Should You Write A Book?

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In Kawaski and Welch's Ape the first chapter on "Should You Write a Book" really struck me... As I first went through the reasons I felt like I might just gag from the over sentimentality of the reasons to write a book. When I read "To Enrich Lives" I just imagined some great teacher baking cookies filled with wisdom, knowledge, and insight. To me, that is the most cliche reason to write a book on the face of the earth (maybe I am just a cynic). I feel that "intellectual challenge" and "to further a cause" are equally cliche, so at that point I was ready to put the book down and just drink the strongest cup of coffee I could find.

But then I turned the page and saw Good Reason 4: Catharsis. Aristotle described catharsis as a form of art in itself.Call me selfish, but I don't believe in doing anything creative for anybody but myself. Any time I try to do some sort of creative activity that my heart isn't fully in then it turns out to be complete patooie. I feel like any artists best work is always something that they feel strongly about or need to release. This semester I began writing for The Tiger, and as a writer for the opinion section, I vowed that I would only write about things I felt strongly about or had some passion for. I feel like the moment I write and article just to write something or "just to do my job" is the moment I don't want my name on it anymore. Catharsis is a huge thing for me and it really hit home. One thing, that I am sure shows up often in my articles is my passion and love for the middle east, and my hatred of the false portrayals by the media of the middle east as a viscious haywire place.

My mom lives in Kuwait, right outside of Kuwait city so it is a place very near and dear to my heart. Before I go off on a tangent, I think it best that I close by saying: to me, catharsis is THE art.


mkozma's picture

Hey Maisy!

Althought I'm personally not much of an Artistotle fan I do like what you mean here by "Catharsis is art," which is an interesting thing to consider. The idea that the releasing of emotions is always art is an odd way to perceive humanity. I don't think I really believe this but I guess it is true---the best art is the stuff that makes us feel something. Whether it is a painting that makes you feel happy or a song that makes you feel sad, art is that outlet that we sometimes find a little hard to explore. Art is that healthy release of these things that might be bottled up or are too hard to express.

Great observation!