I had a conversation with CalmKate a couple of months ago. She though I should incorporate the gist of the conversation into a post. I’ve been thinking about it off and on which usually means that it has struck a chord. After percolating for awhile and perhaps fermenting, I decided to tackle the topic – Blogging/writing as therapy. First a disclaimer: I am not a therapist. I do not pretend to be one. The contents of this post are based on observations, experiences and my personal opinions.
I’m pretty sure that journaling is an oft recommended activity to get the thoughts and emotions swirling inside the brain to the outside. Creative writing (be it poetry, prose, fiction or fantasy) often draws inspiration from life experiences of others as well as personal ones. The comment I made (which I had to search for) was: “We allow the emotion to flow onto the page and not act it out. We can mold it to become entertaining, shocking, sad, or inspiring and thus make it a mirror for the human condition – our condition. Then once in the light we can examine the circumstances, our reactions, and then grow. Though for many, as they have never learned to express themselves through written word, the counselors become a necessity.”
The amazing thing about writing is that emotions and actions can be poured onto the page without harming anyone. That is one can write about murder, revenge, jealousy, thievery, and any number of terrible things without having ever taken part in them. Many write to teach through their own experiences – both positive and negative. Others write as a creative outlet as they work through stress, depression, grief, and illness. And there are still others who rage against prejudice, inequality, hatred, and all the injustices of the world. In equal number are those who vent their frustrations with government, politicians, policies, laws, media, science, education and the list goes on. This writing it out sometimes provides perspective. They can go back and read what was written weeks or months ago and challenge themselves to do some critical thinking.
This brings us to blogging. Blogging puts those thoughts and emotions on display. We share our creations with others. We can teach, inspire, persuade, inflame, soothe, or goad others. Knowing that, bloggers have responsibilities. We are accountable for our words and how those words affect others. Laws are finally catching up to the technology. Trolls and flame wars, cyberbullying and charlatans, are out there. With everything there are positives and negatives. Writing can have all sorts of benefits for the writer and their audience – I’d like to advocate for positivity and above all kindness.