I have often talked about how writing has been a catharsis for me through numerous “life” challenges over these many years. In return, I have also heard from many of my readers about how one or more of my books helped them get through the same types of problems - emotional crashes, health problems, marriage problems, the challenges of children, death in the family and numerous other depressing experiences. 

        I just read an article by Jennifer King Lindley called FICTIONAL THERAPY, published in the June 2021 edition of HEALTH magazine. The article brought to light all of the above, and I’m so glad I’ve had the ability and opportunity to use my writing for both my own problems and to help others through theirs. 


        In Ms. Lindley’s words, “Losing yourself in a novel isn’t just relaxing – it can actually help you process your own worries and emotions.” She points out that reading encourages you not to dwell on your misery, but rather focus on the positive. In reading about fictional problems that truly are very real in everyday life, you realize that others have gone through some of the same tragedies we have, and they came out the other side of those problems triumphant.

        Such successes in life are probably made more positive and real in reading romance – stories that present typical life challenges and nearly always end with joy and happiness. In Ms. Lindley’s words, “We work through our own emotions by living through the characters’ passions and crises.” How true!

        According to the research conducted and used in Ms. Lindley’s article, reading for just six minutes reduces a readers’ heart rate and muscle tension. Reading can also make a person more tolerant of others and more patient with their own tribulations. It can also ease loneliness and bring us into the world of the characters in the story, helping us think about others instead of ourselves.


       The article points out that in today’s world of tweeting and Instagram and Facebook and constant, constant “instant” news and world-wide tribulations, it has become more difficult to slow down and concentrate on reading a whole novel. However, if we keep ourselves trained to read at a slower pace and zero in on the story at hand, absorbing it at perhaps twenty to thirty minutes of reading at a time, we will begin to want more and find ourselves reading more and more every day because we allow ourselves to become immersed in an entirely new and different world that takes us away from too much reality on the internet and TV.


        Let reading be your cure for what ails you, your catharsis, your medicine that soothes the soul and can even take away some of your pain, both physical and emotional. I hope I’ve been able to do that for many of you in the past, and I will try to continue doing so in the future with new stories that take you on a journey from reality into fiction that in turn becomes your reality.




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