Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader- not the fact that it is raining but the feeling of being rained upon.
– E.L Doctorow
In the deep trenches of a writer’s heart lie sensitivity and a hungry observer longing for a listen. That little pen you buy from the store has the power to make or break through its ink; it can build opinions, challenge them, resolve and recreate them.
Writing has the ability to influence, to fertilize the idle mind and help the seed of change harvest. The effect of writing on human well-being is far more than a boon for ideation. Here are a few reasons why we write and you should consider taking it up:
1. It gives your emotions an outlet:
The ‘Bridget Jones’ effect, as psychologists call it, shows that whether you jot down a song, two lines of poetry, a little couplet or write a whole essay, any form of writing can help regulate your emotions and enhance well-being. Other studies have also shown that writing eases the effects of stress, depression and trauma.
2. It helps emotionally restricted men immensely:
Expressive writing has been seen to be quite beneficial to men who aren’t emotionally available, improving communication and self-awareness. Thanks to decades of shaping ‘masculinity’, many men bury emotions under a cover of strength and responsibility. To ease the burden, pick up a pen.
3. Scribble, don’t tap:
Studies and many famous writers believe that however writing technology evolves, the written word remains best exemplified and effective when on paper. Today, with fonts and text styles, people express themselves more specifically using different forms of serif [Designers, we’re looking at you].
Nevertheless, the joy of handwritten notes has a traditional attribute filled with sensitivity and originality. Many are of the opinion that it’s more refreshing to hold a pen rather than go ‘tap tap’ over your keyboard [and studies show it has several cognitive benefits].
4. Anonymity and immunity:
When writing under a pen name, many feel exempt from the scrutiny that popular authors feel every time they get published. Controversial writers, dark fiction writers and the likes feel more secure and less liable to the readers.
Famous writers who have chosen to write anonymously include the likes of C.S. Lewis, Anton Chekhov, and Benjamin Franklin. If you want some distance form your thoughts or the characters that are far too much like you, try a pseudonym.
5. The beginning of writing:
Mesopotamians were the early identifiers of the power of using the written word as a tool to record history. They were, as generally agreed, the first to use language systems the way they are now known, instead of symbolic writing. People in the past wrote on cave walls and clay to record their investments and hunts.
6. Even therapists suggest writing:
It helps you put in all your views and thought patterns on paper and finally allows you to read and find out how your mind has ordered its confusions in a systematic manner. Some might be vague and otherworldly while some clear, distinct and upfront. You get to learn more about yourself.
7. It lends a voice to the unheard:
Under the cover of anonymity and security, American woman in the past have written a lot of texts expressing their experiences during war. Such texts went on to speak up for women and did much to appoint a pro-women’s empowerment outlook.
8. It reflects upon complexity:
Reading texts about political struggles from different perspectives shows you how contradictory the ‘truth’ can be. On one side, you have words that support the rule of the dictator while on the other hand you have the democrats. Writing has the capacity to propel something as essential as justice or something as sensitive as emotions.
For centuries, the medium has carried values from one era to another; such is the power of the simple pen that may have evolved from a feather tip to a ball point, but goes on to serve the same purpose, arguably, with even greater significance.
Tell us in the comments below: Why do you write? What do you write?
Featured Image courtesy Torbakhopper, flickr.com. The struggle to communicate: Asian art museum, San francisco (2013).