People often refer to something being a ‘cathartic experience’. I didn’t realise what that really meant until I joined my playwrights’ group. We’re given writing tasks in the group itself or at home, which means I’m writing lots and lots of different scenes and characters – many of which I would never have dreamt of writing if it wasn’t for this group.
This has resulted in me looking inwardly, deep into the depths of my soul and past. It has meant that things that I haven’t thought about for years, and things that I thought I’d buried long ago have resurfaced. This can be painful and hard and emotional or just downright embarrassing. I’d rather not think of these things at all but it seems I have to. I seek solace in the fact that reliving these experiences will make me not just a better writer but a better person too. Writing has become a cathartic experience for me.
This cathartic experience has an upside too. It allows you to right old wrongs and change the past. The bully from school can get their comeuppance from a stronger, braver, more confident you. That friend who used and abused your good-nature for their own ends no longer gets to treat you like a door-mat. The lover who cheated on you no longer gets chance to do so as you dump his or her arse long before you get sucked into loving them.
And all of this can be done by the tapping of a few buttons on a keyboard. I call it ‘Writer’s Revenge’.