Saturday, 14 November 2015

A little reading is all the therapy a person needs sometimes.—Unknown

A writer friend of mine is struggling to write a scene that hits too close to something she herself has experienced. It turns out she has never dealt with the incident; she found it too traumatizing. Yet, she is about to incorporate it in her novel. She insists that it must be there for the sake of the plot. I say, you can start a tale anywhere you want and by making it backstory, you don't need to delve as deeply. But, she holds fast to using it authentically. Why? Perhaps, it is time to work through her own anxiety. I think writers have that marvelous and unique opportunity to work personal things out through their stories.

I believe this is true for readers too. Many fictional novels mimic real life events, both on a large scale and on the miniscule level of daily human existence. They make us laugh, they make us angry, and, sometimes, they scare the bejesus out of us. More importantly, they allow us to explore hurt and sorrow, recreating moments that may have caused profound pain in our own lives—letting us weep, wrapped in the comfort and safety of their pages. It can be cathartic.

Other fiction provides delightful diversion as well. Escaping into the other worlds provided by SciFi and Fantasy allows us to leave this one. Thrillers, Mysteries and Adventures keep our adrenalin high and we become heroes for a brief time. Romance is probably the epitome of escapism. There is a reason that Romance novels are among the top-selling genres in the industry. They too can provide emotional release and all of the elements listed above, but they come with a positive caveat not given by any other genre. They guarantee a happy-ever-after.

In light of the ongoing turmoil in the world, I crave comfort. I think I'll grab a romance and curl up this afternoon. At least, for a few hours, I can be assured of a happy ending.


  1. Excellent point, Rose! My MC has a similar story and loss as I do. It it therapeutic to write it out!

  2. I knew yours reflected many aspects of your life. I'm glad it has proved to be healing.

  3. I completely agree with you with regard to the therapeutic aspect of reading. I don't know the reason for it, but I found that I tend to cry more when reading books (especially Diana's. I cried at least once through each book of the OUTLANDER series) then when watching TV. Maybe it has something to do with the TV working as a filter of some sort so that I don't feel as affected. After all, the happenings in books occur completely in our minds and there are no bounds to our imagination, while on TV we see other people living through the situation. By the way, I feel like you when it comes to the chaos around the world and especially in Paris these days. I tried to watch a murder mystery yesterday evening on TV and found that I couldn't stomach it, so I turned to "Arch of Triumph" by Erich Maria Remarque. Have you read anything by him?

    Thank you writers for trusting us as readers enough to share your own emotions and sometimes deepest hopes and sorrows with us!

  4. Nicole,

    It is so hard to remember that English is not your first language. You write with such clarity and thoughtfulness. Thank you for always being supportive. I hope all is well with you.

    1. You're too kind; thank you, Rose! Cheering you on from across the pond is the least I can do :)
      Did you receive my other comments I made on two of your blog posts? One blog post was about your birthday and the other about Surrey, I think. I'm just wondering since they haven't been published.

    2. Nicole, I replied to this when it came into my email. I see it here now. Did you get my emailed response?

    3. The only response I got from you was on this blog post, the one I commented on on November 18. I got my last email from you on July 21, to which I replied but I haven't heard back from you since (of course I don't know if your response might has gotten lost, but if you didn't have the time to get back to me, don't worry. I figured you were being busy with moving, unpacking, etc.). Did you use my AOL email address?

    4. Nicole. This just gets odder. It looks like your email comes in as a no-reply It says your name, so I never clicked on it to verify your email (which I still have.) This was what I emailed you on the 18th:

      Sorry Nicole, if I didn't respond, then I didn't receive them. I make a point of answering each comment or email I get. It is important to me that people actually take the time to read what I write and to respond. I really appreciate it. I do not have a gatepost on my blog--meaning I do not moderate comments. They should just show up. I wonder what happened? Thanks for writing them though. :0)

      I have responded to you several times when you have written through email but now I wonder if it was this whole by-pass blog thing going on. I promise, if anything else comes to me via email, I will double check to make sure it is your aol email address that I respond to. :0)

  5. Reading is therapy, as is writing. More than once writing has helped me process events and emotions. I don't always use it in novels, though. Sometimes I just shred the papers.

  6. Spesh,

    Like you, I have files that will never be seen but felt good to write. We are lucky to have such a great outlet.