Prison Memoirs: Write for Therapy in Prison
When I’m working as a prison consultant, helping defendants prepare for the journey ahead, I suggest they begin writing. Writing helped me enormously during the 26 years that I lived as a prisoner. Equally important, the body of work that I created while serving the sentence helped me emerge with numerous opportunities that otherwise wouldn’t have existed. If you’re facing a prison term, then you may consider writing your prison memoirs as a plan to make it through.
In today’s podcast, you’ll hear from Stacy Curtis. Stacy is a college writing instructor who also leads the Write of Your Life Podcast. Through her podcast, Stacy profiles people who are passionate about writing. I met her through the community at Podcasters Paradise. After a brief conversation, I invited Stacy to share her insights and strategies for people who may want to learn how to write.
She cited academic research showing that writing could help anyone through challenging circumstances. When individuals take the time to reflect, or introspect, they develop a sense of empowerment and they restore confidence. Without a doubt, writing can bring clarity of thought and purpose—useful skills for someone in prison.
Identifying 10 or 15 milestones in life would be a great place to start the writing process. Another list might include eight to ten areas of conflict. Evaluating where those conflicts and milestones intersect could provide inspiration for the memoir. She also suggested “free writing,” anything to get the process started. Rather than obsessing over grammar or structure, Stacy suggested that simply putting words on paper could help. As the story unfolds, the writer can spend time developing scenes, providing details that will help the reader experience the story through all senses.
Obviously, good writing takes a lot of time and work. The investment, however, can prove enormously therapeutic. It worked for me and it can work for others who want to restore their sense of dignity after challenging times.
For more information on Stacy Curtis’ work, her contact information follows:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/WriteOfYourLife