We all know the term comfort eating, but what about comfort writing?
There used to be a book I’d read at nights when I just couldn’t fall asleep but didn’t have the energy to get up. I had already read the book cover to cover, multiple times, so I could just browse to a random page and start reading and be instantly transferred to this fantasy world. That was my “comfort book.”
Then what is comfort writing?
The eating side usually involves eating something unhealthy and/or fast and/or too easy that has the chance to make us feel guilty afterwards. Fortunately writing is rarely unhealthy and it should never make us feel guilty.
Easy and fast, then.
Most likely something you’ll turn to only when you are incredibly bored or in an emotional turmoil or in a creative void. It could be a specific form of writing or a never ending story you keep returning to when you need a little lift. Maybe it’s something you wouldn’t dream of publishing.
My “comfort writing” is a specific set of characters and the little universe they call their daily life. It’s easy because the characters are already there, just waiting to star a new story, and because there’s no time for such things as “plotting” in comfort writing. It’s fast. I write a story(/scene) that’s only a couple of pages in length max, and then leave it be. I might not describe the scene much and I won’t even try to paint a picture of the characters. Why bother? I know them inside out.
On top of that I rarely edit these stories. I never imagine anyone else reading them. They aren’t chronological and there are multiple versions of several situations. It’s just something to do on the side — like eating a candy bar and then throwing out the wrap.
But unlike comfort eating, comfort writing has all these pros. It’s words so it’s practice. It cleans up space in your head by pouring out all the little ideas that will (likely) never become anything significant. It might even jog your creativity into a higher gear, solving a problem you have with another story.
In short I think comfort writing is the purest form of writing only for yourself.
Do you comfort write? If yes, do you have a certain “setting” for these comfort stories or do you just write whatever happens to pop up in your head?