Writing as Therapy

I wrote a poem–a thing which I don’t do often–and I didn’t write it because I wanted to sound profound, or I wanted to be a great writer. I wrote it because I wanted to think something through. I suppose that a lot of poetry happens like that, and because of that, a lot of it is about love and death and troubles. This would be no exception. I call it “None At All.”

*side note: my stanzas are separated by — because the paragraphs weren’t showing up when I pasted it.

Do you take the road least traveled?

The hipster would say yes.

Do you take the road more traveled?

Tradition would say yes.

Does a river yearn to climb a mountain?

We don’t really know,

And though they work with gravity,

I’d like to say, yes.

You see, I know the science,

The probability of it all.

But does that mean that I

Stick to the proven course?

I could follow the path

That lain out before me

Offers prosperity,

But does it offer peace?

No. I know the answer now.

I must follow my instinct

My gut tells me,

That solace,

That place that offers peace

Is on the path least completed.

Not just traveled.

Not just considered.

But finished.

Many try,

And like a camel through the eye of a needle

They get stuck

They endure Hades, not Heaven.

But I believe that I will make it,

She says as doubt enters her mind,

But I will try not to worry,

For what good can that do?

None at all.

Now, that was a rough draft; my thoughts are shown frankly on the page. You can see how my thoughts progressed as I wrote it. For reference, the poem is about pursuing a writing career. Do I become the cliched “struggling artist,” or do I pursue a knowingly profitable course?

Writing is proven to be therapeutic, and poetry is where some of the finest thought-processing can happen. I use it, and I’m sure many other people do, to sort of talk through things.

The thing is, many people don’t do this, and it works way better than I used to think. There is a reason people keep journals, and it’s not (always) so that people two-hundred years from now can sit back and read what we were doing. While that may be fascinating to historians in the future, it originated as a form of therapy.

In essence, more people should consider writing. You don’t have to share it; you just have to do it, and you’d be surprised how great it can make you feel when there is no pressure for it to sound a certain way, or to make a grade, or satisfy anybody but yourself. That is how I started writing, and soon, I was fine writing for others. It’s a process, just like anything, and I am thankful for the person it made me.

And because I felt like it…

climb a mountain 2

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