Writing For Zen


At 18 I started writing short stories, and I believed them to be quite genius (o sweet arrogance of youth!) and wanted to see them published as soon as possible. They never were. And god bless the editors, for those stories were not worth reading. But they were worth being written. They were my personal therapy. One of my friends, after reading a couple of them, asked if I write while being in a very bad mood. I said yes. The friend said it was too evident.

In my twenties, the writing hunger gradually faded. The protracted period of acute post-adolescence was finally over, and I realized that I had nothing to say as I didn’t know the world, I didn’t learn much about life. So I told myself I had writer’s block, stopped writing and started watching TV.

A couple of years ago I read Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing and discovered that writing is therapy not only for me. For many, if not all writers, probably, no matter how gifted they are. What matters is that the talented ones can present it as a fantastic story and, along with giving you a pleasure of exciting reading, push you to think (thank you, Mr. Bradbury).

I came back to writing. I still didn’t know the world, I still didn’t learn much about life, but I realized real reasons that drove me to put words into sentences.

You can have a family, you can have friends who love you and show interest in your opinion about almost everything, but still there is a world of your intimate thoughts, ideas and images that are out of place in everyday life and the route of established relationships. So you type them to get rid of them, to get free of them, to clean your mind, to look at yourself from outside, from another perspective and with a tiny bit of a hope to wake up a distant echo in someone who you don’t know but who has a wish to listen to your word left in the air.


12 thoughts on “Writing For Zen”

  1. I love your final paragraph.

    Writing is the best therapy. I feel like the act of putting pen to paper has saved my sanity (and my life) countless times. I moved recently, and I found a box of my old journals – cringe-worthy stuff (not as much for content as for quality ; ) Anyway, reading through some of those notebooks made me appreciate the therapeutic nature of the act of writing.

  2. Writing is the only time in life I give myself permission to be angsty… I totally get the therapy angle. Now I need to read that book, too!

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