I have been reflecting on the difference between therapeutic writing and creative writing. They are not the same but they swim together in the ocean of our psyches, that dark-light place where we must learn to breathe differently.
Creative writing is delivered via the clefts and crannies of literary genres and styles.
Therapeutic writing defies genre and abhors conformity; it reveals what is hidden in the crevices of our heart.
Creative writing is not only alert to a reader’s tastes and aversions, but also to a publisher’s predilections, predictions and perversions.
Therapeutic writing is nothing less than a writer’s lesions, lacerations and longings.
Creative writing is exhaustively edited and intimately connected to history, elitism and the infallibility of tradition.
Therapeutic writing is unalloyed, the past is only a concern when it can be changed; it is classless and unerring in its quest for revolution.
Creative writing is an exhibitionist; its performances justify its originality, it panders to television, the stage, radio, podcasts, computer games, rappers memes and even graffiti.
Therapeutic writing is private, introverted, reserved, internal and timeless,
Creative writing is plays, poetry, creative nonfiction, flash fiction, short stories, longer stories, novels and words written in the sky. It is epic, it is lyrical, it is rhetorical.
Therapeutic writing is a list, a letter, a memoir, an autobiography, a fragment of a dream dropped onto the page. It is the snatch of a conversation. It is literal. It is intimate. It is discreet.
Creative writing is a school bus yellow Butterflyfish serenely displaying its primary status.
Therapeutic writing is a cerulean, spike-bladed, fin-spined Surgeonfish with impenetrable boundaries.
Creative writing and therapeutic writing are alike even as they are different; they dwell together in the swell and billow of our imagination, they drift in the medium of our emotions. To bathe with them is to be cleansed by their truths and their lies.