• Author Stephanie Hart

Why Writing Is The Ultimate Kind of Emotional Catharsis

Authors, poets, and playwrights have been writing for so many reasons throughout history. Some have written because of political circumstances, others have written because they had patrons that demanded written artistry. However, a huge reason why the best writing in the world exists is because of catharsis.


Catharsis originated from Aristotle’s concept of the feeling that one gets after watching a full play where there is an emotional climax. The word means to cleanse or purge. So how does this play into writers' motivations? Let's break this down.


What Is Catharsis in Modern Times?


These days, catharsis is a term used by psychologists to describe the releasing of emotions that are held firmly within a person. Many people with issues such as a traumatic mother-daughter relationship often keep their feelings deeply buried inside. By not releasing those feelings, they can develop unhealthy, harmful behavior.


In cases like these, mental health professionals can recommend a cathartic action that will help get those emotions off somebody’s chest.


Ways of Writing For Catharsis


Writing about my family, my years at boarding school as well as my personal growth has been hugely releasing, while at the same time allowing me to turn both painful and poignant experiences into a collection of memoirs and stories that I am proud of.

However, you don’t always have to go and write a memoir to get catharsis! Journaling is a great way to release everything you keep bottled up inside of you without worrying about how smoothly it reads.

Other people like to write poetry or short stories as a way to feel their emotions. Whether you write about your real-life or use fictional characters, if you're releasing emotional stress, then keep on going!

How To Keep Being Emotionally Honest


It's not easy to write about your true feelings, so most people struggle to do so. This struggle doesn't mean you have failed. It is part of the process. Try and find a private spot where you won’t be disturbed. It helps to have some pictures or videos that can get you inspired.


Most importantly: don’t be afraid to cry or take breaks as you write. The surge of emotion you’re feeling will not defeat you; it will only leave you feeling lighter and stronger.


What will eventually emerge is a series of written pieces that will give you so much insight into your own life and your patterns. It's like looking into your mind from an outside perspective.

My short memoirs were just as emotionally challenging to write. Check out my book "Mirror Mirror: A Collection of Memoirs and Stories” for some inspiration into cathartic writing. It’s available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Happy writing to you all!

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