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The Writer's Key
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Table of Contents

Preface. 1. The Writer's Key, An Introduction. 2. Beginning. 3. The Journal: An Everyday Ally. 4. Place, People, Things. 5. Tell Me a Story. 6. Poetry. 7. Pictures in the Mind: images. 8. Letters. 9. Conversation with Myself. 10. Mentors and Terrorists. 11. Dreams. 12. Once upon a Time... 13. Opening Doors. 14. Ever After.

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A complete beginner's guide to writing for self-reflection and personal development

About the Author

Dr Gillie Bolton has worked in reflective and therapeutic writing for personal and professional development for twenty-eight years, and has written and edited nine books, one of which will shortly be in its fourth edition. A grandmother of three, she lives in Bloomsbury, London, and Hope Valley, Derbyshire.

Reviews

her practical and stimulating style not only carries the reader along on an enthusiastic journey, byt her adroit use of examples and exercises (particularly the WRITE section at the end of each chapter) positivel encourages active participation. -- Nurturing Potential
This book provides a gentle invitation to writing as a form of self-discovery, and quietly leads the user into some powerful moments of personal reflection. Highly recommended to anyone who is interested in learning more about the transformative potential of creative writing. -- John McLeod, Emeritus Professor of Counselling, Abertay University and Adjunct Professor of Psychology, Oslo University
What a gift - Gillie Bolton's writing wisdom, creativity and humanity presented in a fresh and utterly accessible way. If you are interested in opening a door and crossing thresholds into creative adventure or personal discovery, here's a sensitive and learned guide. Bolton knows how writing can provide ways into and out of life's terrains, smooth or bumpy, shady or bright. With a light touch, she shares insights and learning. The Writer's Key offers practical writing exercises, mapped out carefully and enriched with reflections from other writers navigating diverse experience. For novices, this book will provide support with first steps. For the experienced, it's a re-energising reminder of how and why we write. For everyone, it's a clear message that we each have a key and, if we choose, we can take this author's ample encouragement to trust the process and "Write!" -- Fiona Hamilton, writer and Director of Orchard Foundation, UK
Gillie's book is an extraordinarily good read. Some of the keys are simple and easy to use, others are jewelled and more demanding to turn. It is a book which promotes the mysterious and irreducible, and is for times when spoken words aren't deep, wide or strong enough. -- Jeannie Wright, Director of Counselling & Psychotherapy Programmes, Warwick University
The Writer's Key is a necessary and inspirational book. It unlocks the secrets to the therapeutic potential of creative writing in all its forms. Gillie Bolton is a trustworthy, enthusiastic and invaluable guide for therapists and for those who know, instinctively, that writing may become a source of exploration, understanding and solace. Through her lucid chapters, examples and exercises, Gillie proves that there's no greater opportunity than that offered by a blank page and an itch to bring it alive with words. -- Robert Hamberger, poet
Gillie Bolton has furnished a meeting and finding place for surprisingly new words and freshly understood old words. Reading this work of explorative exercises, observations, reflections and insights can make a difference. With The Writer's Key you can open hidden doors into your memories, dreams, and relations, unpack and repack your life stories. "Ask your writing!" she advises. Write your senses, chances and changes, sharing your expressive words with others. -- Juhani Ihanus, Professor of Psychology, University of Helsinki, Finland
The Writer's Key is an exciting and accessible way into creative writing for personal development; the many anecdotes and creative examples feed the reader, and the many ideas and imaginative exercises nourish the writer. This book shows the foundational ways in which writing can transform, release and motivate individuals as they travel through the sunlit and shadowed passages of life. -- Claire Williamson, Programme Leader, MSc in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes, Metanoia Institute

Gillie Bolton's Writer's Key is a supremely hopeful book, one that reveals in every page its author's belief in the resilience, wisdom and creativity of us all. In this book, the author opens up so many doors for us as readers, with her encouraging words and gentle tone, her expertise as a personal writing specialist, and the generous treasure trove of writing prompts and illustrations she provides.Gillie Bolton brings years of personal and professional experience to fruition in this practical and inspirational guide to writing. Gently and with clarity and conviction, the author inspires us all to express our writer's voice, explore our unique selves, recognize our inner wisdom figures and realize the power we have to transform our lives. The Writer's Key is a multi-faceted guide to writing for healing, meaning-making and enhanced self-development. In vivid detailed ways, Bolton drives home the power of the writing process and inspires its readers to get out their favourite notebook and pen and proceed on their own creative journeys of discovery.

-- Geri Chavis, Licensed Psychologist, Certified Poetry Therapist & Supervisor
Gillie Bolton holds the keys to healthier, happier, more robust living. In this delightful book, she unlocks doors, crates, and mystery chests of experience and emotion, expertly guiding us to our own hidden rooms, forgotten resources and undiscovered treasures. -- Kathleen Adams, Director, Center for Journal Therapy, USA
The book is aimed at an audience who is willing to give self-writing a try, and no previous experience of personal writing for self-knowledge and discovery is assumed. The writing activities at the end of each chapter are always imaginative and suggest strategic ways to students, practitioners, and supervisees who are seeking to explore personal and professional blocks, and especially those who enjoy words. For those who are experience in self-writing, the book offers a fresh look at the therapeutic potential of creative writing. It's an exciting reminder of how writing works and, unlike some of the art therapies, the only equipment needed is pencil and paper an somewhere to write. This is an exhilarating read and I found myself putting off what I was going to do and stating to write there and then. -- Jeannie Wright, Director of Counselling and Psychotherapy Programmes at Warwick Unversity * Therapy Today.net *

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