Inspiration is the key!
Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those, who do not write, compose, or paint can manage to escape the madness, the melancholia, the panic fear, which is inherent in a human condition.
British author Graham Greene expressed the forementioned quote to highlight the importance of writing and its therapeutic values. I recently came to think about what literary works say about their creators. Usually it’s critics and essayists that deal with the artist’s life and try to connect the dots relating every character or event in a novel to the life of the writer and the causes that sparked it, but I guess the casual reader does not bother too much about it and enjoys the plot for what it is.
It doesn’t matter really.
Because what is important is that the writers themselves find it therapeutic. Whenever the writers project their ideas onto paper, they free themselves of the ‘burden‘ an imaginary world creates upon its materialisation. However, what really helps is reading the produce of our writings afterwards. It is only then that we are capable of seeing where some parts of our plot came from. I am sure that even the plot a writer finds most detached from their life experiences hides a small detail that, with further analysis, brings out issues; as debris left wandering in the subconscious mind. It’s like a translation and a paraphrases altogether, afterall. The words are obviously different, but the core is one. One can trace details of a writer’s personal experience, as one might say of James Joyce‘s “Dubliners” or “Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man“, which clearly recall Joyce’s view on his life: these can be filed under ‘autobiographical‘ or ‘semi-autobiographical‘ works and surely that is the kind of personal connection which is clearer to decode, once the reader knows the writer’s personal life.
But what about other books, other authors where such assumptions can not be gathered in such simple manners? Of course, symbolism seems to answer this purpose perfectly. One might argue that it can both be used consciously and unconsciously, and this is right. Critics spend hours of work trying to decode one book or another, trying to connect objects, characters, plots and twists with a writer’s purpose and sometimes finding the link between fiction and real life. That is the sort of connection that I’m trying to underline here. It is by doing that on purpose (or again, unconsciously) that a writer let go of their imagination and free their mind. Ergo, writing not only represents a great medium to express oneself, but it is certainly a form of therapy.