Why do we write?
Is it for fame and fortune? Not if we’re realistic. Most of us write because we have a story to tell and a desire to tell it. We either want to write for and communicate with others or take a more personal approach and reflect on our experiences in order to learn from them.
Writing for others can take many paths. Whether it’s an out-of-this-world fantasy or an inspirational tale of overcoming the odds, we benefit physically, mentally, emotionally, and psychologically from the act of transforming our thoughts into words.
Writing helps one relax and unwind, easing pressure and stress. Transforming thoughts to words also works as an outlet for an active imagination. Sitting comfortably in your favorite spot tuning out the world while tuning in to your inner thoughts liberates your mind, allowing it to weave disconnected ideas into one chapter after another. As the tale grows, the satisfaction, confidence, and faith in your success far outweigh any self‑doubts holding you back. In other words, it makes you feel good.
Writing can also help you share important, useful information to others who may need it. It may start as only a collection of your personal feelings but becomes much more as you journal your experiences while dealing with a difficult situation. Re-reading your words helps you to objectively view the positive aspects of the ordeal as well as the negative. You see that you overcame obstacles and achieved more than you thought, and you realize, Hey, I did it! Maybe someone else is going through the same thing and could use some help.
Some say writing is a form of therapy. A psychology professor conducted an informal study where he asked students to write about the biggest trauma of their lives. At the same time, a control group wrote about neutral topics. He followed both groups for six months and found that during that time the students who wrote about the traumatic events made fewer trips to the doctor than the control group. Coincidence?
How about readers; do they benefit from the written word? Of course they do.
Getting lost in an imaginary world transports a bored child to a deserted island where he searches for a pirate’s lost treasure, or he accidentally bounces too high on the trampoline launching him into outer space. A child can also have a learning adventure exploring the depths of the ocean looking for deep-sea creatures that glow in the dark.
Not only kids benefit from escaping the realities of life. Grown-ups need their “away from it all” time as well. There’s no better way to step into someone else’s shoes and experience the unbearable heat, the terrible thirst, the fear, and the loneliness assaulting an escaped heroine as she desperately continues her dangerous trek through the dense jungle. Adults can learn as well. Name a place you’d love to visit but know you never will. Grab a book; it’ll take you there!
The written word is powerful. It can ease stress and tension. It can teach, entertain, and heal.
Believe in the Power of the Written Word.
I read several posts today attacking authors’ fictional works that make me wonder what the world will be like in the future. The tunnel of acceptability is becoming so narrow that soon most fairy tales will be banned from the shelves. Authors will not be allowed to write directly about or allude to societal issues/beliefs. There will be no such thing as a metaphor for internal chaos. Instead, the literal, superficial words will be all that matter. No symbolism depicting the human condition.
How will we tell stories? Stories are not just entertainment. Stories are messengers. Stories are often meant to lead us to a more human and empathetic conversation about issues that are often difficult to address directly. They wend their way through the cracks in the rigid walls we have constructed within ourselves. These walls can be extreme in either direction. There are zealots on both sides, and both are impotent in terms of understanding.
Risk (risk) n. exposure to the possibility of injury or loss or to a dangerous occurrence.
When most people think of risk, they don’t consider it the possibility of an undesirable event occurring. They consider it a probability! Why do we make that subtle shift and give support to the idea that risking will always result in loss?
As children, you were warned against all sorts of dangers by your parents and others who meant well. How many times were you told “Don’t cross the street by yourself. You’ll get run over?” Not that you might possibly get run over, but that you would in all likelihood be history! This leads to a pattern of avoiding anything which is unfamiliar or is not accompanied by an obvious escape route. Often, it leads to the implementation of tremendous amounts of structure in your life as you mature. You are resistant to change because change is always accompanied by the risk of the unknown. ...