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Friday, January 22, 2021

Writing as a ‘Therapeutic’ Response

“Fear is felt by writers at every level. Anxiety accompanies the first word they put on paper and the last.” – Ralph Keyes 


Keyes, born in Ohio in 1945, is an author and lecturer who has written 16 books including Is There Life After High School?, which was adapted as a musical that opened on Broadway in 1982 and is still produced by theater groups across the United States. His 1995 book The Courage to Write has become a standard work among aspiring writers.  He graduated from Antioch College and still makes his home near there in Yellow Springs, Ohio.


A frequent guest on NPR shows such as All Things Considered and On the Media, he also has appeared on TV shows like 20/20 and The Oprah Winfrey Show.    And he’s a regular presenter to professional, corporate and educational groups.


In The Courage to Write, Keyes said, “I’m often asked why I write so often about ‘negative’ subjects: tensions between fathers and sons, adolescent angst, time pressure. My answer is that exploring such topics on paper helps me get rid of them. Writing can be wonderful therapy, and cheap at the price. At the very least, you eventually get bored by thinking about anxious topics and want to move on.”



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