Reflections on Life Thus Far

My life. My story: Exploring mental health, spirituality, meditation & random thoughts I have

Writing As Catharsis


St. Augustine writing, revising, and re-writin...

St. Augustine writing, revising, and re-writing: Sandro Botticelli’s St. Augustine in His Cell (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Everyone likely has different reasons for writing and keeping a blog but the reason I like to blog my thoughts has to do with catharsis. Sometimes it’s to share information but a lot of the time it helps me therapeutically to get my feelings and thoughts out of my head. Of course I could do this in a traditional hard copy journal but it has more significance symbolically when it’s “published” on WordPress for others to read. Maybe there’s a little narcissism involved too. I’m sure there’s a thrill experienced when I see people have read what I’ve written, but beyond that it allows me to reach out to others. In return, fellow bloggers publish their thoughts and feelings and I see I am not the only person to have particular things going through my head.

Since beginning this blog over two months ago I’ve ‘met’ a lot of interesting people willing to share their experiences, either through poetry or writing stories and/or journal style entries. Now I am aware most of us use pseudonyms on here, apart from a few, but I have never felt the experience of reading somebody’s blog diminished because of it. The fact we don’t usually know each other allows for more honesty and greater openness than if we had to use our real names. I like being able to write without worrying too much someone will ‘find’ my blog and know who I am. They will know who I am reading my blog more than if they met me in person and asked me to share stories of my life with them. Blogging like this is more authentic even if I don’t use my real name. Maybe sometime in the future I’ll change my mind and use my real name but for now I don’t want to be constrained/restricted by ‘appearances’.

What about you? Why do you blog? What are your reasons for using a pseudonym or using your ‘real’ name? Do you think that bloggers using their real name are more ‘believable’ than those of us writing under a ‘fake’ name?

© Zen Lady Meditating and Reflections On Life Thus Far, 2012. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Zen Lady Meditating and Reflections On Life Thus Far with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Author: Natalya

Blogging my thoughts and feelings about mostly mental health, meditation and spirituality(non religious). Hoping to connect with other interesting people in the blogosphere. *The name is Russian and is my pseudonym.

18 thoughts on “Writing As Catharsis

  1. I worry about people who know me finding out about my blog (whether from real life or through my other blog). I’ve treaded very gently along some of my issues in the past on my other blog and, although I did seem to connect with one or two who’d been through similar things, the general response was that I should just ‘pick myself up’ and ‘get on with things’. It’s not what you need or want to hear and I fear that others would be equally unable to understand, if they did discover.

  2. some days i wish i could stop writing…i dont know if it has become a compulsion or a need now…but you do give me food for thought here and perhaps i will write an entire blog on this topic….

    It’s good you dont allow yourself to be constrained, and it’s fine that you dont reveal your true identity. Allow yourself lots of time to get to know other bloggers before you identify yourself — privately — to anyone…if u want to make greater connection with them.

  3. I love the image of the saint. 🙂

  4. I choose anonymity and pseudonyms in order to protect the innocent and avoid backlash/threats/etc. from the “guilty” especially when I write about abuse. I also try to practice what I preach, so to speak, by not saddling people with a label that would cause others to judge them without really knowing them. I would feel very guilty if anyone made a judgment about someone I mentioned in a blog post (including me) without truly knowing them. We are all way more than our mistakes.

  5. I write for the art and possibly to finish an untold story by using a modifed version of my “real” name, and no, the name has no meaning because only the content matters.

  6. I definitely write to sort out what is in my head. To write, we have to focus on one thought at a time. So, writing helps me focus. I also like feedback from people because it usually sends me off into a new direction of thought or requires me to dig deeper.

    Regarding not using real names, I don’t think that’s an issue in most situations I come across. I tend to appreciate professionals, such as therapists, who identify as such online to use their real name. I think that lends a bit of credibility and accountability to what they write. But, for the average person just sharing their everyday thoughts or struggles, real names are important.

    I don’t use my real name because what I write is *personal.* I don’t want family members to read it. I don’t want acquaintances, neighbors or potential employers to read it.

    Take care,

  7. I used a pseudonym for a long time (Bourbon) before revealing my “real” name. I don’t know why but using my real name and knowing other peoples real name makes me feel closer to them. I dunno.. perhaps I’m just weird 😉 xx

    • Thanks, I can understand that, it’s not weird really. Actually I agree with you but I’m a little too afraid to ‘out myself’ just yet!

  8. I do write using my real name and it’s important to me that I do that because for me, it is part of my battle against stigma (I write mostly abour recovery from mental illness). But I completely respect the individual’s right to choose anonymity. Writing under my real name means there are some things that I choose not to write about, particularly concerning my family relationships. That’s simply out of respect for them and actually it works out well for me.

    What concerns me is even under an alias, it is possible to find things on the net and so I would never talk about those relationships on here anyway. I think too often people think they can say absolutely anything and the people dear to them won’t know. That concerns me. It’s just not something I would do because personally I favour working out things directly with the people involved rather than spilling all to the internet world. Again, that is my opinon and how I work. I know a lot of people disagree with this and that’s okay.

    • Thank you for sharing. I can appreciate your point of view. If my family were not so toxic talking out our problems might be possible. As it is it’s not so I just try and avoid too many identifiers when sharing on here. It’s doubtful any of them would read this kind of thing anyhow though. I’d have to be prepared to talk about a lot of unsettling things with family that I prefer keeping at an arms length (re: using my real name).

      • I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to come across as critical of what anyone else does because it is very much an individual thing. I really simply meant to say where I come from on the whole thing. Apologies if it didn’t come across that way.

      • It’s alright. I knew you were speaking for yourself I just felt I needed to explain my reasons for not using my real name. Thanks 🙂

  9. It’s really great that you’ve found a medium that allows you to feel comfortable getting your thoughts down & out. I’ve never really thought about real names… I don’t think it makes a difference in terms of authenticity. Usually you just get a sense of whether they’re being authentic or not from their writing.

    I feel the same about blogging. For me I think it’s about learning to put my experiences/memories/thoughts/feelings into words because they’ve only ever existed as abstract concepts, or shapes, or images or colours or noises in my head, but never words. In the words of my therapist, I still “talk about talking about things” and eventually want to find to language to move past that.

    • “I still “talk about talking about things” and eventually want to find to language to move past that”.

      Are you able to identify what you are feeling? When I learnt what my feelings were in therapy at the tender age of 25! I felt much better. Before I didn’t know what I was feeling but then I learnt how to identify and label them so they weren’t so mysterious anymore. I’ve had 5 years now of being able to know what I’m feeling. Before 25 I couldn’t tell you what I was feeling. Heck, I was so ignorant I didn’t even know when I was angry. Everything was depression. Then I figured out the difference between simple stuff like happy, sad, mad, glad and scared. It sounds very simple so I know it might sound goofy but it helped me a lot. Just learning how to say I’m afraid or hurt or lonely etc. meant a lot to me. It proved very effective in my psychological and emotional healing.

  10. Pingback: A Stressful Catharsis « Casual, Possibly-Nonsensical Ramblings

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