Robin Finn Is Helping Women Find Their Voices (and Wellness) Through Writing
Robin Finn has always been passionate about helping women find themselves through writing. As a writer, teacher, coach, and founder/creator of Heart. Soul. Pen. women’s writing collective, she hopes that women everywhere can better tap into their creativity to find clarity in their lives. “I believe that finding your voice on the page helps you find your voice in your life,” says Robin. “When you start to write, you slow down and discover what’s important to you. Whether you’re a professional writer, a blogger, or a woman in search of radical self-expression, writing anchors you to who you truly are.”
She adds, “Everybody has something to share, and the more you write, the more that becomes clear. Once you understand what it is that makes you feel passionate, then your whole life starts to change. Life’s a journey and writing will help clarify for you what it is that you need in your life.”
Do you think everyone has the ability to write?
Yes, everyone has the ability to write. Everyone has something unique to share. Everyone has their own personal story inside them. Too often women think their story isn’t important, or it’s not somehow worthy of being shared, so I think it’s a really important message for all people, but particularly for women, to know that their words are worthy, that they have the ability to write, and that they something valuable to share.
How can writing help women feel empowered?
Studies have shown that writing increases our emotional and physical well-being. So, just the act of writing can be very empowering. But even more than that, when you find your voice on the page, you find your voice in life. Writing is a natural outgrowth of becoming much more connected to what it is that you want to say. When you write from your heart and soul and let go, allowing your writing to emerge, you end up really connecting to your own voice. In my experience teaching writing classes, retreats, and workshops for women, I would say that writing empowers us to live more fully as our true selves. This is very empowering.
How can writing be used as a therapeutic tool?
Women, in particular, are often caregivers, whether to parents, a spouse, or kids. The more caregiving you do, often that anchor to your own identity gets farther and farther away. A lot of times people will say, ‘I feel like I’ve lost my voice,’ so writing can really help people get it back. The act of having a consistent writing practice forces you to prioritize your creative self-expression. As you continue to make space for yourself, you reclaim your voice and feel more connected to yourself. This shift can be truly transformational.
What tips and advice do you have for women struggling to tap into their creative side?
If I had to say three tips, one of them is to use timed writing, where you set a timer and force yourself to keep writing the entire time with no editing, no thinking, just writing. When you write to a timer, and you write without stopping, it doesn’t allow that judgmental voice to jump in and tell you this, that, or other.
The second thing I say to writers is to choose a “Quality.” A “Quality” can be anything, such as courage, focus, energy, or self-love. It can be anything that you feel you need to anchor to unleash your creative self-expression. A lot of times, writing can be seen as scary, so it really helps to anchor to a Quality and ask yourself, ‘what do I need right now to feel really creative?’
The third tip I’d say is don’t let the small be the enemy of the consistent. Set aside time to write, even if you can only write five minutes a week, that’s fine. Some people will say, ‘If I can’t set aside three hours a week to develop a writing project, why bother?’ We make these big commitments that we can’t keep and then we use that to not write. Even if you set aside only ten minutes once a week to write, at the end of 52 weeks, you’ll be surprised at how much material you have. You will be surprised at what comes forward. So, be consistent, and set goals that are small and doable.
Health and wellness aren’t usually associated with writing. What makes you believe the two are connected?
Studies have shown that writing can actually increase our emotional and physical well-being and decrease stress. In the post-pandemic world, creativity has really emerged as one area that can be extremely soothing and healing. The thing is, writing is accessible to everyone—you just need a pen and paper. What it comes down to is shifting this idea of writing as something that is scary or only belongs to a few or has to be “perfect,” to seeing writing as an opportunity for radical self-expression. When you do that, writing starts to become fun, healing and soothing in a way that any creative endeavor is. There’s no question that a regular writing practice will positively impact your emotional and physical health.
Your motto is, “Don’t think, just write.” Why is this a mantra everyone should follow?
I believe that our most powerful writing comes not from our heads, but from our hearts, our soul, and our body. The head is a great place for rewriting and editing and revising, but the head is the home of all of our judgment. When we get too caught up in thinking, we start judging that our writing isn’t good and then we stop writing.
When you bypass the head and you write freely, you allow your writing to emerge rather than forcing writing out of your head. We do that when we let go of our thinking minds and allow our work to come forward without hesitation. Setting aside time for writing and radical self-expression is healing, stress-reducing, and very often, transformational.