In the second writing exercise, we were asked to write for five minutes about what we wanted to do next week. We were then asked to choose one of these activities – in a snap decision, without thinking about it – with Heimes’ recommendation being to do only this activity the following week. If I had engaged my intellect, I might have opted for something rather more rational. I didn’t, however, so the exercise ended for me with the task of “feeling the wind”. Well, that certainly sounded like more fun than completing my tax return, but I was a little puzzled. Where exactly had that thought come from? Perhaps, as one of my fellow participants suggested, it might have come from my subconscious, which struggles with the restrictions I place on its freedom.
At the end of the lecture, one student asked: “Why isn’t it more common for people to write down their thoughts if the results are so positive?” Prof. Heimes said that was a good question, and that she didn’t actually have a clear-cut answer. Perhaps, she said, because it was too easy. In any case, ideas and impetus certainly help us to write, so Prof. Heimes gave us exercises for a week of autobiographical writing – and that’s where we’ll start.
Pennebaker J. W., Colder M., Sharp L. K. (1990): Accelerating the coping process. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 58(3): 528-537.
Ziegler, Juliane: Einem Buch das Leben erzählen. In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 4/15/2016. (Last accessed: 4/19/2021)