Why Writing for Pleasure Is My #BestMedicine

Writing for pleasure has always served as the lifeblood of my creative pursuits. Leaving reality behind, even if only for a little bit, to focus on my work is hugely rewarding for me. The act of creation — building a story from absolutely nothing — is incredibly difficult but also incredibly rewarding. That’s why fiction writing is my #bestmedicine, and it can be the same way for you. Have you ever read a book or watched a TV show where you really related to the characters? Did the story communicate truths and comforts to you because of that connection? For me, that’s part of the magic of fiction.

I’ve always loved writing. When I was in elementary school, I used to make illustrated books about the adventures that my stuffed animals had, and by the time I graduated from high school, I had already finished my first novel. For a time, I even wrote plays that were performed in front of thousands of children every week.

One of the big reasons why writing for pleasure is my #bestmedicine is because of how cathartic it can be. Fiction never gets old: When I’m stressed or down, I love pouring my emotions into a character. If I’m anxious, I try to focus on those feelings and use them to make a character authentic. I can take my joyful times and my tough times and create story lines that are relatable. I would love to know that, someday, these stories might mean something to an anonymous reader.

Sometimes the toughest part about being a writer is simply making the time to write. If you have a creative hobby that you enjoy, you can probably relate! It’s so easy to let the stresses and to-do lists of life take precedence, but my husband always encourages me to take some weekly time to work on a fiction book or a screenplay. I don’t always do a great job of following that advice, but one of my resolutions for 2016 is to be better and more consistent with my writing efforts.

Last year, I took a weekend off to attend a writing conference in Austin, Texas. I listened to some of my favorite authors talk about the ups and downs of being a writer; they shared rejection letters they had received and the long journey it took each of them to find success. It’s encouraging to hear that all of us — even the most successful — hit bumps in the road on the way to our dreams.

I haven’t yet had a fiction book published or a screenplay produced, but I’m not giving up. And I’m currently thinking about self-publishing. I’m not sure where my writing journey will take me next, but I know that it’s made a big difference for me over the years — and maybe someday it will do the same for an anonymous reader.

Do you practice creative writing? What have you been working on lately? Share your stories with us on Twitter.

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