Four Reasons You Should Be Writing

Second Avenue Story Club is dedicated to the idea that we all have stories to tell. Here are some reasons the effort it takes to write about them is worth it.

1. It’s good for your brain.

The ability to say things correctly and in a manner that is understood by the reader is a bedrock skill of an educated person. Not just for someone who makes his/her living writing, but for anyone in any field. The benefits accrued to the brain and mind by learning to express ideas clearly in the confines of a grammatical structure are invaluable.  In the same way a brisk walk or an aerobic workout makes your body feel good, using your mind to organize and express thoughts makes your brain feel good. You get a ‘brain exercise high’.

2. It’s good for your self.

Writing is a way to express who you are. We all need to be heard. It's essential to happiness to know that what we think and feel is important to at least a few other people. Expressing your thoughts and having someone listen is the antidote to loneliness. People choose from a myriad of ways to express themselves. Some sing, dance or act. Some paint or sculpt. The arts are a uniquely human pursuit. So join in. Express your humanity.

3. You know some great stories.

Some of them have been circling around in your head for a while. They might be things that happened to you, a family member, a friend, or someone in your town. Recently I read a story in a Sunday newspaper about a woman’s struggle to overcome being born on the wrong side of town as a member of a cultural minority. The way she handled the challenges she faced lit up all the lights for me. I’ve tucked it away for future work. If you have a writer inside you, you’ve likely reacted to a story or two in the same way.

4. You’ve always wanted to write.

If this is you, I commiserate. Do you remember how old you were when you decided to write stories for other people to read? I was eleven. Any writer will tell you they write because they have to. They’re not happy if they’re not writing. It’s the same as people who sing, dance, paint, or play an instrument. For a writer, the act of storytelling is a compulsion. Why deny it?

What kind of stories do you want to write? Do you have a great spy novel percolating in your head? Are you a fan of historical fiction? What about a great coming-of-age story? Any of these ideas can be the foundation of a wonderful adventure. Start scribbling down your ideas and get going on your first novel. Take the advice of William Wordsworth, who said “Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart.”


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