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Jackie Schuld Art Therapy Blog

Writing is Pleasure Activism in Action

I’ve been a fan of the saying, “Follow your energy.” It roughly translates to, follow what feels good to you, to your gut, to your intuition.

Art Therapist Jackie Schuld shares an illustration of an individual sitting in a chair, hunched over a laptop and writing.
"Writing Away" Illustration by Jackie Schuld

It’s why I write essays like this one. It feels good to pour my thoughts out in written form and try to assert some logical flow for another person to digest them. The process brings clarity to me on my own opinions and perspectives. The practice of doing it daily helps me work out the things currently on my mind and see what is important and relevant to me. It also brings a deeper sense of meaning and purpose to my life. I sense I am building a body of work. I have a feeling this is leading somewhere, even though I don’t know where that is. But I am trusting that feeling.

When I try to write an essay to get something, the same feeling isn’t there. It doesn’t feel invigorating and exciting and enlivening.

I don’t want to write something with the purpose of getting more clients for my therapy practice. I don’t want to rack my brain for what someone might type as they search on Google for a therapist, and then tailor my writing to that - regardless of my interest level on that subject.

I’ve read shit like that, too. You can spot it a mile away. It’s boring to read and lacks heart. You can tell you’re being pandered to.

I don’t want to treat people that way. I don’t want to bamboozle them into working with me. What kind of foundation is that for a therapeutic relationship?

I want to inspire and uplift and show what is possible. I want someone to choose to work with me because it feels exciting and full of possibility.

I want my words, my genuine thoughts on the world, to resonate with someone so deeply that they think - “YES, this person gets it. I want to work with her.”

But getting clients isn’t the primary point of my writing. I write because I am a living, breathing human in this confusing world and I am trying to figure it out. I write because my autistic brain is full of so many ideas that it feels good to get them out in the world. I write because I hope that some of my musings on the world resonate with someone else trying to make their way in the confusing world - just as many authors have done for me. Where I read something and feel - Yessssss.

In fact, that happened this morning. I was reading adrianne maree brown’s “Pleasure activism.” She defines pleasure as a “feeling of happy satisfaction and enjoyment.” I thought, well god damn, I’ve been a pleasure activist in my writing all along. “Following your energy” is pleasure activism.


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