:: Researchers and the University of Chicago discovered that taking time to write reflectively about one’s anxieties helps a test-taker’s performance.
Here’s the link.
I do this sort of writing all the time. When I’m working on an article or a book project, I often do some meta-writing when I get stuck. This is how I get past so-called writer’s block. I move away from the manuscript and write in a notebook; I list all of the things that are bugging me about my project–that my arguments are weak, that I’m afraid it won’t get published, that I’m not making good connections.
And then, ALWAYS, a solution presents itself. Every time I’ve done this anxiety-provoked meta-writing, and I mean every darn time, I’m able to solve the problem.
It’s like magic. Except it’s not. It’s just writing.
Update September 2018
It’s been nearly 7 years since I wrote this post, and just today this happened again. I woke up with a start. During that drowsy sleepy-wake time I’d come up with a solution to a scene in a my next novel, but then I’d forgotten it. Poof. GONE. And then I pulled out my notebook and started writing about it. I wrote that I’d forgotten something. That I’d had an answer. And then it came back to me, just because I was writing in my notebook.
I don’t think there’s anything magical. I’m a very practical person. I think that we just are able to write our way out of problems.