[#A matter of perspective] WHY DO PEOPLE WRITE WHEN FEELING SAD?

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On Sunday, 15th September 1833, a young man named Arthur Hallam, aged 22, died in his sleep. Autopsy revealed the cause of his death to be a stroke. In the first week of October that same year, a letter from the young man’s uncle was delivered to a close friend of his, Alfred which among other things stated

“At the desire of a most afflicted family, I write to you because they are unequal from the grief into which they have fallen to it themselves.

Your friend, Sir, and my much-loved Nephew, Arthur Hallam, is no more — it has pleased God to remove him from this his first scene of Existence, to that better world for which he was created.”

The news had a devastating effect on Alfred and his sister Emily (To whom Arthur had been engaged). It created a void in Alfred’s heart, which he subsequently expressed in a literary work. This work titled “In Memoriam” is one of the longest and greatest poems in English History. Alfred Tennyson subsequently wrote other poems in memory of his friend Arthur Hallam.

Back to this question, we humans express ourselves and our feelings in various forms. To some, it is through the performing arts (dancing, singing, acting), to others it is through public speaking, others engage in sporting and other forms of body exercises, and we also have the most common form – Writing.

Writing is primarily a mental exercise; a catharsis. We generally write to express our feelings, thoughts and ideas. And when we are sad, writing serves as a form of therapy. During sad and tragic moments, we feel the need to express our bottled feelings. Hence we do things like visiting therapists and shrinks, travelling, engaging in activities that take up our time and energies. The aim of doing all these, is to purge our negative emotions. Some persons have discovered that keeping diaries can be helpful. Writing also helps us in articulating our distorted thoughts. And as technology today increases the barriers in genuine human communication, keeping diaries, writing poems, articles and stories, give us a sense of connection with our world.

Hope this helps

T. C.

I learn lessons and I tell stories

Culled from my answer on Quora

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