Although I write a lot, I've never seen writing as 'therapeutic'. If anything there is a degree of anguish when you put pen to paper/computer. Do you agree? Or I might be wrong!
Okay, well I don't have the same therapeutic feeling after writing a hub per say as maybe an hour massage. However, I think that writing CAN be therapeutic in a way. Yes, there are many times when writing can be nerve-racking, or down right frustrating but it does allow us to fully open our minds and engage. I think that the writing process although at times is challenging, can be therapeutic especially once you have that finished hub on the screen. If writing isn't therapeutic it sure is addictive.
I find writing with a pen/pencil to paper therapeutic but not typing on a keyboard. Getting away from the screen is what does the trick for me. Focusing on the page, the paper and drawing from what's in my head, eventually puts me into a zone where I am relaxed even though I may be writing frantically. Of course, I'm talking about writing fiction. With non-fiction, I guess we can't get away from Google but I try to use books as much as possible for research.
I think you will find different people have different experiences when writing. I personally find writing can be quite therapeutic, Indeed, it is the reason I started writing. I can only speak for myself but I have no reason to believe I am much different than anyone else. I've gone through periods of great joy and great sorrow. Many times I have had feelings about an event or situation that I did not fully understand myself. Putting things down in writing has at times helped me to understand why I was feeling as I was and gave me ideas what to do about it.
So, in that since it is therapeutic as opposed to merely being cathartic. A catharsis simply being the release or purging of pent up emotions or emotional tension through writing or some other method. I've certainly felt a sense of anguish from time to time when writing. This is particularly true when I haven't yet worked things through. In that sense it is cathartic. Normally, if I keep writing I will eventually arrive at an understanding of my emotions and can choose how best to handle whatever the situation may be.
When some people say that writing is therapeutic, what they're thinking of is when someone gets what's bothering him into writing, rather than keeping it in his head. I think they're also often referring to how that kind of writing can make a person see different angles to what he's be thinking about.
Personally, that's not the kind of writing I do because if it's in my head and hasn't yet come out, that's because I don't want it to come out; and writing about it (even if I were to destroy what I wrote later) essentially forces one to focus on things he may prefer not to.
On the other hand, writing (the kind I do on here) can be kind of therapeutic for me in a couple of ways: One is that getting my mind off what IS bothering me, and thinking about whatever else is going on in the world or my life, can give a person a "mental break" from "stewing". The other thing is that writing can pose its own set of little challenges, so writing in "down time" can prevent boredom from setting in. I've had extra down-time recently (changing work arrangement), and I wasn't looking forward to what I thought was going to be "torture" and boredom. Instead, it's kind of good to just relax and write whenever and whatever I feel like writing. It's been nice not feeling over-worked and exhausted - so writing can be therapeutic in that way too. Of course, when it comes to "that way", so can drinking coffee with friends, shopping, and go to the movies - but that's not what the question was.
I agree totally that writing is therapeutic. I sometimes write journals whereby I get stuff out of my head that will just stay in there and make me sick. Plus, it's good to write about subjects you enjoy and share your love or interest with everyone else. Freeing passion is also a good thing, and may lead you to find friends with similar interests.
There are two things here that I want to address. First, writing is indeed therapeutic for me. I'll explain why in a moment. Second, I have never found any sort of anguish when trying to write.
Now, why is writing therapeutic for me? Two reasons come to mind. For years, while I was working in high tech as a software developer and manager, I found writing to be a nice change of pace to my "real life." Work would be so intense, and being able to sit down and do some creative writing was a great stress reliever for me. I saw that as therapeutic. Twelve years ago, I was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. As my body and mind waged war against this chronic illness, I found my abilities under attack. Walking became (and is) difficult. Speaking became (and is) difficult. Executive functions in the brain (problem solving, management and organizational tasks) became (and are) difficult. The creative side of my brain was left unscathed -- at least so far -- and to a large degree that is the last stronghold over which I still hold the reins. When I feel I can't do anything else, I can still write. When I feel my sense of self-worth is under question, I can still write. When I want to get those memories in print for my children and (someday) grandchildren to enjoy, I can still write. I find joy and solace in that, and it's therapeutic for me.
I don't think I would have such an intense passion for writing if it didn't touch me on some deep level. When I am writing journals I end up revealing things that I did not even know I thought or felt. Many problems have been solved through my journals. When writing hubs and other nonfiction pieces for clients online I have a sense of accomplishment, like I am finally good at something. When writing fiction and poetry I have a creative release that simply makes me happy! I have gone periods of time without writing and honestly, I was unhappy and chronically depressed during those periods of my life. I believe that writing is what keeps me sane and happy.
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