The practice of creative writing has historically been conceived of as cathartic or curative, and has become commonplace in therapeutic settings as a result. This conception of writing has been further legitimized by the psychological paradigm of “expressive writing” that has developed in recent decades, demonstrating the assorted emotional and physical health benefits of writing about traumatic experiences. Yet, does writing do more than heal, and need we always begin with trauma and deficit in the broad field of writing and wellbeing? Or, might we think of writing as, equally, a manner of flourishing? This essay critically examines what it might mean to be a flourishing writer, presenting a range of rationales for such a hypothesis, and calling on the contemporary field of positive psychology as a theoretical framework within which to explore this hypothesis.
|Writing in Practice: The Journal of Creative Writing Research
|Published - 31 Mar 2017