How Has Writing Positively Influenced Your Life?

This was originally posted on my blog writersam.co.uk on 1st March 2015.

I’ve loved writing for as long as I can remember. It’s been the only constant thing that I have always wanted to do — thoughts of being a teacher, a psychologist, and fleeting fantasies of being an actress or in a band, all came and went. But writing is the only thing that ever stuck, the one thing I’ve never doubted my ability to do.

When I was a kid I wrote short stories. I remember getting an electronic typewriter when I was about eleven, and using it to write a rather bizarre story about tiny aliens visiting earth — the alien characters were all based on my teddy bears and had odd names like Miliki and Abdominous. I loved describing my fictional worlds and characters, even if my plots were a little out-there.

When I was fourteen, after a childhood of listening to The Spice Girls and Bewitched, I discovered a love for rock music. Music inspired me to write so much back then, and it still does. I vividly remember coming home from school, putting Nickelback on the CD player, and in the twenty minutes or so before everyone else came home, sitting at the kitchen table writing song lyrics with the music playing loud. I mainly did this if I had a bad day at school — music and writing are both so cathartic for me, it felt great to be able to come home, have some time to myself and furiously scribble about whatever had upset me. I still have a couple of notebooks full of song lyrics from that time, and I have to admit, they were pretty terrible! But that never really mattered.

It wasn’t long before I moved onto writing poetry, and that’s what I still love to do. I have tried my hand at writing a few novels, but there is nothing better to me than being able to write down how I’m feeling in an eloquent way and share it online, hopefully for other people to relate to it. That’s more important to me now than it has ever been.

As anyone who reads my blog regularly may know, in 2010 when I was 22 I had my bowel removed due to cancer, and it was discovered last year that I have Lynch syndrome, which is a hereditary condition that makes me more likely to get cancer again in the future. Again, as any regular readers have probably noticed, this stuff is pretty hard for me to deal with, and that’s why I’m so glad I have this outlet. Whether I’m writing poetry or simply blogging my thoughts, or guest blogging for another website, writing gives me a way to process things, deal with my emotions, and sometimes find out something new about myself. (Just a little while ago I wrote a poem and in doing so, realised something I hadn’t thought of before.)

Writing poetry has given me a way to express myself, and it has also given me something to take pride in. Aside from the odd short story and very occasional hyperbole, I am completely honest in everything I write on this blog. A couple of different people I know have told me that they love how honest my blog is, and I’m really proud of that.

Writing makes me feel brave. I feel like writing about my experience with cancer is braver than going through cancer to begin with, even if other people say I was brave when I went through that. To me, that wasn’t particularly brave, because it’s not like I had a choice in the matter. I didn’t do anything special or anything anyone else wouldn’t do. You just deal with it. But I have a choice whether or not to write about my experiences and share my thoughts online. It is scary, but I do it anyway, and that makes me feel empowered. Writing about cancer brings empowerment to a situation in which I had no control whatsoever. And I’ve just learnt something new about myself again, because I hadn’t thought about it that way before. Writing helps me to analyse and develop myself, and that is something wonderful.

How has writing positively influenced your life?

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