6 Steps to Make Creative Writing a Habit that Improves Mental Health
By Kristin Savage
Creative writing can play an important role in helping introverts to improve their mental health. If you an introvert, you may find it difficult to deal with people. But writing can help you gain control over your emotions.
Unfortunately, finding the energy and motivation to write when you’re feeling low can be challenging. In this article, you will find recommendations on how to cultivate a creative writing practice and use it to get out of your comfort zone.
Express Your Creativity
Introverts are seen as reserved and distant people. But that doesn’t mean that you don’t have bursting energy inside of you, right? If you have lots of brilliant ideas in your head, you should use creative writing as an expression of your creativity.
Give it a try, and you will be amazed at the results. Not feeling the obligation to conform to others’ expectations can lead to some innovative ideas and authentic writing.
Don’t hesitate to start practicing creative writing. Don’t be afraid and reveal your hidden talent! Who knows, maybe one day you will create a masterpiece that will make you rich and famous.
Make Writing an Obligation
Self-care shouldn’t be seen as something that is optional. You should consider it as an essential part of your overall healthcare routine.
Living in a stressful world, you must care not only about your physical, but also mental health. You should brush your teeth twice a day to prevent cavities. You should wash your hands multiple times a day to avoid digestive problems. And you should practice creative writing daily to build better mental health.
Creative writing is a self-care task that you should never skip. You should set a goal that will obligate you to spend specific time on writing every day. For instance, you can set a goal to spend “15 minutes on writing every morning after breakfast” or “30 minutes every night before going to bed”. Hold yourself accountable for spending time writing, and you will easily adopt a new healthy habit.
Take Your Writing Outside
Do you always lock yourself in the room to focus on writing? It’s not the best option for an introvert. It would be better if you take your laptop or your notebook to a coffee shop. Having something to distract you from all the people that surround you will help you to be in their company.
With time, you will get used to being surrounded by people, which will affect your introversion. Who knows, maybe you’ll even catch someone’s attention and have a meaningful and inspiring conversation.
“I’m an introvert, and it was a challenge for me to practice creative writing outside of my room. But one day I decided that it’s time to change something in my life. I took my laptop and went to the cafe next to my house. I did it, and I’m so proud of myself now! In a week of practicing, all my fears went away, and now I feel comfortable being in crowded places,” Hilary Clarkson, a writer and editor at WritingJudge shares her personal experience.
Write What You Know
You should understand one important thing: writing for mental health isn’t about creating a masterpiece. You don’t have to be as talented as Hemmingway to practice creative writing. In fact, you don’t need to have any writing skills at all. You just need to know how to express your ideas and your thoughts on paper.
If you want to get the most of writing, you should start with something small and easy. So, please, don’t overwhelm yourself with too sophisticated goals.
Begin with basics. As you write, you may find that your motivation increases. Try to understand that you don’t need to love what you create every time you write. You should enjoy the process of writing itself, not the product you produce.
Don’t Edit Yourself
Do not edit your writing. Do not pay attention to grammar mistakes and other issues. No one will read your paper, so there is no need to make it perfect.
It’s more important to write and immerse yourself in the process than it is to create something that is ‘publication-worthy’. So try to focus on expressing your feelings, and writing about things that improve your mood.
You should avoid the temptation to stop and edit mistakes. You shouldn’t deem your attempt a failure because you dislike the final product.
Otherwise, writing will bring you more problems than benefits. If you find mistakes in the text, you will start criticizing yourself. It may lower your self-esteem and negatively affect your self-confidence.
Be Nice to Yourself
And here is the last, but not the least important advice for you. Don’t be a critic. Don’t try to find imperfections in your writing.
Vice verse, try to focus on the things that you are good at. Do you know plenty of phraseological units? Are you able to find 30 adjectives to one noun? Define your strengths and be proud of them.
And, please, never try to compare yourself to others, especially to professional writers. Remember that all the books you see at the books stores are edited and proofread by the experts. And no matter how much you try to improve your writing, you can’t compete with publishing gurus.
So relax, and enjoy the way you write. Don’t strive for excellence, and you will never get disappointed in your writing.
Besides, you should be patient to yourself. If you have no inspiration to start practicing right now, don’t force yourself to do it. Take a day off, and spend your time in the way you like. You can get back to creative writing as soon as you feel inspired again.
Creative writing can change the life of introverts to better, and that’s a fact. So if you are an introvert, and if you do care about your mental health, start practicing creative writing today. Use the advice given in this article, and you will see the first positive results in a week or two.
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. Kristin runs her own FlyWriting blog.