Writing as Therapy

I’m doing pretty well in Camp NaNo – the 1000 words a day target I’ve set myself is manageable and feels like an achievement when I do it. The first draft of this particular story I’m writing is one I’ve adapted slightly from my November NaNo project. Feeling much more comfortable with my new approach, I decided to look back over what I’d written in November to see if there was anything worth salvaging. 

I remembered writing some parts that I liked but I wasn’t sure at the time if they were suitable for the overall theme and tone of the story. I remember feeling slightly emotional as I was writing them, thinking if it was powerful enough to move me then maybe it would move others too. Reading back I realised why I was so emotional, and why others might not have the same reaction.

The writing is completely personal to me – it’s an outpouring of suppressed feelings and emotions I’ve apparently had since childhood. It’s relevant to the story…kind of. It was slightly disconcerting to look back and see my thoughts and feelings on the page in front of me when they’ve only ever been stored out of sight in the back of my mind. But I understand now why I chose this particular story and these particular characters. In a way, it’s a relief and I wonder if I can move on and make the story less about me and more about the characters, who are actually very interesting and not like me at all (at least not much).

I’m aware a piece of ourselves goes into creating fiction: it’s hard not to do that but I didn’t realise when I was writing how much of myself I was putting into it. I seem to have grown as a writer since November, even in such a short space of time, because when I look at other stories I’ve written I see a much more mature approach. 

Now I’ve got it out of my system, I hope I can shape the story the way I want and not use it as a therapeutic exercise.

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6 thoughts on “Writing as Therapy

  1. Good luck with Camp NaNo!

    I am definitely going to give NaNoWriMo a go this year. I think there is natural progression for writers as they learn their craft. The more we write, the more we learn…. The journey of how we get there is all part of the fun 😆

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