We have been writing most of our lives and much of that time, since our fingers first curled around that thick primary pencil, we have been writing for purposes dictated by others. You have written school essays and business reports and job applications, but when was the last time you sat down to write something just for you – to investigate what you are thinking-wondering-remembering-feeling. When was the last time you sat down just to create something with words you pulled from the well inside you for no reason other than you could?
We owe it to ourselves to spend more time writing for ourselves and writing for no other purpose than to find out what is on our minds. I spend so much of my time teaching writing, creating writing experiences, and teaching writing teachers that I sometimes forget how much fun and how relaxing it is to spend regular dedicated time writing. I have newly dedicated myself to writing just for me and here it what I have learned. I hope at least one of these seven reasons to write for yourself will inspire you to do just that — write for you!
Writing Is Fun and Creative
This last month or so I have spent time just playing with words in a variety of forms. Sometimes choosing an easy path and sometimes challenging myself, but not really worrying about what or why I’m writing and writing only to please myself. I’m just letting my muse have her way with me and it is so much fun to simply be creative for the sake of creativity. We can all benefit from losing ourselves in moments of creative expression.
Writing Is Feeling
Sometimes I need to write out my feelings of rage and worry about the state of our world, my life, the road I drive on every day, or my dog’s health. My mother, my husband, my friend, and my child certainly don’t want to listen to an incoherent stream of my feelings, but my notebook (and my dog) will take it all in without judgment and I’ve found my notebook is impossible to scare (unlike my dog) and I will feel better for the release.
Writing Is Inspiring
Sometimes something comes out of my pen, sometimes only a snippet or a quote, but I find it meaningful and it is a truth that resonates with my life. Writing can help me uncover inspiration in myself, in my world, and in the words of others. Maybe, sometimes, my words can even inspire others.
Writing Is Remembering
I recently embarked on a journey down memory lane and it was a tremendously rewarding writing experience to think about the sights, sounds, and scents of my childhood haunts. I shared some of that work with the friends who shared that journey and they loved it, too. It was a place we hadn’t visited in a long time and so it was especially meaningful for us.
Writing Is Capturing
It can also be important to capture those moments when they are still fresh and raw before we forget important details and emotions. Writing can help us lock down memories and keep them forever.
Writing Is Thinking
I often use writing to help me think through a thorny problem or worry. Writing is thinking because it helps me organize my thoughts by simply capturing them in written form whether it is a list or long meandering rant.
Writing Is Cathartic
Many of these reasons can be summed up with this one benefit – writing is cathartic whether we are writing to think, to feel, to remember, or to capture. One of the primary benefits of the art is that it can be a simple release valve to help us live more fully and survive the trials and joys of life. Modern life is so full that we can all use a release valve from time to time so our heads and hearts don’t explode.
I have come up with this list of seven reasons why you should #justwrite for yourself. Why do you #write? Why should you #write for yourself? Need help getting started? Check out these writing prompts to inspire your writing.