Therapy Through Creative Writing
It never occurred to me that I'd spend all my free time writing steamy romance novels and trying to build a following of fans. I was always one of those people who said that writing a novel was not something I had the time or patience for, yet here I am three novels into my fantasy series and still trucking. Some of the best romance writers of all time were men and women who had experienced some kind of romantic set-back in their lives. It's well known that in the 1800's money and social status had a lot to do with if a marriage did or did not happen. Jane Austen was one of the greatest novelists of all times who touched on the topic. You can almost feel her angst at being separated by class from her Mr. Darcy.
While she certainly wasn't the first to use creative writing for therapeutic purposes, she won't be the last either. Do you ever wonder how the author evokes so much emotion? It's because you are getting a small glimpse into the feelings they are trying to work out through their writing. I discovered creative writing therapy for the first time when I started writing The Islands of Sedania in 2015. I really didn't have any idea what I was doing, which direction the story would take, or that it would even turn into a series. The only thing I knew was that I had been broken and I wanted to fit the pieces back together. I found writing to be very therapeutic once I got started, and so I did it a lot. Not only did I feel better, but I had a tangible product that I could share with the world.
I no longer felt limited by the mountain I had to climb to finish a novel, but a sense of accomplishment and a lot of worked out emotions. My characters could express and experience things in a way that real life simply doesn't afford. Every wish a conversation or circumstance would have gone differently? Start off with some therapeutic writing exercises through dialogue, actions, and circumstances and let them play out your way. That's what I did and it was the start of something beautiful. It's no wonder sometimes writing takes a life of its own.