Aristotle said, “Art releases unconscious tensions and purges the soul.” We writers know that. Writing seems to calm us down, to help us see the truth of ourselves. This is true of all writing, but especially true of writing about yourself, either in a journal or in relaying something from your life. By writing, we seem to create another ‘us.’ This is a stronger, wiser, calmer person than the real ‘us.’
Speaking for myself, I started writing twenty years ago with very little self-knowledge. But slowly it’s dawning on me, who I really am. When I have trouble now, I write. It calms me down.
Yes, “Art releases unconscious tensions and purges the soul.” Sadly, those in federal prisons in Canada get very little of this healing tonic. No music classes, no theatre, no painting – no arts at all. The little creative writing class I teach in one prison is a small step in the right direction.