Have you found your writing to be therapeutic?

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PrincessFiona

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I started writing my memoir because I felt truly driven to tell my story. My story nagged at me when I put my head on the pillow at night. It consumed me when I was driving in the car or trying to enjoy a quiet moment. I wasn't at peace with that part of my life.

Through my writing, I found a way to work through my experience in a way that became uplifting and hopeful to me. I have a great sense of peace and openness to new experiences in my life because of my writing.

Has anyone else discovered that this is true for them?

Kris
 

jimmymc

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No... writing to me is a series of ups and downs. Short ups and long downs.
 

Siri Kirpal

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Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

I found it helped me understand certain things that had happened: why I was bullied by certain kids, why my parents didn't move us into the house I thought they'd bought (while I was editing the book, Mom told me they hadn't qualified for the loan and hadn't told us because we were "too young"), etc.

I had a moment of intense insight right after I started the book that put a whole lot of things into perspective.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal
 

Maryn

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Even though I don't write memoir, I've found it therapeutic to have my characters work through issues similar or identical to my own. The only down side is that it makes me focus on the negatives to represent the "before" character accurately.

Maryn, imperfect (shocking, I know)
 

vintage

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I do not write memoir but i do write a lot in my personal diary for last 5 years at least. It helps to look from the perspective on everything that happened in my life and thanks to my diary i suppose i am more accepting towards challenges that come to my life because time showed me well that everything happens to make me a stronger and hopefully better person.
also, it shows well how much i've grown and changed when i feel down and disappointed in myself. and sometimes i realize something about other people that helps me to understand them and forgive their harsh words etc.
I'd advice everyone to write a diary just for the sake of exploring ownself, it is a powerful tool to analyze the roots of your core.
it became natural for me to self-heal this way even. quite englighteing, especially when you find yourself writing a really cool sentence that is worth to be inserted in a real book, haha
 

khobar

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A lot of people write for therapeutic reasons and find the answer to questions that have bugged them for a long time, consciously or subconsciously.

But there are times when the need to get the story out blows up in the writer's face; they pull back one to many layers, open one too many old wounds and end up retraumatizing themselves.
 

PrincessFiona

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Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

I found it helped me understand certain things that had happened: why I was bullied by certain kids, why my parents didn't move us into the house I thought they'd bought (while I was editing the book, Mom told me they hadn't qualified for the loan and hadn't told us because we were "too young"), etc.

I had a moment of intense insight right after I started the book that put a whole lot of things into perspective.

Blessings,

Siri Kirpal

Interesting. I also had some pieces of my life fall into place when my parents shared their version of events.

Kris
 

LGallier

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I don't write memoir, but my fiction can help me. I work on different WiPs, depending on my mood. If I'm stressed and grumpy, my gritty dark fantasy is perfect, it helps me get through it and take out some stress. If I'm happier and bouncier, then another one is better suited. They help me vent.
 

Lyv

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I write memoir and personal essay, but if writing about something felt therapeutic for me, I'd know I wasn't ready to write about it. To me, there is a danger in writing as therapy (which is not precisely the same as writing being therapeutic) or writing about something I'm not ready to see as purely craft. I do make discoveries and see connections through writing, but I find working through issues can't happen on the page for me. It has to happen in life and only then can I write about it (took me ten years to write about my sister's death, for example).
 

Jim Williams

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I found my time spent writing is enjoyable, but not therapeutic. I'm like an old miser playing with his own money. I'm too greedy for my experience to be helpful to me.

For me, it has been sending out query letters that is been most therapeutic. I'm coming from being assaulted while homeless, with mental concerns. Exposing all of this in a query letter, and receiving responses to it, has broken the ice between me and just about anyone.
 

Qetris

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Writing, especially in creative nonfiction/memoir, is very therapeutic for me. Like some have already mentioned, I find that those experiences involving learning from mistakes or conquering major challenges are the ones that comfort me the most. It's also nice to know that when we put our writing out there we can possibly help others going through similar situations. Even when I look back on an event that kind of traumatized me, and try to write it in a manner of creative nonfiction, I'll find that I feel better and even more interesting as a person.
 

gutterfaery

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The thing that was most therapeutic for me so far has been deciding which stories I should write about . I took a year break from my memoir to decide if i was going to put just one story in . This piece of my life was so scarey for me I did not even talk about it for over 10 years after it happened .I had started talking about it a few years before I had decided to write my memoir . After a year I realized I needed to put it in . As a warning to those on the same journey I was on . I felt courage after that and have been pushing forward at a decent pace ever since.
 

EarlyBird

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Not therapeutic, eye opening. My latest novel deals with race issues and to a certain extent it's made me reevaluate my own ideas of bigotry and prejudice. We're an interracial family so I've got some experience with such things, but writing a story about it made me delve even deeper into the issue both universally and personally. :eek:
 

kydelaney

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I go back and forth on whether writing my memoir has been helpful or creates an excuse for lingering in hard times. Sometimes I want to stop writing about certain things because I want to move forward and allow happiness and light to take center stage. Other times I don't think that's possible until I write it all out . . .
 

Mclesh

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I go back and forth on whether writing my memoir has been helpful or creates an excuse for lingering in hard times. Sometimes I want to stop writing about certain things because I want to move forward and allow happiness and light to take center stage. Other times I don't think that's possible until I write it all out . . .

This feels familiar to me. I wrote my memoir during the time period of my physical recovery, and it did help me in certain ways. Being able to talk about what I'd been through with the hope of possibly helping others was a big motivating factor for me. But there have been times when I've wondered if it's held me back somewhat. I ask myself if I'm focusing too much on that aspect of my life.

I will say that writing about my experiences has been more of an overall positive for me.
 

Blackfish

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I started writing my memoir because I felt truly driven to tell my story. My story nagged at me when I put my head on the pillow at night. It consumed me when I was driving in the car or trying to enjoy a quiet moment. I wasn't at peace with that part of my life.

Through my writing, I found a way to work through my experience in a way that became uplifting and hopeful to me. I have a great sense of peace and openness to new experiences in my life because of my writing.

Has anyone else discovered that this is true for them?

Kris

True. Every word of it. I cannot liive without my writing. It is as much a part of who I am as any other part of me.

It has helped me to sort everything out, to find problems and to fix them, to help recall important things in my life, and as an artist, it is a form of expression.

Writing is I.
 
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colombia1812

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Yes, totally find the writing of memoir has been therapeutic. The editing of though has been a nightmare and I can't wait to finish the process in a few days :)...
 

AllenC

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Writing is sometimes like meditation. It relaxes me, and sets me in a good mood.
 

Michelle D.

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absolutely. it relieves me of confusing thoughts. helps clear my head. in the initial draft.
and when i rewrite, even some of the painful bits, (which reads jagged and painful because that's how i felt when i wrote it), i rewrite it into something better. because i'm in a different place, and I can choose again how I want to remember those bits. usually after the rewrite, they are no longer painful memories. they are just interesting memories. sometimes beautiful too
 

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