I have been writing for a few years and I can say that there have been some benefits in doing so. For me, it was an easy decision to start, as it’s something I really enjoy doing. However, I don’t want to give you reasons like that, I want to give you reasons that you might not know about. I want to talk about the aspects of writing that can have positive effects on other parts of your life.
Here are 5 reasons to take up writing in the New Year!
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1. Writing Helps Settle an Unsettled Mind, Easing Stress
Life is full of stressful situations. Whether one is overwhelmed with responsibilities or worrying about the future, the desire to ease that tension is strong. Most take to basic reliefs like binge-watching their favorite TV show or hanging out with friends. Others use hobbies, such as exercise or painting.
Any of these methods can be great ways to settle an unsettled mind, but so can writing.
Writing is known for being a great way to sort through one’s negative thoughts and clear one’s head. Yet, one doesn’t need to write out the problems in their life to combat these stresses. You can also write stories!
Writing a short story, or even a novel, is a great way to distract one’s thinking, putting their overactive imagination to good use by creating an interesting plot or world rather than possible scenarios that one might encounter. Those with a mind for devising all manner of embarrassing or stressful situations can easily challenge these negative thoughts by creating a world with enjoyable characters and a compelling story.
In my experience, I have found writing a great habit to settle into when things are a bit chaotic. There are times in life when one can’t do anything about their situation and worrying certainly doesn’t help either. In these moments, I found comfort and distraction in writing, creating characters that I like who go on wonderful adventures.
I think if anyone ever feels stressed and they need a good distraction, not just for their hands, eyes and ears, but their mind, then I recommend writing. If you want to try a new method for relieving stress in the New Year, try writing a short story.
2. Writing Improves Your Communication Skills
Another practical benefit of writing in your spare time is that it gives you an opportunity to practice your communication skills.
Many people can agree that communication can sometimes be very difficult. Either one struggles to find the words they need, or they struggle to get their point across. It can be frustrating even in the best of times, especially if one imagines a much better conversation later, where they are a lot more coherent and charismatic.
Well, for some people this is a problem they rarely encounter, having a natural talent for conversation and storytelling. For others, it requires practice and that’s how writing can help you.
Whether you are plotting a story, writing a description, or crafting a realistic dialogue, you are training your mind to be more active in finding the right words and structure for that sequence. That is something that writers get better at with time, either by embodying the personalities they create for many characters, or by realizing that the characters they create are aspects of their own personality.
It doesn’t happen overnight, but it certainly happens.
In my experience, it helped me notice some bad habits in my speech and some good habits. Of course, that comes down to preference, but by identifying what I liked about my speech and what I didn’t, I dropped some bad practices. I wouldn’t say that I speak fantastic English, using a combination of fanciful words to get my point across in an eloquent fashion, but I think I sound a little better than I did several years ago.
As for story-telling, it has helped me structure my stories in a way that makes them more amusing or a little more compelling. I still know a few non-writers who are much better storytellers than me, but I don’t stumble in my retellings as often anymore.
3. Writing Promotes Good Habits
Like any good hobby, writing will help encourage good habits in your day-to-day life.
Writing requires time, imagination, organizational skills and planning. In order to write consistently, you need to take charge of the rest of your life. Imagination is fuelled by many things, from reading to socializing to working hard at your day job. As for organizational skills and planning, these are required when working on any large creative project.
These skills improve as time goes on. The more you write, the better you understand yourself, your mind and how to manage other aspects of your life. The same can be said of most hobbies that require a firm grasp of everyday activities. If you are an artist, stargazer or avid book reader, you know that you can only truly enjoy your hobbies by having the right mindset.
It’s hard to enjoy anything when you have other responsibilities that require your attention!
In my experience, becoming a writer required me to make many changes in my routine if I was going to be productive and effective. The times I pushed it aside are usually when I was falling behind in other parts of my life and the reason certainly wasn’t the hour or two I spent in the evening writing a story.
In my profession, I had to make some lifestyle changes and put more focus on the difficult activities that would lead to these clashes in my routine. In short, I had to form good habits to keep up with my writing. It wasn’t something I could just dive into whenever I had time to do so. I needed to take control or I would continue to stumble.
4. Writing Challenges You in the Best Way
And that brings us to one of the biggest benefits which is the way writing challenges you. I am not talking about how it challenges your imagination, although it does that. I am not talking about how it tests your vocabulary or your management skills, although it does that too.
I am talking about how it challenges your willpower.
Strong willpower helps everyone in any situation. It’s the measure of control one has over their impulses. Often our impulses are negative, coaxing us into doing things that are easier, unhealthier, or poor use of one’s time. It is that initial desire to stay at home rather than go to work, to order out rather than cook a meal or skip the gym.
Sometimes, it is necessary to take a break, but our bodies and mind sometimes don’t see it that way. We feel that impulse a lot more often and some act on these impulses far too often. It quickly turns into a negative cycle where you bring yourself down and it requires more effort to do something beneficial.
Writing is another challenge of willpower.
There will be times when you can write, but you don’t. A part of you wants to do something else, or do nothing at all. The longer you forego writing, the harder it becomes to return to it. The number of creative projects abandoned by this feeling is countless! So much potential is wasted and regrets are created. The thought that many great novels were abandoned by silly distractions or sheer laziness is a sad one.
That’s why so many great authors say writing a novel isn’t easy. It requires a strength of character, but at the same time, it helps build it.
Again, in my experience, it helped shape my routine and taught me how to manage my impulses. I still feel those moments where I would rather do something else than write or attend to some other responsibility, but I learned how to recognize when it is necessary to take a break and when I am just sabotaging myself.
I am also sure that everyone has had such a hobby, an activity that has helped them manage their impulses and emotions better. If you are looking for such a hobby that can keep you on the right track in the New Year, it may be writing!
5. Writing Gives You a New Appreciation for Books
Now, this is a benefit for the readers out there. If reading books is your passion, then writing a novel will certainly give you a new appreciation for your favorite hobby. It gives you a better idea of how authors construct their stories, this new perspective making the experience that much more enjoyable.
While this is a smaller benefit, it also works the other way. Through a better understanding of writing methods, reading books helps you improve your own. To better explain this point, think of movies and tv shows. As an average viewer, you appreciate this form of entertainment on a surface level. Do a course on creating a film, or writing a screenplay or cinematography, and you begin to notice the different methods the creators used to create their films or shows.
You will be able to spot these methods better and measure how effective they were in employing these methods. You will better discern the great directors from the average ones. The same applies to the different writers you read.
These are just five of the many reasons to start writing in the New Year. You are limited only by your imagination in creating enjoyable characters and compelling stories. However, if you want practical guidance in structuring and writing your novel, I recommend checking out my Writer’s Workshop.
The starter package is a one-payment deal giving you lifetime access to all my writing courses past, present, and future. I have courses on writing fantasy, science-fiction, thriller, and more genres, with specialized courses on descriptive writing, straight-forward writing, and writing better main characters. If you want access to a selection of professional courses that is ever-growing, then I recommend joining the starter tier today.
However, if you want personal coaching, then I recommend the novelist tier, where you and I work on your novel. I help you write your novel by providing you with feedback and advice, as well as a monthly video discussion on your novel over this 3-month program.
If you want to take up writing in the New Year, then joining my Writer’s Workshop is a great way to get a headstart in creating a story you can be proud of.
Thank you for reading and if you have noticed any other benefits to writing stories, be sure to let me know in the comments below!
Good day, goodnight and happy writing!