Writing at an expo!

Over the weekend, I had a stand at Wellness Expo Gippsland. If you follow me on social media, you would have seen a few photos of my setup, but not much more… I was too busy to take many photos!

I have done expos in the past, and they can be quite overwhelming. This is the first one I’ve done to show off my Creative Writing for Wellbeing message, and since I was diagnosed autistic and ADHD. I was also more aware of my sensory needs than I have been in the past.

One thing the organisers did well was have some volunteers to give us all a break during the day. This mean that I could go and sit outside during lunch and have some quiet time where I didn’t have to talk to anyone! I also brought a thermos so I could have a cup of chai when I needed.

There came a time on both days, in the middle of the afternoon, where I was exhausted. I had been talking to people all day, and loving every moment of it, but was also feeling overwhelmed. What did I do? I got out my writing of course!

On Saturday, I got out my laptop and worked on a chapter of my novel. This was something that I didn’t have to think too much about, and I could be easily interrupted when someone stopped by my stand.

On Sunday, I worked in my notebook, starting a new story that may or may not go anywhere, it’s also incredibly messy, but I was having fun.

While I was writing, I realised that I was practicing what I preach!

Writing these snippets of stories helped me regulate. It helped me recharge in that moment and stabilise my brain so I wasn’t feeling quite so overwhelmed with all the stimulation of the day, and there was a lot of it! All the sights and sounds, it was stimulating and exhausting all in the same moment, and spending a few minutes writing helped me to stay grounded.

The piece I was working on on Saturday was part of a novel I’m working on, so that will become something one day, however the piece on Sunday was just a snippet that may not go anywhere. With both of these, my brain needed a break from everything else going on, and that short period of time where I was writing helped do just that. It was the break I needed and, in some ways, was more effective than the break I had when I sat outside and ate lunch, though I needed that break too.

Creative writing can be a powerful tool for supporting mental health, and, as you can see, I practice what I preach.

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About Melissa

Melissa Gijsbers started writing when she was in High School during the 1990s, even winning some awards for a short story and a script. For many years, life got in the way of creative writing, however she did start blogging around 2006.

She currently lives in Melbourne, Australia with her two sons and a pet blue tongue lizard.

Melissa Gijsbers, Author, Speaker & Booklover
Melissa Gijsbers - Author, Speaker & Booklover
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