Sunday, October 26, 2008

Writing as Therapy?

I kept a diary when I was young. From age nine to twenty-one I wrote in those cherished journals most everyday. Sometimes the entries were mechanical and boring, other times quite insightful and interesting. The most fun has been digging them out of the cedar chest and reminiscing. What is most curious to me -- and it's not exactly possible to go back and ask myself -- is why? What gave me incentive to keep a diary? Was it trendy? Was it because of loneliness? (I was an only child.) Was it my way of thinking and talking about my feelings... what bothered me, what excited me, made me sad, angry, happy? And then later in life, as my writing expanded to short stories, song lyrics, and eventually novels, has that writing been for the same reasons? All I know is that writing became a part of my life, a very important part. A way of expressing myself. But is it or could this practice be labeled therapeutic? I think so. I've given it much thought. And that's my conclusion. Maybe it doesn't matter. Maybe it shouldn't matter, as long as it makes me happy. However, it's interesting to consider the "healing" power of writing. What do you think? Is writing more than the creative, informative, entertaining art form we enjoy? Is it therapeutic?


Loretta Marie Long said...

I feel writing is very therapeutic and there are many good books that have been written about this subject to0. There seems to be an emerging field called Writing to Heal. Post Traumatic Stress disorder can sometimes be exacerbated by talking about the experiences, but for some people, writing does not re-trigger PTSD. Writing can help a person deal with the recurring images called flashbacks. This doesn't work for everyone, but when it helps it's nearly miraculous.

Writing feels very therapeutic to me. A fascinating topic.

Loretta and

DragonRaid said...

I think its therapeutic. I mean, why do people have so many journal-type blogs. Because they'd lose regular journals! j/k. Writing just makes me feel better.

Carrie Amie said...

I agree completely! Writing is something that helps me rest my mind when there are just too many things running through my head.

Anonymous said...

sorry, I accidentally posted in the group discussion. I meant to post this as a comment on your blog, so here are my thoughts.
I agree! it's always better to get your feelings out in the open
instead of bottling them up.
however, sometimes it's too difficult, or you don't feel comfortable,
telling people that
you know about what you're thinking or feeling.
that's where writing comes in.
you can express how you feel without having
the awkwardness of face to face conversations.
writing is, and always has been, a form of therapy for me.

Blossom said...

I completely agree that writing is therapeutic. Through writing, we can express our inner thoughts and feelings. Writing plays an important role to relieve stress.

Marcy said...

Writing for me is therapy. When I have something on my mind, I write about it. My mom passed away a couple of years ago and the best way I dealt with the grief was to write about it.

I write now about my kids because parenting can be frustrating and awesome all at the same time. The blog helps me keep a little sanity as I raise my kids.

Mrs H said...

I remember when I began writing about my childhood and then suddenly would see words on the screen that explained exactly how I'd felt at the time, and yet I wasn't conscious of it at all. That's when I began to see that writing has a kind of magic about it, something that often bypasses your consciousness. Now, whatever I'm writing, I've learned to rely on this process. Glad to find other teacher/writer people blogging.

Anonymous said...

It's cool, now when the boss calls me I simply tell him I'm in therapy... LOL


Laree D said...

Writing as therapy has always helped me work through a decision or somethng monumental in my life.

Douglas said...

I envy those who kept diaries or, as we men like to call them, journals. I never did. And now I am paying for it. Memories get lost in the mists of one's mind and the older you get, the thicker those mists become.

Vanessa Rogers said...

I think any hobby can be therapeutic, writing included.