For as long as I can remember, writing has been like a sort of therapy. There have been plenty of times when characters — either consciously or subconsciously — have taken on my problems and we’ve worked through them together. That’s not to say that many of the stories reflect me at a certain point in my life, but it’s amazing just how many, on some level, do.
Looking back at my first novel, the first (currently still under construction) Carrick Letters book, it spent a time as a mirror of my life. The narrator and protagonist were both struggling through growing up and learning what it is to be a responsible adult as my husband and I were going through that stage in life. Since we both are the oldest children and the oldest among our friends, we were the first to reach that stage and felt a little unsure about it. He was anxious about going to college. I didn’t know how things would change once he did.
At the same time, quite unintentionally, this same theme started to grow in the novel. The characters started to deal with the daunting task of accepting the responsibilities that come with adulthood (plus some) and facing their fears. They worked through it as we worked through it. Sometimes the narrator would get ahead of me, and sometimes I would be ahead of her. But in the end, we reached the same place: acceptance. And we flourished, I think thanks in part to the fact that the narrator and I did it together.
Do you use writing like therapy? Have you used it to deal with a situation you were dealing with?