So often, I have experienced the sense of awe that people get when I tell them that I am a writer; as if it’s not only an intangible dream to them, but something quite extraordinary. Now, I do agree that different people are good at different things. I’m not a numbers person. When I see numbers, I get sad and frustrated. My self-esteem plummets as I realise that my brain simply won’t cooperate. Words, on the other hand, are my thing. I get them.
Still, I do believe that writing does something good for the soul. Even below-average writing. And, I’m not the only one who thinks so. Writing is frequently recommended by those in the know – from Oprah, who suggests a daily gratitude journal, to business moguls and international hotshots that have seen how this form of self-expression pays off.
Here are a few benefits to writing (not writing well, just writing):
You learn to organise your thoughts and ideas – writing necessitates some sort of structure. There’s a beginning, a middle, and an end. This makes even big projects, ideas or problems far more manageable.
You develop your own style – this alone goes a long way in giving you writing confidence. If you’re planning to make writing your career, your own identity is crucial. Some people will love it, some won’t. But, it’s not something you can neglect or evade.
Whoosah! – it’s no secret that writing makes a big problem more manageable and an idea more tangible. So, in this way, writing actually helps to ease stress and anxiety, and even promotes happiness and contentment. Writing is an outlet, and who doesn’t need one of those?
You learn to communicate better – in a world of social media and immediate gratification, communication has taken on a very different ‘face’ to what it was just a decade ago. Added to this is stress, a lack of time, and social awkwardness or discomfort. These combine to make lengthy, meaningful chats very difficult, which has compromised our ability to talk…just TALK. Writing is an effective way to communicate feelings and ideas that you may otherwise struggle to articulate.
It keeps the mind strong – using your brain to create and express is mental exercise, and is essential to creating and maintaining neural pathways.
Write regularly to reap these benefits, but don’t overdo it. This will only make it a chore that is begrudgingly soldiered through, rather than being enjoyed. Rather, schedule it for a time at which you know there is relative peace and quiet so that you can enjoy the mental retreat and succumb to your creativity.