Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Therapy Writing

It's a hugely extolled field, from what I've encountered, lauded as a way to recapture lost power and to work through issues. The general theory is that we lay bare our pain on page, purging ourselves of it.

Which is all very well for what it is, and can be helpful on a personal level. But then we encounter therapy writing pushed as literature: not necessarily because of the literary merit, but because it is 'raw' or 'honest.'

Therapy writing doesn't necessarily make for good literature, which is a point often overlooked. This is our rawest self, so of course it should be wonderful. Because we are so attached, it can be difficult to get the perspective necessary for editing, which means the end product will often be less than sparkling. No amount of emotional honesty makes up for dull writing, when it's being presented to an audience expected to read out of enjoyment (which is everyone).

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