Writing helps the writer in so many ways. Through the act of writing we solve problems, make decisions, see the light, gain courage and clarity and clout. We can write our way out of all sorts of troubles and into a better state of mind. By writing we can stop perseverating and obsessing, change toxic thoughts and develop tentative ideas. Writing can bring us better grades and better health, more confidence and more optimism.
But all these benefits and a hundred others are usually regarded as side effects of writing, and often slip past our attention. Indeed, “writing as therapy” is an embarrassing concept, often used as a term of contempt.
Well, I see things differently after a lifetime of writing for work and play. I’ve taught writing (digital and creative and business and academic) to thousands. Nowadays, in my seventies, my focus has softened to include those side benefits. They happen anyway, so why not celebrate them? Everyone feels rightly proud when they master a new skill or tell a good story or use words with flair, and everyone feels pleased when others appreciate something they wrote. Writing can be therapeutic, even to those who are basically happy and well — a cause for elation, a channel for communication, and a source of friends.
It’s also true that writing can cause us grief. I can show you how to avoid this.
In my writing courses we celebrate the joy of writing — reviving it, sustaining it, living it.