When I sit at my computer to write my blog, a short story, or book I completely lose track of time and am able to forget about everything else. I just thought it was my form of escapism.
An internet article titled Writing Your Way to Happiness written by Tara Parker-Pope tells of recent scientific studies that show that engaging in creative writing has health benefits as well.
“The scientific research on the benefits of so-called expressive writing is surprisingly vast. Studies have shown that writing about oneself and personal experiences can improve mood disorders, help reduce symptoms among cancer patients, improve a person’s health after a heart attack, reduce doctor visits and even boost memory.”
What is it about putting words down on paper that is a life game changer? Since I've been writing regularly for the past seven years, I decided to interview myself to see how writing has benefitted me.
- You started out by writing your memoir—what did you learn in the process? “Perspective! I learned that my life was like a puzzle with a lot of pieces scattered about. By putting the pieces of the puzzle down on paper, events and circumstances started making sense. I discovered that time has to pass in order for a true perspective to be gained.”
- How has writing made you a happier person? “When I published my book, it opened doors for speaking so that I could share my life lessons with others. There is also a sense of satisfaction that I am leaving my written words as a legacy for future generations. Writing on my blog helps me stay connected to family and friends and that always makes me happy.”
Since I am working with my husband, Charles to compile his memories for a future book, I decided to ask him the same questions.
· What have you learned so far in the process of writing down your memories?
“I’m finding out what molded my life and am discovering that God has been directing me all along. I agree that my memory has been boosted as I am able to recall vivid detail about my life.”
· Has writing your memories made you a happier person?
“I’ve always been a happy, optimistic person. I don’t think writing has added to that except that once my book is published, I hope it will benefit others with their life struggles. That will make me happy.”
So if you are dealing with a problem or trying to put the past behind you, cozy up to a pad and pen or your mouse and laptop and let it all hang out. It can be much cheaper and less trouble than getting professional help.
PS. I am so happy I was inspired to write this blog and get it posted before my self-imposed February 28 deadline. J