We tend to get so scared of using the wrong words, offending others, or failing to execute the "perfect story" that we often throw in the towel and declare ourselves the exact opposite of a writer. But a good story doesn't have to be perfect. In fact, it's the oddities and quirks of the storyteller that make the story all the more interesting to me. So, if you have any interest in dipping your toe in the waters of writing- go for it! And here are three reasons why you should:
3 Reasons why you should share your story:
1. Writing is Therapeutic
Writing about a painful experience is a huge release. What happened during the traumatic event is like a huge weight that's branded itself to your insides. It may even literally put tension in your neck and shoulders, as if you're actually carrying something weighty on your back. When you write about your experience, you take some of that weight and push it into the universe. Though the essence of the experience is still with you, some of the pain is lessened because you've shared it, you're not holding onto it so tightly.
Even if you haven't experienced something painful or traumatic, simply writing a fictional story is therapeutic in that it allows you to visit subconscious thoughts that you may typically leave untouched in your every day life. Dealing with these subconscious beliefs and fears in the fictional universe of your characters is like exercise for your mind and can contribute to your mental well-being.
2. Writing Enhances your Ability to Empathize
Writing fictional stories often increases the writer's ability to empathize. When you think about it, this makes a lot of sense. Empathy can be described as the ability to imagine yourself in someone else's life and feel what they feel in each experience. This is what fictional writing is all about.
The storyteller chooses a character who has an appearance, life experience, and way of thinking that's different from their own and then relates this person's life experiences.
Empathy is a strength, it's what attracts people to us and broadens our perspective on life. Writing is a great way to increase this valuable strength.
3. Sharing Your Story Empowers Others
Humans are weird creatures and though we know this, we don't really know this. We walk around thinking we're the weird one and everyone else is normal. We try to hide our weirdness and "fit in" as best we can. It's not until we meet a friend who says, "Hey, I was talking to myself in the mirror the other day and ... " or read a book featuring a twenty-something year-old character who likes to pretend that she's a dinosaur that we realize that we're not alone in our freakishness.
When you write an honest story about a character who thinks "odd" thoughts or has "quirky" ways, you're writing a story that at least several closet weirdos out there are going to read and instantly feel a surge of self-esteem as they realize that they're not alone. If you want to empower the introverts, the weirdos, and even the "everyday people" of the world- then write an honest story.