“All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence you know.”

-Ernest Hemingway

Over the past few weeks, life has been a rollercoaster of emotions for me. I guess that’s to be expected because that’s what life is in general; a little bit of this, a little bit of that.

With that in mind, the thing that’s kept me going is a major literary projects I’ve been working on for a while now. The further I progressed with that project, the smaller other hurdles seemed.

In honor of that feeling and my literary project coming more and more fruition, I’m reposting a post about the benefits of writing. But it’s not simply a copy and paste job as I’m adding additional content to it.

I do it. Every contributer to this site does it. And everyone reading this post probably does it too. It’s one of the most theraputic and cathartic activities ever. And yet, it still remains grossly underrated.

Since the time alphabets were invented (regardless of what language), writing has been utilized to capture history, make new history and pour out one’s heart whether it’s to validate something or rebel against it.

Psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, counselors and even scientists from around the world almost unanimously agree that writing is benficial in many ways and has infinite possibilities of healing.

And yet, it’s never “prescribed” like medication. While some may suggest it rather casually, the go-to antidote to almost everyone seeking help from mental health issues is always opioid. I won’t go into a long spiel of the current opioid crisis in this particular post because I’ve written about that extensively in my other posts on this site.

But even if we put aside any talk of drugs, no doctor ever says “I’m writing you a prescription but I’d also like for you try writing as supplementary therapy.”

This in spite of the fact that certain benefits of writing are fairly ostensible in terms of it as a treatment vs. popping a pill to feel better psychologically. Let me reiterate that the points below are not meant to be anti-meds. My goal is to let the readers know how powerful of an alternative writing can be should one choose to explore that option:

  • Writing does not have any chemical side effects. What you write may not be liked by everyone (should it be with the intention of sharing) but your mind won’t be numb and most likely, it’ll be the opposite and become stronger.
  • It doesn’t cost anything. Even if you’re fairly well to do or have a good insurance policy, medication still empties your pockets, sometimes slowly, sometimes all at once. About a couple of years ago when I was down in my luck financially, there times I’d have skip meals. My only savior at that point was having the ability to write.
  • It improves your memory. Mental health medication is usually made with the intention of making you forget your troubles and in the process of doing so can numb the mind. That works great if you’re trying put a traumatic experience out of your mind which is truly a roadblock in your day-to-day activities. But in many cases, such medication can also numb your mind to the point of forgetting pleasant memories as well. Writing about your experiences, good or bad, obviously necessitates recall value and the more you do it, the more precise you’ll become at remembering things.

I could go on and on about the benefits of writing and perhaps will go into a more detailed analysis about it from a scientific point of view in a future post. For now however, I would urge my readers to embrace writing as therapy.

Perhaps many of you already do which is great. But if you don’t or you simply write with a dose of casualness, I would recommend doing it in a more serious manner.

Do you write to create something new or to pour your heart out? Or perhaps both like I do? Do you agree that writing is one of the most powerful modes of catharsis? Share your thoughts and experiences about by commenting below on our secure servers.

Hi, I'm Neel! I'm a writer (fiction and poetry), a journalist and currently working in the advertising business. I'm also a mental health advocate, having been diagnosed with clinical depression a few years ago.
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