Homework vs. Catharsis: Why do Writers Write?


Luke Franklin, Staff Writer

“In a world full of division, loss, epidemics, and strife…”

It sounds like you just cracked open the first page of a novel, doesn’t it? However, I’m sure we all know these things are happening in our world today. Whether we’d like to admit it or not, this past year and a half has taken a toll on the vast majority of us. Mental anxiety or distress, feeling physically drained, or feeling deeply for emotional losses, all have affected many of us. Now, on top of all of this, your English teacher feels the need to assign you a creative writing assignment. It’s just from your imagination, so what even is the point? It turns out, that might be just what you need in your life.


Ever since COVID-19 hit us, and hard, there has been a sharp spike in teenage psychological conditions, including the Bonnie and Clyde of all, Anxiety and Depression. While professional help is often times what they need, teens tend to self-medicate, often due to the anxiety of speaking up or their insecurity. I tend to view “self-medicate” as having a negative connotation, as it is often tied to drugs. Teens also can turn towards self-harm, or worse, when faced with this overwhelming influx of emotions. I have had my own struggles, and often found myself wishing I could be someone else, somewhere else, doing something else. Luckily for me, I found out how. I propose to you, writing!

Writing, quite literally, gives you the power to do and overcome anything. You are in control of your own world, the people in your life, how you feel, everything. You can turn your repressed, ugly, and often vicious emotions into a beautiful cathartic bloom of petals in the form of a poem. You can regain control over everything you experience and feel in the form of a novel. Dedicate a small piece of yourself to writing something you truly enjoy, and I promise it will not be a boring session of typing or writing. It will instead be a release, an escape, a place that you can always go to so that you can shape and mold your emotions and feelings into something beautiful and worthwhile.

So the next time you are asked to write and are given some creative freedom, don’t make it an assignment for the teacher to read. Make it what you wish to envision. How you wish for things to be. You’ll gain not only an A, but also some composure as well.