A self-reflection piece
I am first and foremost an avid reader. I cannot remember a time where I read nothing in a day. Books have been and still are my lifeline.
I also have a firm belief that everyone is creative, and each of us has a distinct way of expressing it. Experimentation is one way to discover the right creative outlet.
I enjoy art in general, and yet I lack the talent to draw or design. For me, the closest thing to art is photography. I dabbled with analog photography on and off for the past 10 years. Yet the interest does not last long.
How did I stumble upon writing? It was a personal incident that prompted me to write. Combined with my love of reading, it led me to recognise the power of words and the lasting impact on a person’s life.
I have not looked back since then and writing remains my form of creative expression.
Here is why.
I write to inspire
Words inspire people.
I am very much inspired by the many writers here who come from all backgrounds and openly share their thoughts, opinions and life experiences. Their articles left a positive impact on me, as they inspired me to take writing as a form of creative expression.
Being a typical ENFP, writing resonates my core value: I want people to feel inspired and search for ways to develop and reach their true potential. And I want them to see that there are many ways and possibilities to succeed or overcome obstacles in life.
It is my primary goal with writing: I write to inspire others.
I write to entertain
I am a fan of the fiction genre and it was the only book genre I read throughout my childhood years. These make-believe stories entertained and fuelled me when I needed them as I navigated my way to adulthood.
Now, from a writer’s perspective, I gain a similar joy when readers comment on my haikus. Their comments impelled me to create more haikus to entertain them.
Writing also entertains me as a writer. It is one way to entertain myself that does not require the company of others and involves zero cost.
I write to heal
Writing heals the soul of the writer.
It is a cathartic experience as I can freely express my wandering thoughts and put them down in words. I can be me, my true self as there is no one to police my words and thoughts.
Writing makes it possible for me to expel my dark thoughts. It relieves stress. Hence, I have a habit of writing in the evening/night on weekdays. It is the time where I clear my jumbled thoughts and distract myself from the stress of my day job.
With this daily brain dump, it improves my sleep quality and reduces anxiety.
I write to learn
I hit a creative rut a few months ago because of fatigue. I lacked ideas and inspiration. In this period, I experimented with another way of writing. I wrote a letter to myself about experiencing writer’s block. It helped for a while, but it was not enough.
Then I recalled reading a Haiku poem in Medium. I was curious and read up to learn the poetry format. It sounded fun as it is wordplay, and I challenged myself to write one. It gave me the much-needed creative boost, and I have been regularly writing and publishing Haiku poems.
While researching writing topics, I also gained knowledge and unique perspectives that change my mindset for the better.
I write to improve
Writing has also improved in other areas of my life.
For one, it improves my grammar and vocabulary. This is because I often take words and phrases for granted, in terms of meaning and context of usage. Hence, before publishing each piece, I will double-check the meaning of words. This is to ensure that they accurately express my feelings and thoughts. With this, my ideas and concepts are more coherent in writing.
It also improves my self-discipline, as it propels me to address my procrastination and easily distracted tendencies. I allocate the hours and topics to write for the week, and my focus improves with this routine.
By nature, I am an impatient person. I act and think quickly. And I always expect people to respond to the same speed as mine. However, this is not always the case, especially with Medium publications. It can sometimes take days for the editors to respond to my submissions. The waiting period hence has indirectly taught me to slow down and be more patient.
I write to discover myself
Writing requires introspection. It engages the inner self and involves self-reflection on own emotions and thoughts.
It helps me tremendously in my journey of self-discovery. The more I write, the more I understand myself. I discovered my identity and voice as an individual. I also discovered new sides of me and makes it more exciting in my journey to explore new creative ventures.
Now and then, the writing process frustrates me, especially when I lack ideas or my pieces do not garner the expected views. And then comes the imposter syndrome moments. Can I write? Will people be interested to read what I write?
But the joy and benefits of writing outweigh the doubts and setbacks.
My only regret is that I should have taken to writing many years earlier. An article written by Thomas Plummer comforts and reminds me of one important life lesson: It is never too late to learn.
Age should not be an excuse to not learn to write. One can still learn and hone the craft if the interest and passion are there.
Writing is a form of creative expression that I can improve with effort, time and practice. And my writing goals will continue to serve as incentives to keep going.