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If you try to imagine a writer, chances are you’re envisioning someone hunched over a desk, surrounded by coffee cups, scribbling away in a notebook with a fountain pen, stopping only to rip out pages and throw them into a nearby trash can.
And while this image can still ring true sometimes (if you’re a writer, you know), writing is much more than this. In fact, creative writing can have all sorts of amazingly positive benefits for your mind and soul. And it doesn’t just have to be reserved for writers either — anyone can make writing a habit; simply pick up a pen or open up your laptop and get started. Who knows — you may even fall in love with your new hobby!
In this post, we’ll be covering the top reasons why writing creatively is good for the mind and soul; read on to get inspired.
Writing brings you happiness & alleviates stress
Writing creatively is good for your mind and soul for the simple reason that it brings us hope and happiness. Using your imagination to create something completely of your own is both satisfying and incredibly exciting — especially if it pays off and people love your work.
On a biological level, completing a writing task and created an end product creates a rush of dopamine (a happy chemical in your body), which fills you with happiness and satisfaction.
But it’s more than just this end result; even just the act of expressive writing is therapeutic, nourishing our minds and souls and working as a healthy outlet for any pent-up emotion. When you’re fully in the moment and you’ve got into a flow with your writing, your mood improves and your stress levels go down.
The therapeutic value of expressing your emotions and thoughts, especially when you are feeling overwhelmed and your mind feels crowded is amazing for alleviating stress as well as lowering feelings of anxiety and depression.
Writing creatively challenges you
Writing creatively isn’t always easy. It’s one thing scribbling down thoughts in a diary, but it’s another creating a piece of fiction like a poem or short story — especially one that you might want to show other people or publish.
Writing creatively is a challenge. Whether your obstacles are nailing your plotline, figuring out how to write dialogue, or creating characters with depth, writing constantly pushes you to do better and make your work better.
This takes concentration, determination and dedication — even just to finish one piece. And the whole time you’re writing, you’re really working your brain and honing not only your writing skills but also your powers of observation and insight.
Writing helps you to work through emotions & more difficult times
Writing creatively is incredibly therapeutic — giving you the chance to work through difficult emotions and experiences, process what you’re going through, and heal.
You may have experienced this if you’ve ever written a journal before; there’s something very cathartic about writing down your feelings, getting your thoughts out of your head and onto paper, so to speak.
By writing creatively, you can explore this further. Writing poetry or a story lets the words flow through your fingers (or pen) onto the page without thinking too hard about the structure or exactness of what you’re writing. Plus, you can experiment with your fictional characters and your plotline, changing and controlling what happens as a means of working through trauma and expressing emotions you struggle with.
You may even be surprised about what you find when you read your work back. Your own creative writing may shed light on how you feel about a certain experience, person or even yourself — giving you the opportunity to reflect and find deeper self-awareness than you thought possible.
Writing helps you to explore new ideas & strengthens your imagination
Writing creatively is a great opportunity to explore new ideas and concepts. It’s an exercise not only in expressing emotion but also strengthening your imagination.
Think about it: when your ideas are floating around in your head, it might feel like you have millions of great ones. It’s easy to get buoyed up in a concept without thinking about the logistics or the quality. But trying to pin an idea down in writing is much harder; it forces you to flesh out your idea and examine its flaws in a bid to make it better. You have to engage your mind and learn as you go along. This may feel tough to start with, but writing creatively gives you a safe space to explore your ideas and their viability.
Through this exploration, writing can also help you to communicate more clearly and think more creatively.
Sometimes we struggle with our words: describing our feelings or sharing our experiences with others can be tough. It can be hard to transform fuzzy ideas in your head into tangible, meaningful sentences. Creative writing lets us play around with words, finding the perfect one for each situation, widening your vocabulary and testing your imagination.
These are just four reasons why writing creatively is good for the mind and soul. So what are you waiting for? Pick up that pen and see where your new habit takes you.