Friday, July 30, 2010

Writing asTherapy

I am not simply Distracted.

I am un-motivated. I am sleep-deprived, and at worst, in the grips of constant pain. For those of you new here, I hurt my lower back about a month ago, and subsequently now have sciatica. Yes, I'm only 22. I'm young! So why is my body falling a part on me?

Right now, I have six hours of sleep under my belt (the most I’ve had in a week), and blessedly, I’m not hurting. It is a moment to take advantage of.

You see, I’ve been wanting to write this post for the past several days. Joanne from Confident Writing has invited her readers to share why they think writing makes one healthy (or unhealthy). Since July is almost over, I need to just do this thing…because I feel strongly that writing impacts one’s health. We write for our health, because of our health, and I have this list of reasons percolating in my head. It’s an unorganized mess that comes out in a chaotic dribble. So for the sake of chaos (and my sanity), the list will remain a list.

I love lists, by the way.

Writing: How it Keeps Us Well

o Provides a jumping-off point for the mind to explore itself and uncover its motives, secrets, deep-down desires. When I write, I discover what I most truly WANT and not what I merely SHOULD DO. It is as if my pen asks me and the paper implores, Please oh please be honest with yourself. If you aren’t then who will?

o Gives us a way to unclutter our minds. When we pour out all the crap that is lounging about in our heads, we can find what it is we truly feel or think.

o Writing gives direction, answers questions, asks us the most important questions that are answers in themselves.

o Humans are not merely physical beings. We have minds and spirits as well. If we are not well mentally and spiritually, this can take a toll on our bodies. Writing can pinpoint what inflicts our minds and spirits. When we tune into our spiritual sides, when we delve deeper into the workings of our minds, we feel happier, clearer.

o Writing moves us to investigate. Why am I ill? Why am I suffering from so much physical pain? What can I do to alleviate my pain, to deal with it, confront it, banish it?

o Writing gives us a feeling of euphoria. Have you ever finished a project? Short story, novel, poem, essay, article, inspiring blog post? Finishing something gives us a sense of accomplishment, a sense of purpose that is very good for our mental state.

o Writing draws us into community. With readers, other writers. We discover people with shared experiences, and on the same note, they discover us.

o Writing asks us who we are. It shows us who we want to be. It unifies the two.

These are a few things off the top of my head that writing has done for me (and I suspect for other people). There are so many other reasons for why writing keeps us well. How about you? In what ways do you find that writing improves your well-being?

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