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Why Writing is Liberating

Written by Guest Blogger: Amanda Chance

Reading can help us travel across different worlds and learn many lessons. Even in our ‘Books in a Basket’ post on the stories we read to our children, we talk about how books like The Giving Tree teach compassion and healthy boundaries, and stories like Ferdinand the Bull remind us to stop and smell the flowers. However, none of these lessons would’ve materialized in the ways they did if it weren’t for our brilliant writers. The amazing part? Anyone can be a writer and do the same thing! Whether you're writing for yourself or others, there are many reasons why writing transcends through time. After all, if one can traverse universes by merely reading, how much more can the creators of these words be liberated beyond their own worlds? Here’s how.

Mental liberation

Research has found that women who bottle up their emotions are more irate in the long run. Here, writing helps! Writing is a form of self-expression that can take many formats, whether word choice or medium. Thus, writing has become a means to safely, confidentially, and freely disclose what one feels without fear of judgment or negative feedback. CMU lecturer Christina Thatcher explains that writing can improve mental health because it increases our self-awareness. It's no surprise that women in many careers — such as nurses, doctors, teachers, psychologists, and social workers — regularly use reflective writing to help them become more effective at their jobs by continuously assessing their beliefs and actions.

Social liberation

Writers can also set others free through their work! Different mediums — from pen and paper to online blogs — ensure that writers reach many audiences. Maryville University lists several careers in writing that play many roles in society — from a content writer who writes for websites online, to a grant writer who acquires funding for nonprofit organizations to help their causes. Even a technical writer can help the greater majority by producing technical documents with instructions for products or services. These show how a career path in writing is versatile. The nature of writing, especially with the increasing accessibility of the digital age, helps writers and readers across different fields learn how to live their best lives. You don’t necessarily have to make a career out of writing to reap its benefits and make a social impact. Think of The Diary of Anne Frank, written by 15-year-old Anne chronicling her everyday life and frustrations hiding from the Nazis. What was her simple means to mentally liberate herself through writing, in a time when she and her family were silenced, continues to change the world and liberate the lives of many people today.

Personal liberation

Writing transforms the author beyond their everyday life. They take a break from being “just” an office worker, a housewife, or a mother, and become a writer. Many have only dreamed of writing that great novel for years, but cite that life gets in the way. Hence, many women over 50 find that after years of climbing the corporate ladder or otherwise prioritizing the happiness of their family members, there's no better time than today to turn towards writing. Of course, there's no actual need to choose between being a mother, office worker, housewife, and a writer. Namrata Poddar writes that the challenge is in reconciling the personal, the professional, and the political. Many respected women writers have had children and published substantially, including George Sand, Sigrid Undset, and Grace Paley. Some even cite their motherhood as a non-compromisable element to their identity as a writer.

The road to writing

Many of these women started their journey into writing to continue sharpening their brains and transforming their lives for the better. You can do this too! There are several resources online to get you started on the basics of writing, and even classes offered by supportive and intimate communities where you can share your work as well as receive constructive feedback. We have many free workshops offered in the Village which range from a virtual 4-week session to meticulously planned 1-5 day retreats. Don't be afraid to let go of the responsibilities, and get in touch the writer in you. We've used writing to communicate beautifully with one another and transcribe our history since 3000 BC. As more discover the beauty of the written word, we can further liberate ourselves and each other through sharing this art.

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