Saturday 26 June 2021

5 ways creative writing can make your mental health better

Elle discusses how the power of writing can help make a difference to our mental health.

- Elle Renee Morgan

1. Seeing your name in print gives you a sense of satisfaction. You know how much work has gone into that piece, how much research that the content wears lightly, and how many words you have deleted or rearranged for the benefit of the reader. It’s there on the Internet or in print forever, and most publications have connections to other writers, so you’re part of something bigger. If it’s on your own website or blog, it’s a piece that can touch people in the midst of their chores or their own working days, and you are in complete control of how it’s laid out. If it’s on someone else’s media platform, this can open up doors to other readers you’d never heard of.

2. It’s not just about the reward; it’s about the journey to get there - how reflective are you being, in the act of writing itself? Doesn’t it take extreme strength to write a journal entry that doesn’t hide your flaws? Doesn’t self-awareness of destructive habits require a resilient mind that’s committed to change? Keeping a diary may be the only consistent, reliable task you have in life, especially right now, so in a world where the only certainty is great change, it’s nice to have something to depend on. Your voice and style will no doubt go through many changes, and you may even look back on your journal entries and cringe. But the promise of getting better as a writer is too great to give up, as you know that the hard work pays off in the end. The experience of climbing the mountain is just as great as the view at the top.

3. Writing, like any activity that requires extreme focus, takes you out of your own bubble and allows you to create. It requires mindfulness and a certain amount of meditation, even if you’re doing it without realising. Buddhist techniques have been used by Western practitioners for years in mental health and areas of wellbeing.

4. Writing is about connecting. This article has been written for you, the readers of the Student Minds Blog, who may be feeling a certain way because of the pandemic and recent events (deflated and unmotivated, perhaps?). Reaching out to other people on a blog is written confirmation that the person reading it, who may be struggling, is not alone.

5. Creating an alternative world where things are better, or you critique certain aspects of society, requires not only the use of imagination but a cathartic event, where you release old thought patterns and work on finding a solution. Writing about something that hurts you (for example, capitalist society and feeling like a ‘cog’ in a big corporation’s wheel) is not about ‘moaning’ or ‘ranting’. It’s to sense a gap in today’s world and form your niche there, finding like-minded readers who agree, or expanding the minds of those who hadn’t thought about it that way. Whatever the reason, writing is beneficial for everyone, and I truly believe everybody has a book in them somewhere. 

Visit Student Space for further support with your mental health or emotional wellbeing

I'm Elle Renée, a twenty-something who enjoys education, travel, literature and art. I am currently a content writer and is hoping to do a doctorate one day

1 comment:

  1. Writing is indeed like relaxation, besides that it can also bring out what is in the mind even though it cannot be said.