We know it’s hard to find time to write what you want to write when you’re swarmed with essays, exams, and deadlines. What was once a nightly ritual of writing in a journal has turned into a monotonous and continuous practice of work, work, and more work. Who can find time to write? While it can be difficult, taking the time out of your day to write something for yourself can have amazing effects on your spiritual and mental well-being.
There are many ways you can write for you and all of them are helpful. For one who isn’t necessarily very good or who doesn’t necessarily enjoy writing, keeping a diary can be helpful. At the end of the day, you can let your brain loose and just write about your day, your feelings, a conversation you had with your mom, anything. No imagination or skill is required and the most important thing—you’re the only one who’s going to read it—so make as many mistakes as you want, say whatever you want, and you’ll find out things about yourself you never knew before. Diary or journal keeping is a great form of self-reflection. According to the Center for Journal Therapy, journaling is “the purposeful and intentional use of reflective writing to further mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual health and wellness.” Journaling can also help you find different, previously unthought-of ways to solve problems. Good Therapy says that journaling relieves tension as well as brings clarity to one’s problems. Writing out an issue and reflecting on it is often more helpful than jumping right into it and forcing a solution from thin air.
Fictional forms of writing can also be healthy and fun. Students who write poetry often find themselves using poetry as an outlet for their feelings, much like journal therapy. Except with poetry, they can take any liberties they want. They can have their words make connections and phrases they never thought of before, and they may even find that their poetry reflects on themselves too. Poetry doesn’t have to make sense, and it doesn’t necessarily have to mean anything either. Poetry is incredibly personal, and what it means to the author is all that matters. In other words, it doesn’t have to be good because it’s YOURS.
Remember when you were a kid and you could make up stories in the blink of an eye? With 2 minutes of preparation, you could create a complex and daring saga right from your thoughts. What happened to that? Try to do that now and all you can think of is when an assignment is due, what you need from the grocery store, and when your next dentist appointment is. Writing fictional short stories can help us tap into that part of our imagination we rarely use anymore.
It doesn’t matter what form of writing you’re doing, as long as it’s not academic. Throw out all the rules and limitations you deal with on a daily basis in your writing and just WRITE. After, you’ll find yourself more relaxed, more focused, and more ready to tackle the day.