The Sword and Laser discussion

Writing to Deal with your Problems

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message 1: by Joshua S (new)

Joshua S Hill (joshuashill) My friends of the Sword and the Laser, I come to you with a question.

Would you (who write) ever write a short story (or novella or whatever) in an effort to resolve an issue in your life?

For example, would you write a romance story if you were single and wanted to vicariously deal with your pain?

If so, do you think it is a good idea (ie, healthily therapeutic), and if not, why is it a bad idea?

Would be great to hear people's thoughts on this issue, as it is something that I feel could be helpful to many.

message 2: by Joanna Chaplin (new)

Joanna Chaplin | 1175 comments Sometimes if I have a nightmare that I keep reliving in my head, I find it helpful to write it out, embellishing the weak spots and repairing the dream-logic. I find it exorcizes the dream. But that's not entirely what you're talking about it, is it?

message 3: by Scott (new)

Scott | 312 comments I actually do that quite a lot. My protagonist in my main series is just an idealized version of myself- with everything I want and desire. This is largely the reason I've never pursued publication (until my anthology submission)- I know it's largely a Gary Stu (or whatever the male counterpart to the Mary Sue is). But, that's okay to me. My stories are largely a replacement for journaling.

message 4: by Joshua S (new)

Joshua S Hill (joshuashill) Any variation on the idea is what I'm looking for.

message 5: by Lisa (new)

Lisa (lisapond) Yes, I definitely do this! Generally when I'm dealing when some sort of strong emotion, I tend to write a story centered on it in some way. An example of this is when I was dealing with grief when my uncle passed away, I wrote a series of stories dealing with a similar concept. It really helped me a lot so I think it was a good thing. It allowed me to take the pain in my life and channel into something that helped me to cope with it.

message 6: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Knighton | 158 comments I do this. I find it leads to some of my best writing as well as helping me to work through the emotions. Putting things down on paper, building concrete sentences around them, letting characters take them further than me, it all helps me not only to release feelings but to work out what they are.

Case in point - this weekend I had a pretty scary crash on the motorway (thankfully no-one was hurt). Blogging about it was the most cathartic thing I've done all week, and I'm sure I'll write a short featuring a car crash in the next few months.

message 7: by David Sven (last edited Feb 05, 2014 12:00PM) (new)

David Sven (gorro) | 1582 comments David Gemmell wrote his book Legend as a means of keeping his mind occupied while he was waiting for a cancer diagnosis. I found the story itself so-so but thematically you could break down the siege in the book and the various walls that had to be defended and ultimately lost as stages of grief from denial to despair to acceptance etc.

message 8: by Kath (new)

Kath Olukoya | 3 comments I write short stories and have done this before. I wrote a revenge story after being dumped once. It was cathartic, but also probably the worst thing i have ever written. I think that some time and detachment from the event are needed to turn a therapeutic story into a good story.

message 9: by Darren (new)

Darren My problem is not writing enough.

message 10: by Joanna Chaplin (new)

Joanna Chaplin | 1175 comments Darren wrote: "My problem is not writing enough."

So identify as a Christian, and in the tradition I grew up in there's this idea that even if you don't want to do a good thing, wanting to want to do a good thing can be a path that takes you there. My point is, maybe if you try writing about how hard it is to write, going into as much detail as you can. Whether it's taking the time, being afraid that it won't be any good, or being intimidated by starting. I wonder if that might do you any good?

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