Comfort in Pen and Paper

Last year I discovered the Wellness and Writing Connections Conference in Atlanta, Georgia.  Though I’ve been writing most of my life to de-stress and save my soul, I had no idea that someone had built a conference and professions around it.  Dr. John Evans founded the conference and has invited notable speakers in the writing and wellness profession to address how writing can help us heal and overcome isolation and despair.   The Conference takes place this year on Saturday,
Oct. 24th.  When I asked Dr. Evans why he’d started this, he said, "Writing notebooks and journals keeps me
sane." 

Dr. Evans felt moved to start the
conference after experiencing the benefits of writing first hand when he was
diagnosed with advanced cancer, but also during depression and a difficult
divorce.  "Writing has been my
talisman.  It provides perspective for my
past and present and writing helps me affirm the future," he says.  The conference funded largely by Dr. Evans’
welcomed Dr. James Pennebaker renowned for his work in journaling and health
benefits.  Last year’s keynote speaker
included the Pulitizer Prize winning author of Wit, a story about a cancer patient.  "Written words have the power to change our
lives," Dr. Evans says.  "These beliefs were
reinforced in research for my dissertation and in the late 1990’s when I taught
Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and
Louise De Salvo’s Writing as a Way of
Healing.   He founded
the conference because he feels that writers and healthcare professionals have
much to share about wellness and writing connections.  "Many people still don’t realize that relief
and guidance can be as close at hand as pen and paper," he says.  This year’s conference will be held at Georgia Tech Global
Learning Center
with a broad array of workshops and presentations.  I’ll be giving another workshop there this year, another journey into the healing secret garden – and I’ll also enjoy the good atmosphere of the other presenters and their innovative work as well.  For more information go to:  http://www.wellnessandwritingconnections.com

Copyright: Debra Moffitt-Leslie, Oct. 2009 – http://www.debramoffitt.com 

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