Why We Write ONLY During Tough Times

Do you ever notice that whenever you feel like your world is falling apart, you suddenly turn into a master writer? Your emotions are rapidly translated into words on your paper, and they just flow like a strong unstoppable tidal wave. Emotions are a powerful tool in fostering creativity.

You suddenly have the voice of a thousand people, and you can’t help but pour the words into paper. Powerful emotions throw away our inhibitions. Writing in a vulnerable position expands your range of emotions- from anger to guilt to remorse to jealousy to any other emotion that feel unnatural to us.

“Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly.”

Franz Kafka

When you are happy, you don’t rationalize being happy. When you are happy, you don’t ask questions like, “Why is this happening to me?” or “What did I do to deserve this?”. We accept happiness as a welcome emotion.

For example, when your dear friend arrives at your house with an excited and cheerful face, the first thing you will probably say is “come on in” instead of “what are you doing here?”. We have placed a premium on the “feel good” emotions and neglected to place value on the other emotions on the spectrum. Tough times bring the most uncomfortable of feelings and it is when we start asking questions laden with an unwelcome emotion that we tend to overthink. Because we ruminate on every little thing, we tend to want to keep record of our “sufferings” and “analysis” of our situation. I tell myself that one day I will look back on these and somehow there are lessons that I have written that I didn’t realize then.

For me writing when you are happy provides a completely different written material compared to the writing when I feel terrible. I find a little more character and depth. (This is not to glamorize creative suffering). This is expressing the truth of your experiences. You may compartmentalize your feelings into a specific written material and then let it go. You may feel relieved knowing that this part of you is expressed and preserved.

Writing is a form of therapy. This is the release. This is the catharsis. It helps you probe your own thoughts without a filter. It gives you an opportunity to realize and release these emotions, without having to share it with another person. Of course, a friend (or a therapist) is helpful to unravel your thought patterns but writing (and journaling) allows you to get to know yourself a bit better. It allows you to stay in your feelings and explore the depths of your situation.

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