Monday, November 24, 2008

Writing as Therapeutic Process

I've heard many a writer has found writing to be therapeutic. I thought I'd give it a whirl in my NaNo novel.

Bo Fexler is a character who is detached from me and my life. She shares mainly surface traits-- drinking Diet Pepsi and driving little cars being two of them.

But with Niki, I took a different route. I including in her story, and back story, many pieces of my own life. I even let her deal with them the same way I had-- with avoidance and in-depth musings. I thought I'd see if there was any relief in that action.

But I can't write when I'm angry. That's about the only time that I usually can't force myself to write. Happy, frustrated, even depressed still allow for writing. When unhappy, the writing is escape into a world I can control.

With Niki's history (and how it mirrors my own), it made me angry when I wrote. And then I would stop writing. When I picked up again, I would just jump to something else-- action instead of reflection. There was nothing therapeutic about the process.

I suppose it shouldn't surprise me that writing these things in a story was not more therapeutic for me than discussing them with hubby or anyone else. I can't fix the problems, can't change what's been done or, worse, where things have ended up. So, I'll go write about something else. Something that doesn't piss me off. Something fun. To escape.

Oh well. Not all writers are created equal. Maybe writing won't help me deal with my own issues. Maybe something else will. But I think I'd best keep writing separate from my issues-- I won't get anything done if I don't.


sandra seamans said...

I write angry sometimes and it is therapudic in some ways. But the story always winds up in the trash because it's usually an over the top, kill them dead in the grossest way I can imagine. But I feel better for having killed the enemy.

Barbara Martin said...

Writing can be therapeutic for anger, but I find I have to do something unrelated to writing when angry. Perhaps you need to do something unrelated to writing to ease your anger. Give your creativity a break.