Using Creative Writing as a Tool to Improve Mental Health

By Guest Writer Kristing Savage,

 

Creative writing has been shown to reduce stress and improve your mood. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to find the energy and motivation to write when you’re feeling low. Even if you enjoy the process of writing, a depressive episode or period of stress can sap your motivation. This piece will show you how to make creative writing a habit, and use it to boost mental health even at your worst moments.

 

Make Writing an Obligation

Self-care shouldn’t be seen as something optional. It’s an important part of your overall healthcare routine. It should be prioritized with eating right, going to doctor’s visits, and working out. Creative writing is self-care.

If you think of writing as something optional, you will easily find numerous reasons why you should skip it. That is how you lose the motivations and sense of obligation.  

Make a creative writing goal that obligates you to spend some time writing each day. Hold yourself accountable for spending time writing. Try setting a reminder each day that will get you to fulfill your writing task.

Maybe you have the time in the day when you are most productive so you can make a habit to write in the morning, for example. 

 

Don’t put too much pressure on yourself

While you should commit to writing every day, you shouldn’t set a goal on how much you need to write.

Writing is a creative process and you won’t have the same level of inspiration every day. One day you will write 10 pages and the day after you might only write a few sentences. And that is okay.

Don’t be too hard on yourself if you can’t be consistent when it comes to the length of your writing. The important thing is that you write. 

Also, don’t worry about how much time you spent writing. Just do it. 

Your focus should be on giving your full attention to the writing once you start the process. If the inspiration doesn’t come right away, give yourself some time to gather your thoughts and feelings. Read what you have written before and be your own inspiration.

 

Create an Actual Space for Writing

Don’t waste your precious time to find a place to write each time. Make sure you have it ready and everyone around is aware of it. 

You don’t need any special setup, a chair, a table, a notebook or a tablet is enough. It is recommendable that you have a lot of natural light in that specific space. It will help you stay awake and sunlight will give you the energy that you need.

Think about adding a few motivational quotes by your favorite writers on the desk or the wall. Small decorative pieces like that will make your writing space more cozy and enjoyable.

“As a psychologist, freelance writer, and blogger, I’ve learned that working space can be crucial for concentration and your overall well-being. What works best for me is a minimalistic space with a few motivational pictures that make me feel confident and joyful,” shares Marie Fincher, a psychologist and lifestyle blogger at Studicus and Trust My Paper.

Be aware that you should be moderate when it comes to decoration because too many objects will distract you from what’s really important – writing. 

 

Write What You Are Able to Write

Writing for mental health isn’t about creating a masterpiece. 

Start with something small and easy to begin with. For most people, it all starts with their personal experiences and emotions.

It may be hard at the beginning but that shouldn’t discourage you. Not everyone can have pouring thoughts as soon as they take a pen or they sit at their laptop. 

Take baby steps and allow yourself to get used to writing. As you write, you may find that your motivation increases.

Self-criticism can worsen your state. The mistake many writers make is being hard on themselves if they aren’t satisfied with what they wrote. You don’t need to love what you create every time you write.

The point of writing is to express your thoughts and eliminate negative energy. Look at creative writing as a way to free yourself from negativity rather than seeing it as a business opportunity. 

 

Don’t Edit Yourself

It’s more important to write and immerse yourself in the process than it is to create something that is “publication-worthy”. Focus on expressing your feelings and writing about things that improve your mood; however, that looks to you.

Avoid the temptation to stop and edit mistakes. Maybe it will come the time that you are not happy about a certain part of your writing but let it be.

Channel all the raw emotion at that time and let it come out from you in the most natural way. Don’t dwell on how it will sound to others, no one else is important. 

One day you will be able to look back and realize how much progress you have made. But if you keep going back and forth, editing your work, you’ll get more caught up in making changes than in expressing yourself. 

Don’t deem your attempt a failure because you dislike the final product. It is not about the final product anyway. It is about having a safe place where you can let everything go. 

There should only be one rule to guide you: Write as no one will ever read it.

 

Conclusion

Creative writing can play an important role in helping people improve their mental health. However, you won’t be able to achieve this goal without will and persistence. As with any other task, you need to be determined to dedicate yourself to writing and improving your life. Even if it seems hard, you need to believe that things will turn around. With some willpower and motivation, nothing can stop you. 

 

About the Author: Kristin Savage nourishes, sparks and empowers using the magic of a word. Along with pursuing her degree in Creative Writing, Kristin was gaining experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in marketing strategy for publishers and authors. Now she works as a freelance writer at SupremeDissertations and GrabMyEssay. Kristin runs her own FlyWriting blog.

 

 

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