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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Illinois State chapter.

“You should never write to release, write cause it’s cathartic”

Alexander 23, Zach Sang Interview/Podcast, on the importance of writing lyrics/songs for yourself to openly express those strong emotions you may have, and not for your audience’s pleasure and enjoyment, though they may feel that way if the artist chooses to release https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-sMMCn_SJwA&t=735s

Why do we write? I often find myself asking this question when given time to free-write. Whether it’s for a class, a journaling session or you’re just sending a text, I’m sure we’ve all felt this way at some point. Like Alexander 23 says, write for yourself; to feel free and to be open and okay with the outcome of sharing how you really feel. Use writing as an outlet to voice your emotions. 

There are several ways writing I think can be therapeutic; here are just a few:

  1. Writing gives you the ability to jot down things in the moment
    • Being in the moment is a critical part of growth and development. Over time, we all have special memories that we cherish for any number of reasons. However, sometimes we aren’t as present as others would like us to be. This is where writing becomes important. Writing can help release thoughts by putting them down on paper. Meaning they can seem as though they were communicated, even though they weren’t. Journaling or writing brief statements or phrases to make life a little easier on yourselves can make all the difference in the world!
  2. Writing allows you to reflect
    • Reflecting comes with the reality of life. The people we meet and the experiences we have all culminate and organize themselves in our brains in ways that make us think. Reflecting is NOT overthinking. Reflecting is GROWTH. How you manage and challenge yourself and others can be better written clearly when organized and recognized as normal development. Writing to reflect takes practice, but that shouldn’t stunt the growth you want to achieve!
  3. Writing helps you better understand different perspectives
    • Simply put, taking on an understanding of multiple perspectives is difficult. You don’t always see eye-to-eye on problems or solutions. However, conclusions are based on the overall good of the group. We should never discount a suggestion just because we never thought of it—or we wish we had. Being capable of listening to what others have to say and hearing them out before interjecting any comments builds a safe community where writers can freely share without feeling lost or alone. Writing to understand the perspectives of all who contribute makes us better writers and learners after hearing stories and experiences from those around us. I encourage you to take on the perspective of those you disagree with to try and see where they may be coming from! 
  4. Writing allows you to make an impact on others’ lives
    • Our writing defines who we are. How we live, the experiences we have and those we meet. Being brave and writing about all the happenings in our lives can help others to have a better definition of what life should mean to them. How important it is to live it to the fullest, go outside your comfort zone and say yes to new experiences without hesitation. Sharing the ups and downs of experiences and moments in life with people around the world can provide them with thoughtful encouragement to go and LIVE LIFE!
  5. Writing allows you to discover meaning
    • What does meaning really mean? Meaning is the general term intended to be expressed or indicated in the appropriate manner. Writing helps people express themselves. Being true to who you are and hiding nothing—being real and authentic. This confidence in yourself translates to the strength of the things you write. It allows you to dig deeper, into your innermost thoughts. Writing creatively recognizes that as a writer you know the importance of discovery in a written piece. As readers, we have this curiosity, and we get sucked into reading something that piqued our interest from the start. This can easily be accomplished by using a good hook to start your writing, such as a quote or question that prompts further understanding. Writing to meet these needs is what produces meaningful text. If you dream to be a writer, write because the discovery of others is inspiring to your own discoveries and curiosities!

After reviewing some necessary information about the importance of writing, I hope you have the urge to now go and write about a life event that changed how you see the world and others around you. Furthermore, I encourage you to use your writing to find the meaning behind the why. Why was this writing so meaningful to you compared to other writings? How did it make you feel sharing it in a journal that will be shared or kept private from the world? No matter the content of the writing, I hope this was an eye-opening experience about the importance of writing!

Sydney Kotowski

Illinois State '24

I'm a Senior Elementary Education major with an Endorsement in Reading! In my free time I love to read, write, bake, listen to music, and hang out with friends!