Why Everyone Should Write
Eliza David (@ElizaDWrites) said it best on twitter when she sent out to the world: “I want every woman to pick up a pen & write. A novel, an essay, a blogpost, a poem, a sentence. Your words deserve a voice. #FridayFeeling”
I’d like to add to this though. Not just women need to write, men do as well. Yes, we are bombarded with male author names on the physical and digital shelves of the world, but I’m not talking about writing for publication. I’m talking about writing to help yourself (and in turn, helping others). If writing isn’t your thing, then perhaps sketching, painting, or welding together bits and bobs could be your form of expression.
Many people are told in counseling that they need a way to express their emotions in a way that is safe and healthy. And, more often than not, I see people who are stuck in an 8 – 5 day job, unhappy, miserable, both at work and in their personal life, unable to avoid the downward spiral that has become their reality. A lot of times it means forcing others to take care of themselves instead of you taking care of them. (Obviously, this doesn’t work if you have toddlers and elementary age children at home, but is your spouse or teenager pulling their full weight?)
Writing, or some form of creative pursuit, is cheaper than therapy.
Eliza continued this line of thought with the following tweet: “People who know me IRL will tell you: anytime they vent to me, I say to them, “Girl, write that shit down.” LOL!” Which is excellent. Who wants to be Whiny McVentyPants all the time? Not you. Constantly being miserable and venting to people gets old and tired, not just for you, but also for them. So, write it down. Why are you feeling this way? Who caused you to feel this way? And the big question: why are you allowing them to make you feel this way? Sometimes writing can give answers you didn’t even know were available.
There are so many people in this world who complain about ridiculous things, usually followed up with a remark or hashtag of “First World Problems”. While it doesn’t mean we don’t have the right to complain, it does remind us that things could always be worse. Everyone should write. Children should be encouraged to keep daily journals at a young age. As soon as they are able to form paragraphs, they should be keeping a diary. Even if it only has what they ate for lunch or how well/terrible they played at kick ball during recess.
There are safe places, like 750Words that can lock up your thoughts.
The safest place to express emotions first is in private writing. Have you been hurt by someone? Have you done something you aren’t proud of? Write it down, type it out, lock it away. Get the words out of your head and onto the page. If it’s too much to keep around, burn it and allow it to no longer burden your mind. As someone who spent many years not writing the things she truly loved to write, I can attest to just how much misery I wallowed in during that time period. It’s one of my biggest regrets. I’ll never get those years back and I spend each writing session trying to catch up. It’ll never happen. Not when I have a full-time job and chores and the occasional second shift. I have to eat and sleep and have downtime and mental health binge-watching time.
I remember having to keep a daily journal in school. I honestly wish I had done better. I wish I had cultivated that habit and kept writing during the summer. All the things that I have forgotten from my childhood could be recalled by simply opening a notebook. I urge everyone to write or paint or sculpt or garden. Do something to help your thoughts stop getting muddled in your brain. Keep yourself from exploding over your loved ones when you can’t take it any longer. Even if you only work on the project for 5 or 15 minutes each day, something is better than nothing.