Unlocking the Magic of Writing:A Personal Journey of Reflection

It was whilst caring for my father in his battle with alcoholism that I first found solace in journaling. My writing fell silent when he passed, but the urge to share my experience of being an affected family member never waned.  I’d dabbled with the idea of writing a book and had at various times attempted to put pen to paper, but I didn’t have a scooby doo where to start, let alone what to say. 


Nearly a decade later, it took a chance meeting with Beverly Ward, who BBC radio Sheffield was interviewing about a new writers workshop she was launching. I finally plucked up the courage to ask for help and even booked my first writing retreat through her. Something that was totally out of my comfort zone at the time. She helped me develop a framework for the book, and I finally felt like I had something to work with.


But as my writing progressed, I realised there’s more to this writing malarky than producing an end product. So, I just wanted to share my lived experience, which has gone beyond just writing a book.


There is one thing that you might not know about me. 


I’ve always been prone to oversharing, a trait that isn’t unfortunately always received with open arms. I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve wished I could rewind and take back the words that have spewed out of my mouth. Paranoid that people might judge me or misunderstand me. Then there’s my honesty, which isn’t always welcome; I felt like I didn’t have an off switch until I started writing.


Writing has helped me somehow calm my overactive mind. Now don’t get me wrong, I still overshare, and I am known for speaking my mind, but I feel like my delivery is more measured; it’s somehow slowed down, and that is because (In my case) I have finally found a place/space which prevents the shit that is going off in my head rolling off my tongue. So for example, previously, if something or someone were pissing me off, I would find myself reaching out to anyone and everyone to talk or, in most cases, RANT it verbally (I still do this), but nowadays, I’m more inclined to offload my frustrations onto paper first.

Talking is powerful, but in my opinion, writing is more powerful; when we talk, our words hang in the air, but with writing, I can capture them and go back if I ever need to pinpoint a particular pain or if I ever doubt myself (which is often) to go back and see in black and white, just how much I have grown as a person.

Writing has become my safe space, where my thoughts find structure, and my emotions find release. I cherish the sanctity of privacy which writing gives me. When I’m not working on the book, you will often find me writing, whether journaling daily or capturing words on my phone. Sometimes, my journaling can be a couple of lines; other times, it can turn into a couple of pages or more. A lot depends on where my head is; it’s like having my very own counselling session, only there is no counsellor, just me and my pen.

Nowadays, when I’m not ranting words onto a page, I find myself carefully crafting them, like this blog today for example.

I always say to people that ‘writing has opened doors within me that I never knew existed’ because I have learned so much about myself that I would have never discovered had I not been writing, such as 

  • I’ve discovered that playing around with poetry helps me to process unaddressed hurt or anger.
  • I have a creative side to myself that I never knew existed and 
  • I have identified obstacles that used to derail my writing endeavours. (like imposter syndrome and fear of rejection)
  • I’ve learned how my brain works for example, ‘I tend to write back to front’ (its hard to explain)
  • I recently discovered after attending a recent writing workshop facilitated by the amazing Amanda, founder of Reconcile Creative that I suffer from something called Aphantasia (which means I am unable to visualise images in my mind; its not a disability, it’s just that my mind thinks differently)
  • Writing has enabled me to become more self-compassionate towards myself.
  • And finally, while I am incredibly passionate about recovery and my job, I have realised that there is more to life than work. 

Another bonus is that through the writing workshops, I’ve found a community of kindred spirits and have crossed paths with some unique and inspirational people whom I wouldn’t have had I not been writing.

One of the best presents I received for my 50th birthday from a dear friend, Helen, was a framed canvas that contained some fantastic quotes. It sits on my desk as a reminder about the power of writing; here is one that resonates with me.

Tracey, you might not write well every day, but you can always edit a bad page, but you can’t edit a blank page. Writing isn’t about perfection. It’s a form of expression. 


Writing has become my lifeline, guiding me through grief and self-discovery, a tool for processing pain and finding catharsis. It’s my beacon of light in a world fraught with uncertainty. It’s a testament to my growth, a record of my journey, and a reminder of the power inherent in each word I share. I can get so passionate that I feel like a born-again Christian, and only I am not promoting God’s words. Instead, I encourage others to find their voice through the power of writing. 


Now, with hundreds of blogs and published poems to my name, I’m nearing the completion of my first draft, which is both exciting and daunting. “Blood is Thicker Than Alcohol” currently weighs at least 160,000 words, which is far too big for a memoir when the average is between 70,000-120,000 words. But I refuse to compromise my story for the sake of convention. This book was and has never been about becoming a bestseller. It’s been about being able to share the story authentically and not about selling it. 


Hence my decision to self-publish. I don’t know what will happen after the book is published, but I do know that I WILL continue to write and as I will continue to navigate this winding road we call life, I will do so with pen in hand, ready to capture the magic of each moment, one word at a time.


So, while I’m writing, I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for all your feedback and support and, most of all, for being part of my journey. 


Much Love 







Remember – I don’t write for financial reward or gain. I want to help share my lived experience with others, hoping it helps. I love to write, so if you fancy getting the occasional email (NO SPAM) with the most up-to-date blogs from yours truly, please feel free to subscribe at the bottom of the main page.


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5 thoughts on “Unlocking the Magic of Writing:A Personal Journey of Reflection

  1. This is fabulous, Tracey, and so much of what you’ve said about the benefits of writing resonates with me, too (And I’m an oversharer too!) Well done on nearing the completed first draft. I’m really looking forward to reading the finished book!

    1. Lovely to hear from you Alison and thank you, hope you are keeping well and I really looking forward to finishing the bleeding thing lol

      Love Tracey x

  2. Great blog Tracey, the power of writing does indeed feel like magic when it becomes somehow more than just the words on the page, but a shift in self perception through the nurturing of your creative self. It is hard work, frustrating, sometimes feels like pulling teeth, but for me at least, I start to feel adrift when I have a period of not writing. It anchors me and I know I can’t do without it. Well done on getting near the end of the enormous slog of your first draft. Good luck with taking it forward.

  3. Lovely to read this and I can identify with much of your writing journey. Where would we be without the page and a pen or two.

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