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How Creative Writing Helps Mental Health

Let’s learn about how creative writing helps mental health and much more…

How Creative Writing Helps Mental Health

When recalling school and college, almost everyone is filled with dread by thinking of writing assignments. Why? Because they are difficult. In general, writing is the most productive human activity that requires mental effort. Even at work people often tend to procrastinate any tasks that require creating texts either waiting for the inspiration or until the deadline becomes pressing. However, this activity is extremely beneficial – just like a workout keeps the body fit, writing warms up the brain.

Prerequisites

What is good about creative writing is that one does not need any equipment for it – just any paper and a pen or any device with a keyboard. The two true prerequisites for text creation as a therapeutic activity for the brain are attitude and skill. Both of them depend on the writer only. Of course, if the attitude is negative, it feels like torture, and one can barely make any use of typing and sighing. But thinking of writing positively or as a form of art and mediation, helps to boost one’s confidence and enjoy the process. What is meant by skill in this regard is the mastery of the language. As well, knowing all the basic grammar rules will help in the writing process.

What Are the Exact Benefits for Mental Health?

Writing is always a form of reflection – when a person creates any text, it is the expression of one’s inner perception of their reality. When you feel something is disturbing you, but you cannot give an honest answer to yourself – start writing, make up any story, the issue will come to the surface in one of the first lines, and you will notice it for sure. Both professionals and beginners imbue their writing with their emotions. It only requires a sharp eye of the reader to notice it.

Other benefits of writing for mental health can include:

  • Developing critical and systemic thinking

When writing, one mulls over the product of their work and tries to make it coherent. Characters cannot act unreasonably – there is always context. Setting and the development of any story requires having a vision in terms of systems. One also needs to think critically, as the result of one’s creative work needs to be evaluated right during the process and be proofread and edited afterward.

  • Boosting creativity

Imagination is a whole new world that one explores inside. With human language, which is infinite, it is possible to create any textual reality. Creative writing dares one to open up for fantasies and making up stories. What is also great is that one can write texts based on anything – for example, it is possible to make up a poem based on a shopping list.

  • Stress relief

Writing as an activity requires concentration. If you feel that you need to relax – write about beautiful islands, sea or mountains – focus on it and all the tension inside will gradually go away. In this sense, creative writing can be a form of meditation. It is like sleeping and having a vivid dream but with the eyes wide open.

  • Improving memory

Forgetting is just as natural as remembering. But with time we tend to keep fewer and fewer memories. Writing is a mental exercise that trains the brain to stay fit and perform better. It is all about quests for the right words and good ideas that keep the mind active and alive.

But So Many Professional Writers Are Sad…

Indeed, they are. Just think of Poe, Hemingway, and many others. But it is not the writing process that made them so, it is their mental state that made their texts so dark and hopeless. Stephen King in his book “On Writing: a Memoir of the Craft explains that Hemingway and Fitzgerald were drinking because they were alcoholics, not because they were great authors and sensitive souls. In their books, they picture gray worlds full of despair because this kind of perception appeals to substance abusers. It follows that in reality, writing can be challenging, but it brings joy from one’s artistic expression, not emptiness.

How to Start Writing?

It is extremely easy – the best way to get ahead is to get started whenever you feel the urge or even when you don’t. Writing is not about inspiration, it is about involvement. A text starts to emerge when you sit down and focus on it. Often people can get easily distracted when writing – this happens because they do not know what to write or do not have a clear vision.

Creative writing can take many forms. If one is not ready for writing a novel, a good start would be a diary. Just try to record your life, and you will come up with your inner voice. Brainstorming is another nice technique to try out. Write down any words or word combinations that come to your mind and try to tie them all together in a paragraph.

Another starting place in this path will be a library. It is practically impossible to write anything without reading books. To know what and how to create texts, one first needs to get familiar with the works of others. Of course, it is better not to imitate others, but to shape one’s own style and voice, one first needs to feel how others do it, what means are used to achieve a certain effect, and how it is perceived by the reader.

Anything to Avoid?

Oh yes, avoid clichés. It might be hard to detect them at first and probably the temptation to use them will be very strong, but it is necessary to get rid of and reduce this worn-out verbal decoration. High-flown clichéd writing is what kills creativity. Dare to think and come up with something original. It is always better than any old saw. If the muse does not seem to show up, seize it in the surroundings. It is possible to find inspiration anywhere one goes. In a sound of a fizzy drink, in a sunray, in a plastic bag dancing in the wind… you can always find life, and it is the main inspiration of a writer.

Writing is for Everyone

Any person can practice creative writing and enjoy it. When trying to compose a text one does not only train the brain but also learns about their inner self. Often reading one’s own piece is like looking at oneself from a different angle, which is extremely educational.

Have you ever tried to write a creative work or a journal? Let us know in the comments at the bottom of this page. 

About the author: Helene Cue is an experienced writer, editor, and proofreader at MyAssignmentHelp. She has been working in the field of academic papers and essay writing for the last 10 years. Her favorites aspects of writing are style and composition. Helene assisted hundreds of students with their writing and knows for sure how to get good grades on a paper. You can find out more by visiting her site. In her free time, she enjoys art, especially French Impressionism.

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3 Comments
  1. This article encouraged me. I began writing as a hobby when I retired several years ago. I wanted to share the lessons I gained from the cancer experience. However, I chose to write something lighter as my first project. I wrote a series of stories about my family and growing up in the 50’s and 60’s. After completing that project, I tackled the emotional task of writing about tough times. During the cathartic process, I learned so much about myself. I hope my words encourage and strengthen others. I maintain two journals – one a five-year gratitude journal, as well as a journal of my ordinary life, my thoughts and prayers. Thus far I’ve written only non-fiction. However, I’m considering a fiction project. The words I’ve written in the past often encourage me. I share them in the hopes they will make do the same for anyone who choose to read them.

  2. I’ve actually started to blog about, well, myself actually. It’s been therapeutic in many ways, and probably saves me some money from seeing a professional therapist? And it has helped me tremendously in getting thru a painful break-up. To help start my thought process on each page, I start it off with quoting lyrics from a song, and how it pertains to my own life. Will anything come from it?, most likely not. But that’s okay, I’ve enjoyed doing it and that’s really all that matters.

    1. This is what will come from your writing if you stick with it and if you write authentically. One day you will wake up and say OMG I found my center. Trust me, I know. So you are on track. Writing authentically is very therapeutic. I am smiling. Warmly, Honey

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