Friday, August 16, 2019

Happy Writing to You - by Linda Thorne

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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Morgan Mandel said...

Writing plays with my emotions depending on what I'm writing about. If it's a tense scene, I'm nervous. I hope my readers can also go along for the emotional ride when they read my books.

Roman Empire Mystery Lover said...

Writing is my pleasure as well as my escape. My pleasure is in reading what I've written and being satisfied that the words express what I intended. And the act of writing is so cognitively demanding, that I am absorbed in a world I control. The burdens of time and worries melt away. I have escaped, at least for a little while, into the far more exciting world of my characters, who will surely find their way to a happy ending. Thank you, Linda, for giving me more reasons to write.

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

Writing keeps my brain functioning--and it's fun! Good post.

Susan Oleksiw said...

I'm not sure I could function as a human being if I didn't write. It's how I think, how I discover my feelings about a situation or person, how I navigate the world. I can't say writing makes me happy, but not writing certainly makes me miserable.

authorlindathorne said...

Thank you for the interesting comments. These are all reasons we write. I'd hate to need to do it for the money, although some authors do make money on top of probably feeling how we do and having fun with the writing itself.

Marja said...

I find writing to be therapeudic. I have fun with it and it keeps my mind active. Love thinking up new plots. I really enjoyed your post. Thanks!

Cardyn Brooks said...

Thoughtful observations, Linda. For me, writing feels like breathing freely. It lets me contemplate touchy subjects in a safe head space, and fiction gives me the power to create my own universe. And yes, that makes me happy:-).

Happy writing to you, too!

Saralyn said...

I love this topic, Linda! I teach creative writing to seniors (aged 55+), and I see evidence all the time that writing promotes healthy brains and spirits. My students will tell you that with every assignment the instructions include having fun.

authorlindathorne said...

Thank you Marja, Cardyn, and Saralyn. I enjoyed writing this post because the topic is so upbeat.

Jacqueline Seewald said...

Hi Linda,

Rejections definitely make me unhappy, but acceptances do the reverse. So for me it's a balance. But as Susan commented, I'm not happy when I don't write. I need to do it.

authorlindathorne said...

I agree, Jacqueline. It is addictive, but in a pleasant way.