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Using Negative Experiences to Write

By: Angelique Caffrey - Updated: 19 Sep 2012 | comments*Discuss
Creative; Writing; Written; Negative;

“The only cure for grief is action.” – George Henry Lewes

Tragedy like comedy is an expected, though never desired, part of life. Sooner or later, we will all experience events that leave us feeling depressed, depleted, angry, hurt, or dejected. However, many amateur and professional creative writers have learned how to use these negative occurrences constructively.

The next time a grey shadow falls across your world, try using your resultant emotions as springboards for innovative creative writing pieces such as poems, song lyrics, or even short stories. By doing so, you will have the opportunity to reap many benefits, including those listed below:

Literary “Therapy”

Though writing is not a substitute for professional therapy, it can be a critical part of the healing process.

When you’re feeling overwhelmed, turning your powerful emotions into words, images, and plotlines can have an amazing effect on your well-being. Rather than wallowing in your sorrow, you will be conquering it with the written word. What you choose to write does not matter; the simple act of naming your pain can often strengthen your self-confidence and resolve.

Learning More about Yourself

When you allow your negative feelings to flow from your fingertips or pen, you will be releasing a great deal of pent-up emotions. By turning your mind’s jumbled feelings into somewhat more orderly poetry or prose, you will undoubtedly find out more about yourself.

Many times, writers have epiphanies when they allow themselves to freely express their innermost thoughts, desires, and passions. You may just come to eventually view your tragic experience as the catalyst for a critical self-improvement or life-altering revelation.

Helping Others

If you choose to put your “negative experience”-inspired works on a blog or in some other format for many people to read, the resulting feedback might surprise you. It’s not unusual for individuals to be highly moved by others’ similar experiences, such as the loss of a child or a particularly nasty divorce.

As the saying goes, there is “strength in numbers”, so when others recognise that you have shared the same pain as they, it can result in a catharsis for both of you. Hence, by writing about a difficult event you’ve managed to muddle through, you may be able to lend a helping hand to someone who can relate to your story.


After you’ve gotten past your difficult period during which time you were able to write through grief, disappointment, or heartbreak, you’ll most likely come to realise that you are a stronger, more confident individual. This renewed sense of purpose can only benefit you when trying to publish your works, as you’ll be more motivated to achieve your writing goals, whether lofty or modest.

You’ll also be more apt to adeptly and swiftly deal with your next difficult phase by immediately turning to your creative writings for solace and comfort. Even if you never allow another human to read these deeply personal pieces, they can still be of tremendous value, if only as a means of freeing your soul.

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