For those who read often, it’s easy to see what kind of impact words can have on us. Books captivate us, they make us think, they snatch us away from reality and take us to a world that’s completely different, completely magical. Books are the train, and our imagination is the ticket to fictional places that someone has conjured from their mind. Reading is liberating in a way that few other things are — but what about writing? What if we told you that it’s a skill even more powerful, even more beguiling than reading itself?
Writing can not only inspire us to put our souls to paper, but it can also heal us in the process, make it easier to understand our own needs and desires. If you’ve always wanted to write your own story but never had the courage to start, here’s why you should make the leap.
There are many types of writing, and which one you choose depends solely on your own desires. You don’t have to immediately think that writing a novel is your only option— it’s perfectly fun to start a journal, or blog about your favorite subject, or write short stories, or craft poetry. You can write simple notes about the things you saw that day, or you can make plots, characters, and overarching storylines. Regardless of what you choose, the act itself will allow you to have an overview of your own thoughts. Things that are buzzing around your head will be put on paper, and you’ll be able to examine them and get a uniquely useful insight into your own psyche.
No one is there to judge you when you write. No one’s looking over your shoulder, no one’s going to read it unless you want them to, and there are no rules or limits about what you can write. After going through a difficult period or experiencing trauma, this kind of freedom can be priceless — even if you’re afraid, or simply not ready to talk about it to another person, you can put it down on paper. It’s a completely safe corner that no one else can touch, and it can help you process the things that happened and heal at your own pace.
Your fingertips pressing on the letters of your keyboard can be an incredibly soothing experience. Even if you’re writing utter nonsense, the act itself can calm you down when you’re stressed, and it reminds you of a very important thing — you have the ability to speak the truth. Getting an old-school typewriter, or even better, a few simple notebooks and smooth ballpoint pens, and turning to these tools to put your thoughts and feelings down is a powerful thing. Your own handwriting makes it even more personal and enjoyable, so try keeping a small notepad and a pen in your pocket. Take them out when you’re feeling inspired, and make magic!
We’ve all got great ideas in our heads, but what makes a difference between a writer and a non-writer is that the former has enough skill to put that idea into action. Creativity is not a talent, but a skill to be nurtured and cherished, and everyday practice will make it blossom. It will give you the ability to get in touch with your inner self and use your imagination to tell a story. Even if you’re only writing a short daily entry into your diary, you’re still a storyteller.
Since writing gives you the chance to self-reflect and use your creativity in a fun way, sticking to daily practices will slowly build your confidence. Not only will you know more about yourself and what makes you tick, but you’ll also be learning a very useful new skill. If you become regular, you’ll basically be working on yourself every single day, and that kind of thing will make you feel good in your own skin. Build up your self-esteem word by word and you’ll never look back.
To quote Maya Angelou, “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” If you have your own story, if you have ideas and thoughts that deserve to see the light of day, tell them. Show them to others through the art of writing and you’ll find incredible freedom.