Writing as Therapy by Max E. Stone

I am very excited to be hosting my first guest post, written by the thriller author Max E. Stone. He was written about his use of writing as a form of therapy and it is a really interesting read. It has inspired me to try and get back into writing, something which I used to spend hours doing as a child, and gradually drifted out of the habit of.


In the words of Robert Frost, ‘No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.’ In other words, if the writer’s essence isn’t in the midst of the writing, the reader won’t feel a thing.

I can remember the course of writing a scene for one of my stories not long ago. It was one of the most violent scenes I’d ever written. When I finished it, I found myself in tears, sweating, crying, and shaking from all of the emotions in the scene. With deep breaths, I came to, shocked at what had happened and, at the same time, surprised at the feeling of release.

At nine years old, writing had begun as a hobby. I created stories and did little more than scare the adults in my life, causing them to ask, on almost a daily basis, ‘is everything okay?’

Everything was. The stories about families, violence, drugs, and abuse hadn’t come from my own life, but rather just to mind. So, for whatever reason, I started to write them down. That was it.

However, during my teenage years, life hit hard. So hard that it became difficult to function, let alone write. Yet, my mom not only became my confidante during those times but my encouragement to get back into writing, something of which I hadn’t done much.

It was then that writing became a form of therapy, a cathartic lifeline, for me. My thoughts, feelings, hurts, ideas, and more filled the quantity of numerous notebooks. Moreover, I’d taken the stories I had already begun to write and kept going with them, tweaking them on the way to completion.

It was at that time that I truly understood Robert Frost’s words. Writing is gritty work. It is a grimy, digging deep therapy session. Through the written word, I screamed out the things I couldn’t say; the details I felt I could tell no one. And, while getting it out on paper, it hurt like hell. But, like therapy, it was and is needed to get out the pain and frustration. And perhaps even aid the reader through their own.


About the Author: Max E. Stone

Most recent audiobook: One Minute There

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