Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Is Writing Therapeutic?

Good question, which deserves a good answer.

To me it is, although for most of my life it served more as an infrequent outlet for my verbal gymnastics. I can't tell you the amount of times that I'd create a verbal masterpiece of comedic genius and be unable to repeat or reproduce it, or times that I put together a retort or series of retorts that earned me the sobering sobriquet from a former co-worker, "Verbal Nazi".

For the longest time, I actually lived up to that sobriquet, as my mouth would often cause me to get into serious hot water with someone else. It wasn't until I started writing in 2006, participating in chat rooms in 2007 and blogging in 2008, that I decided to put my verbal skills to the test.

I won't bore you with the gruesome details of my early attempts, since those can be found by exploring the early years of this blog, but I can say that writing and blogging has been exceptionally therapeutic for me.

I mean, what other medium allows you endless possibilities in unleashing your inner sanctum and your vivid imagination without getting into trouble? For me, the dual mediums of writing and blogging has been a proverbial depth charge (shot within a beer) of fun.

Blogging is the medium that allows me the comfort to practice my writing, and my writing allows me the comfort to think out loud on my blog.

When I blog, I can express my opinions freely and without worry. I can also practice the different aspects of my writing that I'm good at and some that I'm not good at, and glean both tips and critiques as well.

Writing allows me the freedom not only to be me, but to explore the other aspects of me that I used to keep buried for fear that people either wouldn't understand or would mock me for trying to do something completely different.

Think about it for a moment. Writing allows you to try something that's completely out of your comfort zone, and not have to worry whether or not someone doesn't like it.

Think I'm kidding?

Early on, I made it a point not to write G-rated stuff, because I felt very strongly that I couldn't tailor my writing to encompass all age groups (still do to this day). However, after a few particularly unpleasant encounters, I decided to challenge myself and viola, a G-rated short story called "Cedar Mountain" was born (and published at Beat To A Pulp).

Another example. After many failed attempts at properly integrating sex within my writing, I was determined not to write anything that could be misconstrued as porn. Suffice to say, my upcoming commercial debut is about a young lady who becomes an adult movie actress because she's in debt to her uncle the loan shark.

Finally, the story that I'm working on now, which may or may not see the light of day, definitely explores that inner sanctum and its darkest and scariest contents, with a probing that borders on the horrific. It taps into the darkest book related/movie related memories of my past 30 years and in turn, I have created some truly disturbing prose.

Am I thrilled about this? Absolutely not. Will I stop writing this particular story? No. Like I said, it probably won't see the light of day, except maybe to a select few who I might ask to critique it in their spare time and offer me their valued opinion on it, but by writing this, I'm able to work out all kinds of issues and problems that otherwise might not be resolved if I didn't acquire the ability to string coherent sentences together.

To sum it up, writing and its equally powerful cousin blogging, has become the cheapest and most efficient (and some day paying) form of therapy out there today.

And some six years later, I wouldn't have it any other way.


  1. Yeah theraputic it can be, as a rant I go on once in a while. I can't say I worry much about integrating things though, I just go with the flow.

  2. Writing is much more controllable than blurting things out that will get your ass kicked. Yay writing!

  3. Pat: I'm a similiar boat when it comes to ranting. I rant when I'm really ticked off about something, and doing it on a blog is a lot safer than doing it on FB.

    Debra: Agreed. Sometimes its better to be an alive keyboard commando that a battered mouth.

  4. Surprised there aren't therapists to analyze your blog posts. They are missing out.

  5. Bearman: I think you may be right on that account. Therapists would have an absolute field day with this blog.

    And it wouldn't cost me one red cent either. :D

  6. Sounds like you've found out some stuff about yourself from writing, about where your imagination can take you. I've had that happen as well.

  7. writing allows you to go places you either cannot or would not if you could but allows an outlet. definitely can be therapeutic. and revealing

  8. Sometimes, I think writing is helpful. Othertimes other folks read it n get po'd.
    Just wait til your daughter someday finds your collection... hopefully decades from now!

    I did get some folks mad who thought what I wrote was reality when I'd really made it up... Now I hide stuff so well they'll prob toss it out not knowing it's there...

    I must say without my blog I'm more miseraable in my free time. plus I can rant if I wanna...

  9. Absolutely agree, G. Without writing I would probably spontaneously combust. Although in 99% of cases I don't write about the things that are troubling me on my blog just the act of writing is therapeutic. I suppose the emotional stuff translates into my fiction. I often toy with the idea with writing an anonymous blog though. That really appeals but the fear of being caught out is not really worth the risk!

    Agree with Bearman - a therapist would have a field day here. Still most of them are nuts too so at least they'd feel at home!!

  10. Blogging as therapy - I hadn't thought about it that way.

  11. Charles: I have. It's been both a pleasure and disturbing at the same time. At times, I've enjoyed the fact that I can create some truly fascintating stuff, both for the blog and in general, but the disturbing stuff really has made me stop and think about what really makes me tick overall.

    I guess it boils down to that we are the sum of our experiences, both in the real world and in the fantasy world that can make us truly unique.

    Darth: Most definitely.

    My current project is taking me to a place where I wouldn't have even remotely thought possible a few years ago. I think that the fact that I'm so emotionally detached to my current project is what bothers me the most.

    Snaggle: I've found that blogging is a much safer outlet for my rants and prose, if only because I have more control over the content and to a small degree, I have a basic idea on the kind of people who peruses my bog on a daily/weekly basis.

    And yes, I probably would be a miserable s.o.b if I didn't have blogging to turn to.

    Jane: I don't think that I could ever write stuff as "Anon", simply because I don't want to become that nasty to people. I'm the kind of person who for better or worse, will own up to what I've post/written to the best of my ability.

    Lynn: Yeah, it's an interesting concept. Where else can you excise all the good, the bad and the truly ugly out of your system without getting into trouble?

    Granted, you can censor yourself, but you can still think out loud on a blog and be able to solicit opinions/comments without worrying about people being judgemental on what you say.

  12. It is definitely therapeutic for me, as I noted in the earlier e-mail ;)


Go on, give me your best shot. I can take it. If I couldn't, I wouldn't have created this wonderful little blog that you decided to grace with your presence today.

About that comment moderation thingy: While yes, it does say up above I can take it, I only use it to prevent the occasional miscreant from leaving thoughtless and/or clueless comments.

So remember, all of your comments are greatly appreciated and all answers will be given that personal touch that you come to expect and enjoy.

G. B. Miller

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