Exploring the relationships between creativity and wellbeing in later life
Ageing Creatively was a Newcastle University research project funded from the Research Councils UK initiative on Lifelong Health and Wellbeing, led by the Medical Research Council. In this pilot project we explored various research questions around creativity and wellbeing in later life, including whether it is always beneficial to participate in creative arts activities. The final report can be downloaded from the Ageing Creatively research project website.
My paper on the uses and transformations of a writer’s notebook based on research conducted with participants in the creative writing workshops during (& after!) this project was published in Writing in Practice: The Journal of Creative Writing Research (Vol.1, NAWE) and is available to read online as ‘Blank Pages: The role(s) of the notebook in creating wellbeing during a series of creative writing workshops‘. In the paper, elements of the research are highlighted by verbatim poems constructed from individual post-workshop participant interviews.
My joint paper with the Music researcher, Dr Helen Thomas, ‘Ageing creatively: A case study into how a group of people in later life use metaphor to describe the relationship between creative activity and subjective wellbeing’ was published in Metaphor and the Social World (4:2).
As the Creative Writing & Literature researcher on the project, I helped publish the creative writing group’s anthology, The 6th Floor, which combined poetry and prose by the 10 members of the creative writing workshops at the end of the project. If you’re interested in a copy then please get in touch.