IWSG: Constructive Writing

InsecureWritersSupportGroup2It’s once again the first Wednesday of the month, and that means IWSG Day in the Spookiest Month of All – October!  Every first Wednesday, members of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group get together to discuss our fear, hopes, and accomplishments.

This month I’m taking on the (optional) question of the month: How do major life events affect your writing? Has writing ever helped you through something?

Short answer: yes! Of course it has. Longer answer: Here are three kinds of writing I use to help deal with serious situations and how they’re different.

1. Journaling (aka aimless ranting). The first way that I use writing to move past something major, whether for good or ill, is to journal about it. I’ve found journaling is a great way for me to get that excess energy out and maybe eventually turn all of that stuff in my head into something that I might want to share with someone else someday.

2. Outlining/Pro-con lists. Another way I use writing is to outline a problem or question.  For example, when deciding to buy a house, I used a side-by-side list for the two locations I had in mind, so I could really weigh the pros and cons of each. Outlining like this is really good practice for streamlining my writing, too.

3. Narrative Fiction. Last but not least, for big problems I often use narrative fiction to  roleplay. What if this or that were true? What would that look like? In fiction, I can write about being someone or something (say a unicorn or a dragon) that I’m not. I can also let seriously messed-up hypothetical situations play out without anyone actually being hurt. What if I  went crazy and said all the things I wanted to say? Nothing good, which is terrible for real life but excellent for drama.

Those are the three kinds of writing I write in response to major life events. What about you? Has writing ever helped you through something? If so, how?