Writing Your Life: Writing to Heal

Author and renowned writing teacher Lynn Lauber’s online workshop for CreakyJoints


CreakyJoints sponsors a FREE 10-week online writing course for its community. The next session is not currently scheduled but applicants may apply to be placed on the waiting list.

Taught by Lynn Lauber, the author of three books with WW Norton including Listen to Me, about the healing power of personal writing, the workshop will be modeled after the online creative writing course Lauber has taught for UCLA for years. Class starts at noon on the first day and ends at noon on the closing day. During this time the course is always available.

We accept twenty into each session. Please note that a 200-250 essay on why you want to take the course is required when you register.

For more information on how the course works and to register:

Register for the course

Why write out your own life? Author and writing teacher Lynn Lauber as well as those who have taken the course tell you why.

Lynn Lauber in her own words:

I started writing when I was the most feckless, troubled young woman imaginable – a liar, an outsider, an eavesdropper – all traits that no one ever tells you are assets for writers, even if they’re trouble out in the world. 

By the time I was 16, I’d given up a child for adoption, become alienated from the town I’d grown up in and worn out my parents. I didn’t know what would become of me. And so I wrote – about odd, baleful girls from small places, about exile, and revenge. I used cliches without knowing it and imitated anyone in my path. This was writing that went on in private and remained there, work no one wanted or read or financed. And so it has mostly remained.
By handling the material of my life, picking up the facts and turning them over, exaggerating and connecting them, I became involved in navigational work, though I wasn’t aware of it at the time. In this way, writing became an act of inner charting, a tool to the unexplored self. Who was I, far down there? What was I doing with this life of mine? Often it seemed I didn’t even know what I believed until I wrote it, as if writing were the arrow that pierced a subterranean region rich with metaphor, wisdom and foreknowledge.
As I continued to write and took workshops, then began leading them myself, I saw how this was not unusual, but the common experience, that most people have stories they are eager to write and that it does them good to do so. I saw that this kind of writing gave people a way of making a crucial link between their inner and outer worlds.
Personal writing is an antidote for so much that ails us. I’ve watched grown men from the highway department weep at the memory of their mothers; waitresses cover their faces as they describe the girls they once were. I’ve seen people forge connections, encounter lost truths, and stanch old wounds.
In a time when there is little space for listening, when people who yearn to reflect are relegated to the therapist’s couch, personal writing may be one of the last ways we have of keeping track of each other and ourselves.
I look forward to joining with members of the CreakyJoints community for this newest online workshop. I welcome anyone who wants to explore their stories in a non-threatening and encouraging group to join me.

In the words of those who have taken the course:

Lynn: I have so enjoyed this writing group I can’t thank you enough for taking us all in. Hard to believe how quickly 10 weeks comes and goes! All of you lovely ladies are inspiring. You have strength, bravery and hope beyond words. I have laughed and cried at your life stories I hope we can on some level continue to stay in contact. It has been an honor to be a part of such a wonderful group of women! We are in a way bound together by our illnesses, our stories and this group. This journey has shown me how much our lives can impact our hearts, souls and spirits and how we can always find a way up, I am in awe of all of you, stay strong!    ~Chris


Lynn: I wanted to personally thank you for the time you took with a group of scared women who had never written about themselves.

You nursed us along, heaping praise on all of us, making many of us feel special for the first time. It’s an exciting thing to have someone besides your friends tell you that you have an important story to tell.

I loved reading all the different stories of the women in this group. The bravery of so many is simply staggering and the fact they all made it through everything thrown at them is one thing, but they are in a class by themselves when they wrote them down.

I enjoyed this class so much and wish it could go on and on, but I know you have so many other things to do and others to help with their writing.

So, from one writer whose training is so different from yours, to another, thank you so much for helping me understand all the things that go into telling my own story.   ~Sandi


LL: The last 10 weeks have flown by. Your writing lectures, wise words, your guidance and sincere concern for our creative voices, is something I’ll never forget.  You deserve a halo for being the good angel on our shoulders, inspiring us with great suggestions and praise for our efforts.  I’m sure I’m not the only one who has struggled during this process.  It has taken strength to dig deep and bring out emotions and memories that I once thought needed to remain buried.  I now realize that expressing these thoughts has been most healing. Thank you doesn’t seem to be enough… but, THANK YOU!!!  And my dear fellow writers, you have all changed my life. You’ve impressed me with your resilience and your amazing ability to survive and thrive through some of the most challenging experiences.    ~Katarina