There are all sorts of publicized studies concerning the unhealthy effect unhappiness and loneliness can have on people. Not just mentally and emotionally, but physically as well. I found the statistics for the frequency of damage to our health and the seriousness of that damage to be shockingly high. I’m not providing quotes or details because, if I did, I’d need to cite my sources and I want to keep this post short and light. Anyone who’s interested can find the same information I did online. It’s generally well known.
So, I’m curious. Does writing help you out of a funk? Does it make you happy? When you feel a little lonely, does that feeling go away when you write? I found a great deal of information that supports the idea writing makes people happy.
When I am writing on my work in progress, I see it as a mission. It takes my attention away from unhappy thoughts, worries, and sadness. I’m absorbed, I’m expressing myself, and I feel a sense of accomplishment even when I’m writing poorly in rough draft format.
I’m not saying I don’t sometimes get frustrated. There are times when I can’t get the words out to reflect what’s needed, but when this happens, I learned a long time ago to just walk away from it. I either figure it out and get over the hurdle or back off. It may be for a day, a week, or longer. This doesn’t mean I’ve given up. Far from it. I’ll keep all that's frustrating me in my mind when I’m walking, driving, sitting around. I’ll mull over what got in my way and search for solutions, alternatives. It’s amazing what I can resolve when I take a break from writing the problem areas and just let my mind continue to play with it for a period.
I don’t think I’ve ever felt lonely when I’ve been writing. I’m too in tune with my characters. I’ve worried for them, been excited for them, and always bonded with even the minor characters and bad guys. I’ve had the feelings of a romantic crush on a few of my male characters and some of my other characters have infuriated me. When writing, you call on your past experiences to produce the material for your present and future in your story. Loneliness would not fare well in this mixture of writing about activities and involvement in the past, present, and future.
Between the characters you’ve created and their activities, you should have a strong sense of connection, caring consideration, and inspiration. All strengtheners to our immune systems.
For me personally, I’ve found writing makes me feel younger, keeps me active and mentally on the move. It perks me up and gives me purpose and a sense of pride.
My 1st author panel 2015 Southern Fest of Bks
So, I’m obviously one of the statistics of the many people writing makes happy. How about you?
How does writing make you feel?
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