Writing

Why Writing is Self-Serving; This is for Everyone

The word Catharsis means The process of releasing, and providing release from, strong or repressed emotions.

This is why I advocate journalling.

Especially if you’ve lived through a life or death situation, or worked in a public safety or emergency services occupation. Of course, not to leave anyone out of this list; anyone who’s been traumatized in life.

Then there are those life situations where we find ourselves corralled in a job that we hate, working for a boss we don’t like (maybe even hate), being someone we’re not for 8 to 10 hrs a day.

Oh, don’t forget about the battle zone on the home front that the moment you walk in through the door after said job, the tension can be cut with a dull knife and the whole rest of your evening is spent either defending yourself, your actions, your words; or avoiding certain others by walking on eggshells in hopes of not igniting another blowout.

If there’s no pressure release for all or either of those cases mentioned, it can lead to some pretty rough waters whereby we do our best to suppress those ugly things that rise from within that steal our energy and strength.

And it’s at that point where we turn certain emotions off to get through the day or night or both.

It’s called Apathy—a short-term coping mechanism to help us stay upright to accomplish our tasks at hand.

But, as things get buried, things get hidden, and things get shoved deeper into the darkness, things begin to mold, mildew, and…well…stink.

***

Recently, and not for the first time, someone sent me an email to tell me that what I write is self-serving.

For the whole of the email, which contained mostly complaints and criticisms, splashed with smiley faces and LOLs—Hm—that self-serving allegation stuck on me like one of those styrofoam packing peanuts.

And, after giving it some thought…it is very much so…I don’t deny it one bit.

Writing, for me, is self-serving.

***

In 2012, I started to consistently journal.

It saved me. That sounds a bit grandiose, I know, but it did.

I dealt with all of those things above, all at the same time, which once I hit the apathy switch, I felt like a machine…24/7.

Journalling allowed me to vent in a place in my life I no longer trusted human nature and viewed close relationships negatively.

When I wrote then, it brought to light attitudes and emotions that I didn’t believe I had buried. It helped shed light on my situation and eventually led me to get help.

I write today because, well, not only is it cathartic for me today as it was then, it’s now become something that if I don’t do, I feel like I’ve missed something in my day; like a piece of my life is misplaced until I open the lid on my laptop and start typing away.

***

Articles and blog posts and books written by others have been transformative over the years for me. Ones that resonate with me that is. They have challenged me to become a better person in many different areas.

I appreciate those who had the backbone to write self-serving articles, pouring their guts out on the page, bleeding in a blog post, and flinging their thoughts into cyberspace.

Those writers have given me hope in some dark times knowing that if they made it through crazy situations and mind-boggling issues, then maybe I can too.

***

Writing, whether you publish an article a day, or write in a journal in which no one will ever read, is a catharsis and it is self-serving.

And why not?

You give of yourself all the time to others around you.

You put yourself as a doormat to others every day.

You bury things deep down just to make it through the day and to keep serving others.

You tell yourself, “I don’t have time for myself because I have to be here, there, and everywhere, for so&so.”

It’s time to start taking care of yourself. Time to start loving yourself. Time to take time to heal yourself.

Journal. Write. Be creative…for you!

And! Make no apologies for doing so.


Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

Posted by Christian Martin Jr.

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