I've been reading Timothy Hallinan's blog and laughing guiltily at it. Guiltily because I don't usually laugh at other people's misfortunes and laughing because he has taken a bloody awful day and turned it into a very amusing piece of prose.
It got me thinking about feelings and writing. I don't think it's any use writing a story simply as catharsis if you want someone else to enjoy reading it. I've read other people's work that was written simply to get something off their chest or as tribute to a wonderful family member. It has huge emotional impact for them but not for anyone else.
My first longish story was fairly autobiographical. It was also crap but I felt better for writing it. Unfortunately, I haven't reached the stage of non-crapness yet where I can tell you how to do the opposite: take the experiences you have and transform them into something that will resonate with the reader and give them a good experience. I'm pretty sure that avoiding self-indulgent writing is in there somewhere. Perhaps it means writing with another person in mind. Experienced writers, please feel free to chip in here.
I don't know if writing his blog post yesterday made Timothy feel any better about his day but it definitely made me feel better. That's good writing at work.