As we get older, it is important to keep stimulating our minds and engaging in activities that can bring life-enhancing benefits. Creative writing is one such activity that can provide immense joy and satisfaction, as well as boost our mental wellbeing. 77-year-old author, Marilyn Freeman, found this to be true when she began writing fiction four years ago. Since then, she has self-published four novels and just completed the fifth. In this blog post, she explores why she has found creative writing to be so beneficial.
Creative writing holds immense value for the older writer as it provides numerous benefits that can enhance overall well-being. It can boost confidence and provide a sense of fulfilment. It allows you to tap into your creativity and express yourself in unique and imaginative ways. Writing fiction or even memoirs can transport you to different worlds or relive cherished memories, adding depth and meaning to your life today.
Creative writing offers an opportunity to explore thoughts, feelings, and experiences. It can serve as a therapeutic outlet, helping you to process emotions and gain a deeper understanding of yourself. This self-reflection can contribute to improved mental health and emotional well-being.
Additionally, creative writing can provide a sense of purpose and accomplishment. It allows you to leave a lasting legacy and share your unique perspectives with the world. Whether you choose to self-publish or simply share your work with family and friends, the act of sharing can bring immense joy and satisfaction.
By engaging in creative writing, you can also maintain and improve cognitive function. The mental stimulation required for crafting stories, characters, and plots will help keep your mind sharp and agile. It exercises the memory, vocabulary, and problem-solving skills, promoting mental agility and cognitive resilience.
Overall, creative writing provides a platform for self-expression, self-reflection, and connection with others. Whether writing fiction or a memoir, you will find joy, fulfilment, and a renewed sense of purpose through the art of creative writing.
Starting a new creative writing journey can be daunting. However, it is important to remember that it is never too late to start something new and pursue your passions. If you fancy giving it a go, here are a few tips to get you started.
Begin with short writing exercises or prompts to get your creative juices flowing. This can help build your confidence and ease you into the writing process. Break down your writing goals into manageable tasks. such as writing for ten minutes a day, and gradually increase the duration or word count as you become more comfortable. Remember that writing is a process, and your first draft doesn’t have to be perfect. Give yourself permission to make mistakes and revise your work. The important thing is to get started and let your creativity flow.
Try to create a routine for regular writing practice. Find a specific time slot in your day that works best for you and designate it as your writing time. Whether it’s early in the morning, during a quiet afternoon, or in the evening, having a dedicated time will help you prioritise and make writing a regular habit. Personally, I aim to write for two to three hours in the morning, when my imagination seems most active.
Find a comfortable and inspiring space where you can focus and let your creativity flow. It could be a quiet corner of your home, a cosy study, or even a local café. Ensure that the environment supports your writing process and minimises distractions.
Explore different writing techniques to find what works best for you. Some people find that freewriting, where they write continuously without worrying about grammar or structure, helps them unleash their creativity. Others prefer outlining or brainstorming before diving into their writing. Experiment with different approaches to find the one that resonates with you.
As we age, it can be intimidating to navigate the world of technology. However, embracing technology can greatly enhance your writing journey and open up a whole new realm of possibilities. There are numerous tools and resources available that can support and inspire your writing.
One of the most useful tools for writers is word processing software such as Microsoft Word or Google Docs. These programmes offer features that make writing and editing easier, such as spell-check, grammar suggestions, and the ability to easily rearrange and format your text.
Another helpful technology tool is speech-to-text software, which allows you to dictate your writing instead of typing it. This can be especially beneficial if you struggle with typing or have limited mobility. Speech-to-text software such as Dragon NaturallySpeaking or Google Docs Voice Typing can help you capture your thoughts and ideas quickly and effortlessly.
Of course, the internet is a vast resource for writers. Websites such as Pinterest and Tumblr can be great sources of inspiration, allowing you to discover writing prompts, visual imagery, and creative ideas.
Finding inspiration for writing ideas can sometimes be a daunting task, especially for someone new to creative writing. However, there are numerous sources of inspiration waiting to be discovered. One of the best ways to find ideas is by simply observing the world around you. Take a walk through nature, visit a bustling city, or sit in a local café and observe the people around you. Inspiration can strike from the smallest details, whether it’s a quirky character you see on the street or a beautiful sunset that evokes a specific emotion.
I find that reading books, articles, and poetry can also be a great source of inspiration, so expose yourself to different genres and styles of writing to spark your imagination and get your creative juices flowing. Additionally, personal experiences and memories can provide a rich source of inspiration. Reflect on your own life, the challenges you’ve overcome, the people you’ve met, and the places you’ve been. These personal stories can form the basis for compelling narratives that resonate with others.
After spending time crafting your stories and honing your writing skills, the next step is sharing your work with the world. Self-publishing can be an incredibly rewarding and fulfilling experience for those who want to showcase their creativity and leave a lasting legacy.
Self-publishing allows you to maintain complete control over your work, from the content to the cover design. You have the freedom to publish your novels or memoirs exactly as you envision them, without any compromises. This process can be empowering and give you a sense of accomplishment, knowing that your words are out there for others to read and enjoy.
In addition to the joy of self-expression, self-publishing also offers the opportunity to connect with readers who appreciate and resonate with your work. Your stories can touch the lives of others, providing comfort, entertainment, and inspiration. With advancements in technology, self-publishing has become more accessible and affordable than ever. Online platforms such as Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing, Blurb or Ingramspark allow you to easily upload and distribute your books in digital and print formats. You can reach a global audience and even earn royalties from your sales!
The joy of self-publishing lies in seeing your stories come to life and sharing them with others. So don’t hesitate to take the leap and share your work with the world. Embrace the journey of self-publishing, and let your words make a difference in the lives of readers everywhere.