions are often the most intense of our lives. You only need to think of a child who is obsessed with dinosaurs, superheroes or Harry Potter and the know everything there is to know. Their every thought seems to be consumed with their passion and nothing stops them in persuit of more knowledge and experiences to feed that passion.

As adults our passions tend to become more diluted. Our time is taken up with other “more important” things and we often forget our passions altogether. 


What if we took a moment to revisit our childhood passions and see if they still light us up though?

Perhaps colouring is still something you would enjoy. Maybe all those hours you spent making perfume out of rose petals were a clue about what career you should be pursuing.  One of my passions is encouraging people to follow their passions and live the life of their dreams and I have realised over the years just how many clues there have been showing me my dream career and I didn’t always choose to listen, do we ever?

As a small child I loved book. I began writing my own books on my Mum’s typewriter. I loved kneeling up at the coffee table and typing out my little imaginings. It made me feel so grown up and like I was a real writer. I loved trips to the local library, in my home village of Gildersome. It was nothing fancy, but the smell of the books and the shelves and shelves of possibility filled me with excitement. I slowly worked my way through Dorrie the Little Witch, onto The Chronicles of Narnia and the Dr Dolittle series and finally reading The Lord of the Rings books, with many other books along the way. I loved to read, but it was more than that. I loved being surrounded by books.  I loved my trips to the library so much that I even created my own little library. I put cards in pockets inside all my comics and let the children on my street borrow them. 

Kate Reading
Kate the Girl Guide

Be prepared!

I was a Girl Guide and one of the badges I had to achieve in order to get my Baden Powell Award, was my Service Flash (the longest badge on my shoulder). This badge required you do 40 hours of community service, which had to be documented. I went down to my local library and asked whether it would be possible to do my Service Flash with them. They agreed and so began one of the best times of my life. 

Every Monday night after tea I walked down to the library and spent two hours putting books back on the shelves, learning about the Dewey decimal system, re-covering the books to protect the covers and… the best bit of all… stamping the books people took out and sorting out the library cards and filing them in the right place in the racks and racks of cards.

I was in book heaven!

Gildersome Library

In addition to that, I borrowed books every week while I was there so I was reading even more than usual. It was such a great time. I was 13 years old and surrounded almost exclusively by pensioners but I was also surrounded by books.

Words have been a theme throughout my life, whether reading, writing, speaking or singing I have always had a deep interest in words and their many and varied uses. Their ability to heal and upset. The way they can bring people together in song or exclude people. I have written blogs, lesson plans, diaries, poems, contributed to books, I even wrote for the local newspaper when I was at school, having theatre reviews published. Despite all this, it took me many, many years to realise that this is what makes me truly happy. 

I have always tried hard to do jobs that make me truly happy and everything I have ever done I have enjoyed. The work I am doing now though goes deeper than that. I am in my element. I look at my life and realise that every job I have ever done has been a stepping stone. It has given me skills I needed, and I enjoyed every step. But supporting people using the power of words is a deep, calling that I never dreamed could be a reality. 

Kate Writing

Of course, when I was writing stories in the caravan all those years ago, the work I am blessed to do now didn’t exist. There was no such thing as a coach, apart from in a sporting context or as a mode of transport you used to go on school trips! The idea of using writing to help people live their best lives would have been unheard of. 

Had I not gone through all the self discovery that was required when I completed my Life Purpose Coaching course during the pandemic. I did the course to pass the time I never thought it would lead me to some deep self discovery. At that point I was convinced that my work with schools was my passion. After all I was a teacher and in the same way I used to create libraries and write stories, I used to play schools. That was where I was meant to be wasn’t it?

Well, it turned out that wasn’t the case. Suddenly everything in my life started pointing me down a different road. I loved working with schools, but as always with education, there were more and more hoops to jump through and ever increasing pressures on funding meant that my school work slowly dried up a year ago and I was finally free to persue my true passion. 

Sometimes we need a nudge don’t we? Whilever I was busy in schools I would never have left that work behind. Suddenly I had the time to think about really moving in the direction of my dreams. While I’m still not crystal clear about exactly what my long term plans are, I know that writing and coaching will always be a part of who I am and what I contribute to the world. 

I want to invite you to stop and think about the things you really enjoyed as a child. Perhaps you have buried your childhood so deep that you can’t remember any more. If you would like some gentle, nurturing support to help you explore this subject I would love to hold your hand as you walk the path towards your passions and living a life of fulfillment and joy. 

Do you follow your dreams?

5 Reasons to follow your dreams

This week my daughter goes to university to start a Creative Writing course. I am filled with several emotions, but I have to admit one of the dominant emotions I am experiencing is envy. I am envious of the fact that she is fulfilling a life long ambition, that she has always known that this is where she would end up and she has made it happen. 

You see when she was 4 years old she came home from school and announced she was going to be an “author”. They had been reading a book and the teacher had gone through all the keywords around books for her age group and she had discovered that an author is the person who writes the story. That was it. She was going to be an author. Never once has she deviated from this belief. Her first word was book (well, technically it was “ook” but she was pointing to the book that was just out of reach!) and it has been her one passion ever since.

During lockdown she wrote a Dr Who fan fiction which has to date been read by almost 50k people, all around the world. She has mentored other writers online and she is now going out into the world to hone her craft, and learn all about the publishing industry.

Any dream will do…

When I was younger I had many dreams; writing, singing and teaching. I was never as focused as my daughter. Despite this I have managed to fulfil all of them to one degree or another. 

I initially went to college to do performing arts, after years of school productions and amateur dramatics. Then when I decided a career in singing wasn’t for me, I still kept it up as a hobby. My husband and I met through singing and did a few gigs together before we had children. I even sang at the London Palladium, which was an absolute dream come true.


When I decided not to pursue singing I qualified as a teacher and taught many different age ranges and subjects during my teaching career. Since I had my children I have been teaching, but out of the school system, and I now use writing both for things like creating articles and blogs to share information, and also as a therapeutic tool. 

I count myself as incredibly lucky that I have had the opportunity to follow my dreams and choose the dream that fits that particular time in my life. I do wonder though, whether it would have made for an easier life if I had just had one passion to pursue.


 No regrets?

I am grateful though that I was brave enough to follow my heart and do what made me happy at the time. By the time I left teaching, I wasn’t enjoying it any more. It wasn’t the teaching, but the system that was broken. I was glad I had ideas about other things I could do instead, things which would make me just as happy as teaching, other dreams to follow. 

Many people I speak to have been stuck in jobs they hate since they left school, either because they don’t know what their dream is, or because they aren’t brave enough to take that step. It makes me sad to hear people talking about paths they could have taken but they weren’t brave enough. Dreams they could have followed. 


I only have one regret when it comes to following my dreams and that is the fact that at the end the first year of my teaching degree, a friend of mine (who played Sunday league football with one of the band), told me that The Beautiful South were auditioning for a new female vocalist and he had got me an audition for that weekend. It was a dream come true, they were one of my favourite bands (still are) and although I will never know whether my voice was right for them, or even if it was good enough, I wish I had been brave enough to try.

 I decided that I was enjoying my teacher training and that I didn’t want to throw away that first year. In reality I was scared. Scared that they would laugh at me. Scared of the huge changes it would mean to my life if I did get in. I wish I had been brave enough to find out though.

Is there something you have always dreamed of doing but you haven’t been brave enough to take that first step? 

Remember the Mark Twain quote:

“We regret the things we don’t do more than the things we do.”

Here are my top 5 reasons why it is important to follow your dreams:

1. It will make you happy!

2. To prove them wrong. The naysayers, the voices in your head… whoever it is telling you you can’t do it!

3. You only live once.

4. They make life worth living.

5. To earn a living – you are more likely to do something well if you enjoy it.


What can you do today to move you closer to your dreams?

Is your life changing? You need to read this.

Going through big changes blog

Life is changing all the time…

We grow, situations change and life moves on from one day to the next. Occassionally though something happens which changes life in a big way. It may be a change of job, the start of a new relationship, or the end of an old one, the death of a loved one or the birth of a child. Often we are expecting this change, but it doesn’t necessarily make that change easier to deal with. 

Life is constantly changing.

This time of year brings many changes too. The weather changes, the leaves on the trees will soon be changing and children are starting school, changing class and even leaving home to start new chapters at boarding school or university.

As an ex-teacher I am particularly in tune with the changes that happen in the Autumn. I would have been adding the finishing touches to my new classroom and preparing for my new class at this time of year. I still get the urge to buy new stationery and a new school bag, and I still use an academic diary. This time of year still feels like new year more than January 1st to me, I suppose because I spent so many years in education. 

This year I am gearing up for one of the biggest changes of my adult life; my daughter going to university.

I have been trying to mentally and physically prepare for this change ever since she changed her mind about wanting to go, about two years ago. I am slowly realising though that it doesn’t matter how much pasta I have bought for her to take with her, I have still not processed the fact that in two short weeks she will be moving 120 miles away. Not only that, she will only be 4 miles from my best friend, my sister Jen, and I will still be 120 miles away from both of them!

I have, of course, been journaling about this imminent change, but I have realised that I am not fully able to process it. Why? Because it hasn’t happened yet. I was talking to my sister about it recently, her eldest is starting high school this week, that is a big change for their family too. She commented that she didn’t think she could process it fully because she doesn’t know how she is going to feel.

It’s true isn’t it?

We can’t know how we are going to feel about something that hasn’t happened yet. 

Autumn changes

Journaling is a powerful tool and one I would recommend to anyone, but it is a tool for processing events and emotions we have already experienced. I can journal about the wonderful memories we have created this summer, but what I cannot do is process my daughter leaving home, because it hasn’t happened yet. 

Similarly, if we are unhappy in our relationship, we can journal about the emotions we are feeling, but we can’t write about the end of that relationship until it has actually ended.

There are times when journaling can be used to project what we want to happen in the our lives. We may write a letter to our future self or journal about business goals we have, we may even discover ambitions we were unaware of while we journal, but this is a different form of journaling and a subject for another blog. When we use journaling to heal emotionally, we have to have already experienced those emotions. 

Autumn changes 2

We want to start processing those big emotions before the time is right, because we know they may be overwhelming if we wait until we are in the eye of the storm. It may be possible to start processing how we feel about these big changes, but we can’t possibly know exactly how we will feel until they are here, with us, and we are immersed fully. 

We want to start healing before we have suffered the injury, as though that will make it all easier.

Unfortunately life isn’t like that, is it? 

I am acutely aware that I am going to need to do a lot of journaling and processing of my emotions when my daughter moves to University. I already cry at the thought of it some days. I know that this is the best thing for her though. I know she is ready and she needs that freedom to grown and spread her wings. This is what I have been wanting for her since she was born. What I hadn’t taken into account though is the fact that for her to fly high and live her life, she has to leave me on the ground waiting to see when she will land in my life again. 

I do know one thing for sure though. I have a beautiful new journal waiting to absorb all the tears and the heartache, emotions that I will undoubtedly feel at times. I also have a deep and beautiful knowledge that she is following her dream to be a writer. A dream she has had since she was able to understand what it meant to be an author. I am filled with pride and joy that she is able to follow her heart and have this life changing experience.

It is so often the case that big changes come with a cocktail of emotions, and they aren’t always the ones that you were expecting.

If you have big changes ahead in your life, you can talk to trusted loved ones, you can write about how you are feeling right now, you can do everything in your power to be organised for that change. What you can’t do though, is to begin to process how think you will feel when the change happens, and that is ok. That’s how life should be. You might surprise yourself and deal with it brilliantly. You might experience emotions you weren’t expecting. Whatever happens though, you will get through it and writing it out can be a powerful tool to help you do that.


If you would like to learn more about the power of journaling, why not join my journaling group; A little word told me…


Find out more about journaling through change:

Are you going through big changes? 

Benefits of journaling


Therapeutic writing or writing for business.

Therapeutic Writing

When we write for therapeutic reasons (often called journaling), we use a very different style of writing to almost any other form of writing. In this blog I am going to compare journaling with business writing, such as a blog, article, newsletter, or even social media post. 

Writing is a chameleon. How we write changes dramatically depending on the purpose of the writing and the intended audience.

This weekend I learned this lesson the hard way. I have been on holiday with my family for a week and wasn’t officially back at work, but I needed to send an email to the co-working group, that I run with Asha Clearwater, reminding them that we were having a session this afternoon (I am actually writing this during the session). I would normally have scheduled the email well in advance, but we hadn’t decided on a date before I went away. 


When we make mistakes we grow

On Saturday, between trying to get on top of the washing, bake and decorate a birthday cake for my Mum’s 70th birthday, and before going to a BBQ at my inlaws house, I attempted to send the email. 

I sat down while the cake was in the oven and quickly tapped out a few lines, using a previous email as a template. I checked the important details and hit send. 

It wasn’t until someone replied to the email that I noticed that I had forgotten to change the email subject line. The first thing everyone saw was a title reading: “Are you joining us to write this morning?”. It wouldn’t have been so bad, but I sent the email in the afternoon. 

I quickly sent out an apology, but, because I was already flustered and dashing about trying to get everything done, I somehow managed to type: Tuesday afternoon instead of Monday afternoon! 

This was brought to my attention by a client who contacted me to check which day it was because she was confused. By now I was stepping out of the door to the BBQ. I quickly replied and explained that it was in fact a Monday session this week before heading over to my in laws for a lovely evening. I had decided now that I should wait until I had more time before contacting everyone again to correct my error.

Writing lessons…

I finally sent an email out this morning with all the right information; dates, times, links etc. I checked and double checked it when I wrote it last night. I knew I was tired after a long drive to Leeds and back and an afternoon of helping my Mum host her birthday party. Despite that, I wasn’t rushing anywhere. I was able to sit, read and re-read, check and double check to make sure everything was as it should be. Which of course, is what I should have done in the first place.


It frustrated me most because, generally speaking, I am very careful with my business related copy. As an ex-teacher, I am acutely aware that spelling or typing mistakes, poor grammar, and rooky errors of any kind in your copy, can make all the difference when you are building a relationship using the written word.

However, I also know the importance of being human and being authentic. So I explained exactly what had happened and why, and turned it into a teaching point, just as I am now! You see for a quick note to a friend to arrange to meet up, what I did would have been fine, because that is a very different style of writing, and for a very different purpose. If I had been writing in my journal, for therapeutic reasons, it would have been perfect, but not for a business email. 


What is the difference between therapeutic writing and writing for business?

There are several differences between the way we write for business and therapeutic writing. I will go through a few that I believe are the most important. 

 1. Tone/Voice

When you write for business you use a more formal version of your authentic voice. It is important to show personality, but not be too familiar, and to still remain professional, whatever that means for you. When you write therapeutically you just write. You don’t worry about what voice you are using, it is usually your true self who takes control of the pen or pencil. You write without worrying about which words you choose or even whether you are making sense, some of the time. The tone of your writing changes dramatically between the two styles of writing.


2. Spelling

When you write for business checking spelling is so important. I can’t tell you how many people I know who click away from a website or unsubscribe from newsletters if there are spelling mistakes. 

When you write therapeutically you don’t worry about spelling or handwriting. It doesn’t even matter if you can’t read back what you have written, because the benefit and purpose of the writing is the process, not the finished product.

3. Punctuation

Use of punctuation is very similar to spelling in this context. When you are writing for business purposes it is so important to check that your punctuation allows the reader to understand your message, as this well known example demonstrates:

Let’s eat Grandpa.

Let’s eat, Grandpa.

One rogue, or missing, comma can completely change the meaning of a sentence and the offer you are making or product you are selling. Just as spelling doesn’t matter when you write therapeutically, neither does grammar. You understand the meaning intended as it spills onto the page and that is the objective and all that matters.

4. Grammar

Grammar completes the magic “Spag” which is such a strong focus in schools. Grammar is of course important when we write for others to read. That said there are many things which seem to go undetected by most people these days, and I do sometimes wonder if I am just a bit of a grammar pendant (the word “myself” seems to have almost completely replace “me” no matter where it appears in the sentence, and don’t get me started on Idris Elba using the word “accommodations” in a recent advert for a holiday provider!). I believe it is still important to use good grammar when writing for business though. Now I’m not going to pretend that my grammar is perfect, it isn’t, but I do try hard and I often check things when I am unsure.

Of course when you are journaling for your own benefit, whether you use good grammar matters as little as whether you spell everything correctly or whether you use punctuation.

5. Finally, Proof reading

Of course this brings us right back to the reason for this post. When you are journaling you can write for hours and never, ever read anything you have written. You are not writing in order to record anything (although you may choose to look back), you are using the writing process as a means of accessing information in your unconscious mind, or working through issues you may be having, or even unraveling a particular situation you are struggling with. When you write for business it is so important to re-read everything to check for meaning, perhaps you need to re-arrange a sentence or even a paragraph. Maybe when you re-read it you realise that you need to add a little more information or re-phrase a section so it reads more easily. And of course it is very important to check that any key information is correct; dates, times, links etc.


Do you write for a range of audiences and with different purposes? How does your writing style change? Do you remember to re-read what you have written before you send it or make it live, or are you mostly writing for yourself and it doesn’t matter? Let me know.

Find out more about journaling for exam anxiety:

The power of handwriting

The writing process


5 Ways journaling can help you process big changes

big changes blog

Changes are inevitable.

We are all constantly growing and changing. We might change job, move house, find a new partner, have a child, decorate a room… whether it is a big change or a small change it can be discombobulating.

Many of us have been going through changes recently and some have been harder to handle than others. I think the global pandemic made us all stop and think about our lives and what our priorities are. As a result some people have made big changes in their lives, or had them forced on them.

I have also been going through a period of change. I was forced to make big changes to my businesses almost a year ago when things out of my control impacted my school business. At the time I thought it was a disaster, but with hindsight it was such a blessing.  

It is so easy to think that set backs are always for the worse, but sometimes they are just a way for the universe to put you back on the right path. Without that enforced change I would never have found the time to look more at my journal therapy work and the joy that brings, not just me, but my clients.

The power of writing

I have always used writing to help me process change and emotions and being able to guide you to do the same has given me so much joy. 

There are so many benefits of writing and taking the time to journal when you are going through a time of change can be a wonderfully healing thing to do. 

Big changes

How does journaling help when you are experiencing changes?

1. Writing down what is happening, helps you to process the events unfurling in your life. When you write things down your brain is able to order and work things out which it may not be able to do when you are just thinking about an issue. When you write in this way your mind works in a different way and you can access new or forgotten facts.

2. Journaling allows you to record the process of change. By writing throughout the process of change you document how your thoughts and feelings around the change evolve and you can look back to see how far you have come.

3. When you journal you are working out any problems too. Often when this change you can hit challenges or issues. By writing throughout you can iron these out along the way rather then them building up to be dealt with later.

4. Journaling keeps you calm. Changes can feel scary. Mostly we like things to stay the same, it is comforting. Change is often necessary though and by journaling through changes you can help yourself stay calm as you move through this transition. Journaling is known to reduce stress and just taking a few minutes to process how you are feeling will help you glide through this time.

5. Journaling helps you discover your true feelings and act on them. When you journal you often make interesting discovering about how you are really feeling about the changes happening. You may think you are scared and discover you are actually excited. 

You may think you are really excited about the changes that are happening and when you journal you may discover that you have a few concerns or apprehensions (it is almost always better to be aware of these as soon as possible). Journaling helps you discover your true thoughts. When you learn how you truly feel you can create a brighter future, one that is totally fulfilling.


Journal prompts for times of change

  •  Do you like change or find it challenging? Perhaps you could journal about your beliefs about change.
  • What is holding you back from making other changes in your life right now? 
  • What do you hope to gain from the current changes you are going through? 

Find out more about the benefits of journaling through change:

Your Journal; best friend and therapist

The power of journaling during change 

6 Ways writing things down will change your life

6 Ways Writing things down will change your life blog

You don’t have to be a mind reader to know that I am an advocate for the power of writing.

Over the years writing has helped me in so many ways; to stay organised, to remember things, to process difficult feelings and so much more. I write every day. Sometimes it may just be a couple of lines and others it is pages and pages. Like everyone my days are varied and I don’t really have a daily routine so some days I have more time to write than others, but even on the busiest day, I find time to write. 

Why is it so important to me? Well, hopefully once you have read this post you will understand. It grounds me, reminds me and helps me to figure out what is going on in my life. But it is even more than that. Here are the top 6 ways I have found writing has changed my life.

1. Writing helps me remember things

I genuinely don’t know where I would be without my diary, range of notebooks and my to do lists. If I need to remember something I write it down. Not only does that help me to remember whatever it is I have written down, it frees up space in my head for other thoughts. If you don’t make a note of things you need to remember your brain has to keep hold of it and that stops you from being able to process other thoughts, which might be more useful and relevant to your day. If you need to remember something, write it down. It allows your brain to process that information and you often remember it better anyway as it moves to a different part of your memory once it is written down.

2. It creates a record 

Many people keep a diary. Whether it is of upcoming appointments or a record of their day, this is a great way to keep track of what you have done and when. My Dad has kept a daily diary for almost 50 years, and while we may occasionally rib him for it, the number of times he is able to go back and pin point an event for us is incredible. As a result I now keep a simple diary myself in the hope that once day I will be able to do the same for myself and my children.

3. It allows you to process difficult emotions

When you talk things through with a friend or loved one you often have a-ha moments and realisations which would otherwise have remained buried. The same thing happens when you write about an issue. It is also easier to write about really difficult issues than it is to talk about them, which is why traditionally we write or text someone when we have something really difficult to say. Writing it down to yourself allows you to go through the same process though.

4. It gives you insight

When you write things down you access different parts of your brains to when you talk. This allows you to gain deep insights into how you are feeling and discover things about yourself that you may have been totally unaware of until that moment.   Journaling using a prompt can give you solutions to situations you have been struggling work through. By writing and keeping writing when we believe we have nothing more to say, we can often unearth some really deep insights.


5. It gives you a sense of achievement

When you write things down consistently over time, you can look back and really see how much progress you have made. It is so easy to think that we haven’t achieved anything, yet in reality we are all learning and growing every single day. Writing things down is a wonderful way to chart that progress and help you acknowledge how much you have really progressed.

6. It helps you commit to things

When you write something down you are much more likely to achieve it or work towards it. If you tell someone you are going to do something, you have committed to it and are more likely to follow through. Likewise if you write a goal or a task down, you have made yourself accountable and you are much more likely to succeed. Research shows that you are 42% more likely to achieve your goals just by writing them down every day. If you want to achieve something grab a pen and paper, whether it is weight loss, promotion or your dream partner, get writing.

Have I convinced you yet?

A daily writing habit has been a game changer for me. I started many years ago and I know that it has helped me to deal with mental health issues, it has helped me to process grief and to heal relationships. It allows me to see my personal development and my professional growth and it gives me a wonderful record of myself in a time capsule. I can look back and discover how I was feeling the night I discovered I was pregnant with my children or how I felt when my Grandma died. I feel very honoured to have this ability, after all, not everyone can write. 773 million adults globally are illiterate.  Even in the UK over 7 million people are described as having poor literacy skills.

I would love to live in a world where everyone had access to books and writing equipment. Where every child was taught to read and write and appreciate the gift that that is. It would make me so happy to know that everyone in the world could benefit from the power of writing the way I have over the years.

If you are reading this, you are one of the lucky ones. Be thankful for your abilities, and take them to the next level with a daily writing habit. If you don’t know how, get in touch or sign up for my newsletter. I include writing prompts and tips and tricks every week to help you become a confident, contented writer. Just complete the form at the bottom of the page.

Find out more about the importance of writing every day:

Why you should write daily

The power of handwriting


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