I’ve heard it said that you never really know how much you need something until you have it taken away from you. For me, writing is that something. After having stopped writing for some time, I’ve realized more and more how much I depend on it as a medium for escape and freedom. It’s led me to think about how writing really is the ultimate form of release. When I sit down in front of my computer and open a blank word document, there are no constraints. Nobody looks over my shoulder and tells me what I should write or what I can’t pen.

Writing serves as a form of emotional expression. Nobody can write something on their mind and close to their heart without putting a piece of them into their work. Regardless of whether or not the written work is fiction or otherwise, writing opens up the floodgates, and as long as the piece means something to the author, it will have infinite value.

The longest work I’ve ever created was around fifty thousand words long. It was a novel I wrote over the span of about a year. To most people that sounds like a lot, and they’re not wrong. This mentality, along with how school has associated writing with boredom, turns many away from writing. I don’t believe everybody should write novel-length stories to express themselves. Instead, I propose that when nobody seems to understand your problems, and when all other activities have failed to alleviate that ache inside, try writing.

Write what? That becomes the next logical question. My answer is to write whatever you want to write. I’ll go ahead and list a few.

Journaling

Mothers love to tell their kids to journal or keep a diary. At least, my mother does. For many people, having some imaginary person they write letters to or a kind of log book in which they record their life works. Unfortunately, for me this does not work. But that merely places emphasis on the fact that not all of these modes of writing or even most of these are supposed to work. Find what works and stick with it. There is no obligation to go any further.

Blogging

This is something I did quite a lot, less so now that my time is scarcer, but oftentimes building a community around oneself bolsters strength and determination. My blog community and the support they offered helped me through some of the toughest times in my life. This speaks to another benefit of writing:

Writing is not some archaic medium best left to textbooks and schoolwork. Instead, it transcends boundaries as a form of universal communication. The people who write are some of the most compassionate and encouraging people out there, and as a group, we are more than ready to welcome new people into our “circle.”

Poetry

A writing form which I did not understand for the longest time, I’ve since come to love and enjoy poetry. Poetry arguably holds the most potential for expressing emotion, and in its abstract form, it has a lot of room for relatability. The primary misconception people have about poetry is that it is some high-flown language that only the modern Shakespeare can communicate in, but truthfully, the most mundane thing can be a subject of poetry. Poetry allows you to describe what you cannot put words to.

Story Writing

I made this category deliberately vague, because if I said something like, “Novel Writing,” it would automatically turn a lot of people off. The truth is that some of the best stories are no more than a few hundred words in length. Story writing works as an effective medium of emotional communication because to create, one must invest themself in the piece. When we create something we actively care about, we unconsciously inject our feelings, experiences, worldview, and ideas into it.

A final point I’d like to make before I close this article is that no one obligates you to finish what you’re writing. Freedom is the crux of this argument, which means that you’re free to quit whenever you want. I simply urge anyone who hasn’t tried writing as a means of escape from life to try it at least once. The results may be surprising.

Tours yruly

Published by Michael Hollingworth