Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Carol Preston – Why Writing is a Form of Personal Therapy

Why Writing is a Form of Personal Therapy

by Carol Preston

I am an extrovert by nature, and I suspect quite a lot of writers are. It’s easy for me to spend many hours on my own, planning and plotting for a novel and then writing scene after scene. I sometimes lose all track of time and place, and am shocked when I turn away from my computer to find it’s way past time that I should have been thinking about cooking the evening meal. I have no trouble not speaking to another person for many hours, even days. I have been on many a silent retreat and found them refreshing, rejuvenating, and sometimes life- saving. So it’s no wonder that I find writing a form of personal therapy. The solitude and silence of my writing times are in themselves therapeutic as it gives me relief from all the voices around me, the noises and demands that are constantly a part of so much of our day to day life. Not only do I enjoy the silence and solitude but I find it essential for my well-being.

I also find that being completely immersed in another time and place, another person’s story, enables me to internally reflect on life’s issues; the consequences of actions and words, the meaning of life, the mental and emotional processes of dealing with forgiveness, grief, fear, pride, conflict, faith, love and all the other aspects of personal growth and relationships, which form part of my stories. In doing this I wrestle with these issues at a deep level for myself. As a psychologist, I listen to others in counselling sessions, as they deal with these things verbally. I see how many people need to do their emotional and spiritual work with another person, but I’m sure I’m not alone as a writer, in being able to best do this internally and in writing. So my stories become cathartic, challenging, revealing and inspiring for me, and I hope for many readers.

I think the creative aspect of writing is also very therapeutic. Words are precious, powerful and wonderful things. As a writer I get to play with them, to put them together in ways that describe something beautiful, or terrifying, or reflect a character’s feelings and thoughts. I can reshape and reconfigure words until am satisfied they paint the right picture, or reveal the right emotion. I can plan a plot, a journey of growth and change, and then explore and experiment with words until they carry my characters along those paths, hopefully in ways that also carry the reader with them. It’s incredibly satisfying to have this creative outlet.

So writing nurtures my heart, mind and soul. I can think of very little that is equally therapeutic for me.

In tragic circumstances Beth and her brothers are left in England to grow up without their parents. When Beth’s childhood dream to be reunited with her father in Australia finally eventuates she finds that dreams do not always come true. All that seems to follow is further abandonment. Will she ever find true love? And will she discover she doesn’t have to be alone before it is too late? Set in the early colonial days of New South Wales and based on real characters in the mid 1800s. Revisit Charlotte and Thomas from Charlotte’s Angel and Mary’s Guardian, and meet new characters in this new novel by Carol Preston.

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Genre – Historical Fiction

Rating – G

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1 comment:

  1. Can't believe I made the mistake in the first line of saying I was an extrovert, instead of an introvert, which I certainly am, as described in the following paragraph. Sorry if I've confused anyone.