Life Changing Thoughts

How Painting and Writing Can Change Your Thoughts

Once a writer always a writer

I have always been a writer.  As a young girl I kept a detailed journal and diary, and then after graduating from University with an English and Social Anthropology degree, I knew that the only career I wanted was in publishing.  So I moved to London and was fortunate to get a job in Bloomsbury, the home of Virginia Woolf and Dora Carrington.  I loved it, working with all the authors of a prestigious publishing house, and learned every aspect of the book publishing process.  

Painting Playfully

In 1999 I went solo and set up my own literary agency to publish first-time writers. Gradually I noticed that I was writing less, as my focus shifted onto my writers who coached. All my energy went into their projects, and mine dwindled.  I didn't notice how unhappy I was with this slow decline until I was diagnosed with cancer - what a wake up call that was!  Then my life took a different pathway as I discovered art therapy.  Through the process of painting I stumbled upon an entirely now form of self-expression, one which I had no experience of.  I come from a creative family, and always believed I was the writer, and not the painter - that was for other people.  I loved the freedom that painting gave me, and discovered old patterns and dreams I was able to map out in pictures.  This process led to a deep healing, and years later, my words have returned, so that now I work the two together, not only for myself, but for my clients who benefit from this integrated work where words inspire pictures, and pictures inspire words.

Words Inspire Pictures and Pictures Inspire Words

Students of mine who have worked with me in my art studio began to notice how quickly they gained insights from this painting method, where they were free to express themselves through the paint.  As we worked silently, they were able to reach a still and meditative place within themselves, and put aside the business of their everyday lives.  Suddenly ideas and fresh thoughts were leaping out from the paper and canvas, and they wrote these down in their journals.  It was exhilirating to witness.

My tips for creating life changing thoughts

Pay attention to the amount of time you spend serving other people's projects/work vs. your own.

Give yourself time each day for your own creative efforts whatever this is:  writing, painting, doodling, playing music, sculpting.

Keep a daily journal of your thoughts and feelings.  

Give in willingly to your creative urges - if you want to mould dough in pink, do it, if you want to weave tapestries with sequins, do it, if you want to create a montage for your local charity and raise money for them, do it!

Creativity is boundless - it's only our thoughts that hold us back, so don't let yours.

I write a weekly wisdom newsletter about ways women can remain connected to what matters to them.  To receive this, please subscribe to this at my blog

Images That Inspire Words

Cradling, acrylic on paper by Amanda Seyderhelm
Cradling, acrylic on paper by Amanda Seyderhelm

Books That Inspire Life Changing Thoughts

Artist's Way: A Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self
Artist's Way: A Course in Discovering and Recovering Your Creative Self

The classic 12 week programme. Each step helps you create your map of words, thoughts and actions.

Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within, 2nd Edition
Writing Down the Bones: Freeing the Writer Within, 2nd Edition

The best book for inspiring you to write when you feel stuck.

Succulent Wild Woman
Succulent Wild Woman

Playful suggestions for unleashing your wild woman


Students in my studio painting

Painting freestyle encourages students to see things differently.
Painting freestyle encourages students to see things differently.

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Comments 2 comments

BirteEdwards profile image

BirteEdwards 7 years ago

Oh my, Amanda, how I hear and feel your heart - the joy and contentment on writing, the pain of devoting yourself to other peoples projects and writing, and your healing and again you laughter.

When you have talent in one area, you often have talent in other related fields.

amandaseyderhelm profile image

amandaseyderhelm 7 years ago from London Author

Thanks Birte for your comments. It's so quiet in here I wonder if anyone else reads my stuff ... the paranoia of being a writer surfaced yesterday!

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