Monica Suswin

Tell me a little bit about your most recent publication…

Love & Loss: creative therapeutic writing on relationships (2018) explored how writing helps deal with the painful separation of someone loved. All my books are based on my own personal writing (prose, poems, dramatic dialogue) with explanations of how this process is beneficial to wellbeing. Included are exercises for the reader to adapt to suit their own life and circumstances.

How would you best describe the genre that you write in?

My field is: Creative and Therapeutic Writing – sometimes called Writing for Wellbeing. It is a confusing field because there are so many descriptions: Life Writing, Reflective Writing, Poetry Therapy, Autoethnographic Writing are just some other ways of describing ways of writing within this genre.

What is the best part about writing?

Expressing and exploring my inner life (feelings and thoughts) and the world around me with whatever topic I choose to write about which is relevant to my current project.

What are you working on at the moment?

I am finishing my four book series on Creative and Therapeutic Writing. Book 4 – Rope Mates – is about companionship for writers and is almost ready for publication. Book 3 – Shifting Boundaries – on family life and friendships is not far behind. This will mark the end of a fifteen year project. Both will be published this summer 2019.

Do you also teach or mentor writers?

I offer writing sessions to individuals and run Healing for Writing Workshops for small groups in my Cabin on the Hill (Sussex). The people I work with are not necessarily writers, but people who enjoy writing and want to learn more about themselves through expressive and exploratory writing. I also offer 24 hour retreats to writers, which include a writing session.

Tell us about your writing schedule.

I don’t have a schedule. I aim to write every day, starting with diary and work journal with my morning cup of tea. Then I will have an aim during the day of what is realistic to achieve, depending what else is in my diary. And I work in twenty minute slots. These build up over the course of a day. This approach suits me. Of course a twenty minute slot may expand when I am in a flow.

If you weren’t a writer, what other career would you choose and why?

I might be a potter – I love making pots, and going to a 2 hour class once a week isn’t enough time to get really skilled. It needs hours of practice.

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