7 Ways that Writing Can Help You. (With Special Quotes from Well-Known Writers.) Part 1.

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What is your writing genre?….. Whatever it is, you will inevitably be expressing within it a part of yourself.

Whether it is fiction or non-fiction, academic writing, stream of consciousness, blogging or journal-keeping, the personal you will be very much reflected in what is committed to paper or screen.

Maybe your identity will be expressed symbolically, through describing scenarios and theories that are somehow pertinent to you as a person.

“All our writing is influenced by our life histories. Each word we write
represents an encounter, possibly a struggle, between our multiple
past experience and the demands of a new context.
Writing is not some neutral activity which we just learn like a physical skill, but it implicates every fibre of the writer’s multifaceted being.”

 

Roz Ivanic.

 

Given that writing is such an individual endeavour, it can become very beneficial to us. Below are some of the ways  in which writing can benefit us.

(You may think of many more. Do add a comment if so.)

1. Survival.

Many people feel that writing is essential to their very existence. Without it, they would fade away and die. Why is this? How does writing enable people to live? Perhaps you will discover some answers to this in the points that follow.

“Find out the reason that commands you to write; see whether it has spread its roots into the very depth of your heart; confess to yourself you would have to die if you were forbidden to write.”
Rainer Maria Rilke

“To survive, you must tell stories.”

-Umberto Eco.

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2. Telling Your Story.

Writing our story and sharing it with others is a way of communicating, of connecting, making contact. This in itself can combat feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Explaining our thoughts and feelings to another, our ideas, perspectives and world-view, provides a way of reaching out, involving others in our own life.

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

― Maya Angelou

Writing means sharing. It’s part of the human condition to want to share things – thoughts, ideas, opinions. -Paulo Coelho

In utter loneliness a writer tries to explain the inexplicableJohn Steinbeck

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3.  Entering a new and different world.

Writing can provide us with a kind of escape. Comforting, self-soothing, it often means we lose ourselves in a world of our own creation, which can become anything we want.

Again, it is not important what kind of writing we do. We can create whatever we wish, in order to fulfil our writing needs.

“I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn.”— Anne Frank

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Anne Frank Writing. (Wikimedia Commons.)
‘Writing is the supreme solace.”
-W. Somerset Maugham.
4. Remembering, Re-experiencing and Memorialising.
It is part of the human condition to want to reminisce, to remember, to compare then and now and to learn from the past. One of the ways to do this is to write. Writing

preserves the past, indicates and measures change.

Often, I look back at my own writing and think “Did I write that?” The person who wrote it seems to be different from myself now and some of the details would have been forgotten had I not written them down.

Past written work indicates changes in viewpoint and attitude and shows how we have matured and altered over the years.

 

“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”

–Anaïs Nin

“Write what should not be forgotten.”

Isabel Allende

5. Gaining Personal Power

Writing is often a way of stating  “This is me, this is how I think and what I believe.” It is a self-affirmation, a confirmation of who we are. Such an achievement should not be underestimated.

This process can also boost confidence, especially when it is obvious that our writing has had an impact on others.

“A word after a word after a word is power.”

–Margaret Atwood

6. Self Knowledge.

The writing process enables us to discover more about ourselves. Along the way, it will become apparent that we are revealing aspects of our inner world through what we produce on paper or screen.

“What The Subconscious is to every other man, in its creative aspect becomes, for writers, The Muse.”

-Ray Bradbury

 

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The Kiss of the Muse. Félix Nicolas Frillié. Wikimedia Commons

Bradbury’s idea about the unconscious as our muse is very apt; when we wonder where inspiration comes from, we can be sure it has emerged from our unknown inner selves. Writing helps us discover this.

Some people find that they cannot think without writing things down; this helps them in find out what is really going on in their mind. It is as if writing comes from somewhere deep inside, from a gut- level, and sometimes we might feel surprised at what emerges from our unconscious self.

“I write to discover what I know.”–Flannery O’Connor

“Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.”  – Virginia Woolf

7. Expression of Pain
Many people find it a little easier to write down difficult thoughts feelings than to express these verbally. Somehow, the writing experience feels more controlled than speaking; there is the boundary of the paper or PC screen to ‘contain’ such thoughts. The spoken word floats into the air, wears something written is held tighter to the self.
There also may be a greater feeling of privacy than there is when verbalising and perhaps a sense of ownership. A sort of copyright of feelings.

“Tears are words that need to be written.”
–Paulo Coelho

“Writing is utter solitude, the descent into the cold abyss of oneself.”
Franz Kafka

There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleedErnest Hermingway

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This post continues next week. Don’t forget to follow my blog and to check it out next Tuesday: 7 More Ways that Writing May Benefit you.

 

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