I try to make my blog posts helpful for both beginner and advanced writers and everything in between. Today, though, I would like to address the person who has always wanted to try writing, but for whatever reason, hasn’t. Maybe you think you can’t do it. Maybe you think you’re too old or too young. Well, I’m here to tell you that there is never a wrong time to write. Everyone has a story that’s worth telling. And if you’re on the fence about whether or not to try creative writing, here’s a list of seven reasons you should:
1. Creative writing is good for your brain.
New studies have shown us how creative writing affects the brain, and surprise, surprise, it’s a beneficial activity! Not only will you be doing something you enjoy, but you are also sharpening your intellect.
2. It can teach you to be more empathetic.
When you walk in someone else’s shoes in your imagination, it helps you to empathize with others and understand others’ perspectives. Having more empathy is good for all of your relationships: parents, children, spouses, friends, co-workers. Additionally, empathy is often the first step in taking compassionate action such as donating your time or money to worthy causes and organizations.
3. You’ll find a new perspective on your life.
Let’s say you’re having a conflict with your boss about not being able to take time off, and you fictionalize it in a short story. This forces you to step back from the conflict and look at it as you might read a book, as an objective presence. You might finally understand what the conflict is actually about (your need for freedom and a flexible schedule, for example.) When I am writing–even about fictional characters and situations that have nothing to do with my life–it often teaches me something about myself or my own life.
4. Having a creative outlet for your emotions is healthy.
I do joke sometimes about how I write sad songs, but the truth is that I am actually a pretty happy person most of the time. When I am feeling sadness or some other negative emotion, I find some artistic way to express it (writing a song, a play, a story, etc.) which allows me to not only be productive with my negative emotions, but it also allows me a way to express them so that I don’t dwell on them as much.
5. Writing gives you a sense of accomplishment.
When I was working on my NaNoWriMo draft last November, I can tell you with 100% certainty that I wrote 50,000 words of (mostly) crap. (I am working on revisions right now for this project, and I’ve had to scratch most of what I wrote!) But it doesn’t matter. At the end of November, when I saw 50,000 on the bottom of my Microsoft Word document, I felt incredibly proud of myself. The simple act of finishing something–a poem, a story, a play, a novel, etc.–can bring such satisfaction to your life.
6. You will improve your communication skills.
Whether you are working in an office or at a restaurant or even working from home, I guarantee you have to communicate with other people at some point. The act of creative writing forces you to think about how you are expressing yourself and the words you are choosing to use. This will help you in all areas of your life, especially your job and your relationships.
7. You can turn up the volume on your imagination.
Do you remember when you were a kid and one day you were a pirate and the next day you were a dinosaur? Do you remember how cool that was? That’s basically what being a writer is like every day. You get to live in new worlds that you create so they can be however you want them to be! You get to create characters who do and say anything you want them to do and say!
So in short, if you are thinking about trying to write a story, a play, a screenplay, a poem, or anything else, you should. Being a writer is basically awesome. You will love it.