As writers, we often joke about how writing can act as therapy. We writers have been known to explore issues, hopes, or fears through our stories.
None of this should come as a surprise to readers. To spend so much time writing a story, we have to write about topics that capture our emotions and interests.
That might mean we work out a history of rejection or abuse. We might name characters after those who hurt us or helped us. We might write about the world as we’d like it to be or how we fear it might become.
Personally, I’ve attached the name of my first agent rejection that hurt to a nobody, “spear-carrier” character. *grin* But I’ve also given the names of others who hurt me to a couple of my favorite heroic characters, attempting to erase some of the pain of my memories associated with them and their names.
Just from those two opposite examples, it’s obvious that writing can be therapeutic in different ways. And that doesn’t even touch on the many authors who have changed their genre or writing style due to technological breakthroughs, environmental dilemmas, world events, or politics, which led them to want to explore different issues, hopes, and fears.
Yet the longer I write, the more I realize how much writing has taught me about myself, beyond the typical therapeutic aspects. Writing—with its direct connection to our subconscious—gives us an open door to our brain and thought processes.