Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Writing as therapy?

I read a book a few years back that suggested writing as a therapeutic way to work through issues. Writing forces you to face things, to put them down on paper (or screen, as the case may be), dissect them, pull them apart, look under them and in them and around them, figure out why things are the way they are. The hope is that during all of that, you'll actually find an answer to your problems.

Sounds simple, right?

I thought so too.

Let me tell you, it's NOT. It's not simple at all. When I'm writing, my characters usually end up with some issue or problem or flaw that I need to work through in my own life. I put them in a situation that may be happening, or may have already happened, and watch them to see how they deal with it. Sometimes, it's something that someone close to me has already lived through. Generally speaking though, at least one character in each of my books has dealt with something I've lived.

The problem I usually face is that once they solve that thing, once they get their minds and hands and hearts around the problem, they aren't that interesting to me anymore. So I stop telling their story.

Writing is therapeutic. But it makes for horrible fiction, in my case.

From now on, I think I'll just stick to made up issues. I may be more of a mess in real life that way, but at least I'll finish a damn story!

No comments: