Catharsis: Getting Literal with Stories

Writing Fear

A main theme for me on the blog here is discussing the connection between writing and catharsis. I absolutely use my writing as a means of dealing with numerous facets of life. Writing is my way to work through problems, anxieties, and other what-ifs. I can’t remember how many times I’ve written about it, but I’ve brought catharsis up a few times.

Lately I’ve been dealing with a lot of anxiety inducing life stuff. They’re not life or death issues. They’d hardly even register on the major scale in the grand scheme of things. In my little, closed world, though, it’s all starting to keep me up at night.

In an effort to face these things—and I apologise for the vagueness, but I don’t want to get into long life stories—I decided to write a book explicitly devoted to one major cause of anxiety. My main character is not me, we’re actually nothing alike, I’ve just put her in my shoes in another reality.

I’ve never done this getting literal with stories thing before. Sure, I’ve given characters similar problems to my own, but I’ve never had them play out a narrative I’m living in an effort to allow me to face my fears. It’s fun, scary, interesting, and it’s making me think.

I’m not sure how this project will go in terms of the long haul: Will it ever be read by anyone else? Will I even finish it? I haven’t the foggiest clue, but I’m grateful to it right now.

Have you ever done something similar with a story or do you follow my normal trajectory and the catharsis is more happenstance than literal?


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