What is writing? According to the definition I pulled up on Google, writing is: (n) the activity or skill of marking clear words on paper and combining text. But news flash: It's a whole lot more than just that. Writing is an all-encompassing skill that spans of spectrum of creative, social, and analytical. [ET1] Writing is a skill that we use on a daily basis; one I am using at this very moment by typing this article. But many people neglect to write more than they have to, and this leads into a deficiency of certain skill sets. People who write more often, especially in the creative sector; have better communication and leadership skills, grew emotionally stronger in tough times, become more gratuitous individuals, lowered their number abandoned ideas/creations, and improved their educational and learning skills.
A blog entry from https://www.helpscout.net/blog/benefits-of-writing/ titled "The Psychological Benefits of Writing", cites numerous research theses that all lead to the same conclusion: that writing makes people happier and healthier individuals the more they do it. Contributing op-ed New York Times writer for work and psychology Adam Grant, claims that expressive writing has also been linked to improved mood, well-being, and reduced stress levels for those who do it regularly. He also quoted a study done with recently fired engineers: “Th[ET3] e engineers who wrote down their thoughts and feelings about losing their jobs reported feeling less anger and hostility toward their former employer. They also reported drinking less. Eight months later, less than 19% of the engineers in the control groups were reemployed full-time, compared with more than 52% of the engineers in the expressive writing group.” Other studies have been conducted with various groups like victims of traumatic events or undergraduate students; but the results were similar, showing those who write more often having a larger proportion of success.
I have always been a huge proponent of constant, expressive writing. I've had a history of on and off therapy since I was 6 years old and roadblocks like ADHD, depression, and anxiety. But one of the major de-stressors I've relied on in my life is writing, especially creative writing. When I was 12 years old I began writing (and still am to this day) my first novel idea. Whenever I find myself stressed out with school or issues with other people in my life; I always take some time for myself and write that novel. Afterwards, I am always more calm and have given myself enough time to relax before taking another shot at solving my problems. Sometimes, all we need is a quick break for the world that tries to cave in on us. I have without a doubt forgotten the exact amount of manuscripts I've created based a small idea that popped into my mind, but I know that every time I am caught up in the process of writing, I am at my happiest. My writing has allowed me to connect with people and escape the weight that the world burdens on my shoulders for a little bit. Writing constantly forced me to expand my mind, in all directions, for character development and plot creation; to learn things about myself that I never would’ve figured out about myself at all. Whenever I wrote, it was like I grew wings and flew away to somewhere wonderful; a place where I could fit in and not be judged by anyone about anything. When I wrote, I was finally free from life’s struggles. My advice to people struggling with whatever it may be, is to write. Writing is a powerful tool that is at your disposal; but sadly, it is often ignored or forgotten. So, don't just shove it off to the side any longer. Clear some time to write about something important. I suggest journal the positives and negative events of your day as a starting point. For those of you who are more left-brained and creative, try your hand at creative writing. You may not know what to write about, but the internet is ablaze with so many ideas. You could even write about yourself and place yourself in a situation of your choice: that's what I used to do. There is something liberating about imagining yourself unattached to the stresses of your daily life and somewhere special if only for a few minutes. Something that I often do when I am going through a tough situation, I remove myself from the situation and make my characters go through my situation. By removing yourself from whatever situation you find yourself wrapped up in (being the writer), it affords you an opportunity to resolve problems without being blinded by your emotions. As the writer, it isn’t your feelings involved, and thus, you are then free to look at it through the lens of an outsider. Writing is something that transcends one situation and all the tips I shared above are ones that I have used for years (and have always worked).
In conclusion, writing is a win-win situation. You’re able to healthily work through feelings and overwhelming stress and the world receives a gift of your talents. So, go on, start writing about anything or everything and then, you'll really see your wings start to grow…