Creative Corner: Ruth Hodge’s words as therapy

The counsellor and "sanctified-sass distributor" says creative writing is a powerful tool for self-reflection and sharing Jesus with others.

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Writer and storyteller Ruth Hodge. (Credit: Maddy Voinea, bluekino.com.au)

Based between Newcastle and Port Macquarie on Australia’s sunny east-coast, Ruth Hodge is a professional counsellor, writer, wordsmith and “sanctified-sass distributor” who is passionate about sharing Jesus through storytelling.

“I share God through focusing on the human struggles we all have, always told within the context of my life experiences,” she says. “The death of my mother, the realisation of deep- seated trauma, the lessons learned from a trip to the grocery store—all of these are object lessons of God’s great, unending love.”

As a counsellor, Ruth considers writing to be a form of therapy, and a self-soothing practice.

“My main motto is not to worry about what comes out,” she explains. “Just get it out. Once it’s on the page (or the screen), the thoughts are there to look at, challenge, and ultimately to shape into the best expression of loving and thoughtful truth.”

Some poetic thoughts scribbled in a diary on May 27.

Beginning to write during her travels overseas, what started as a hobby not only transformed Ruth’s faith journey but also her professional one.

“I wasn’t always a Christian. I left the Church aged 16, and during my university years and time living abroad in France and England, I finally came back. [My blog] was a place for adventure recounts, poignant thoughts, a plethora of poetic reflections. In 2015, it became a place for me to share Jesus. It’s been that place ever since. My writing has now become a main source of income for me. So now, professionally, I am privileged to be able to write anytime and anywhere.”

Ruth says her relationship with writing has developed over time, influencing and influenced by her relationship with God.

“I was initially put off by creative writing,” she says. “In high school, creativity was ‘assessed’ and while I came up with good story concepts, I could never finish them. As the years have gone by, I’ve learned that true creative writing does not require an ending. The Bible itself has no ending, really. It speaks more so of a new beginning! I want my writing to reflect that.

“It’s as though in my creative practice I give myself grace to simply say what I need to get out of my head. In the privacy of early drafts, I am heard by my Maker. That brings me closer to Him. I also feel as I share with an audience of more than God Himself, others in their comments or responses often challenge me, deepen my thoughts and overall continue the conversation that has really only just begun.”

To read Ruth’s writing, you can follow her on Instagram @strewthrewth, visit her blog strewthrewth.blogspot.com or website wordswithruth.co.