Why writing is good for the soul
Writing = immortality.
On the news last night of Sue Townsend passing I was obviously really saddened, she was only 68 and according to sources in the middle of writing of writing another Adrian Mole book. Her books were genius, they tapped into so many truths of adolescence, they were funny, sad, honest and really endearing to all that read them. The other thing I thought immediately after I heard the news, was that her books will live on. They are something that will continue to be read by so many. They will be passed down to more generations and will continue to touch people for decades to come. The thought of people still reading your words after you are not here anymore makes me want to write more and one day be in a position where I can write lots of different books that will hopefully mean something.
I’m probably an introvert.
I read a really lovely article recently in Company magazine by Stevie Martin who talks about being an introvert. I must admit, I had preconceptions of what an introvert is and I thought it meant “to be shy”. Turns out it doesn’t mean that all, it just means that you “recharge” or get energized by being on your alone more so that being surrounded constantly by people. I love going out, meeting people and seeing friends and family more than anything, but I do feed off being alone and it helps when I need to get my mojo back to not be a busy scenario and have my me-time. I used to miss living with my sister because I was always so used to just popping her to bedroom to say hello or watch a film and it would feel like I was on my own but just quietly with someone else. I get that from my best friend who I live with as well but we are both so busy with our different schedules that I do have moments where I am alone. I’ve learnt to be totally comfortable in my own company and love mornings or evenings on my own where I can get some thoughts down.
Not everyone wants to hear you rant, and equally not everyone wants to hear your life story or moments when you just want to talk about yourself or something that has really interested you. You can of course deliver a water-downed version in the pub of what you think and believe, or your opinion on what happened in the last episode of True Detective, but quite frankly no one wants to hear you drivel on for hours. Well, except for a handful of close friends. That is why it is so therapeutic and relaxing to have an outlet whether you can write down whatever you want, whenever you want and get it out of your system.
I still to this day write down things in a paper diary when things have really upset me, be it a situation or a person. Getting it physically out and written out means, for me, it’s not in my head anymore and I can say ‘good riddance’ to any negative feelings.
You learn to take criticism.
Leading on from that point above about “writing whatever you want” there comes a price. Writing what you want, in whatever tone you want can resonate with some people and really ruffle a few feathers too. I think if you want to write and have a public blog you have to really be OK with the fact that not everyone will agree with you.
My first foray into this world was when I started writing for the Huffington Post years ago and got what I thought at the time was “backlash”, really it wasn’t any cause for concern, just a few people didn’t agree with me. And that’s totally fine, not everyone will agree with you, or like you, quite frankly. Everyone on the planet has a few haters and that is totally normal. To be honest, if any of my articles result in people leaving a comment that is good or bad, I feel like I’ve spoken about something worthwhile.
Practice actually works.
When I look back on some of my old blog posts I do cringe a little bit. It’s not because the content was anything I don’t still think is still interesting, but it was just the sentences a bit mixed up and I hadn’t yet found my style, or my ‘voice’. I actually find writing still as hard as I used to, but that’s because I’ve learnt (and still learning!) what makes a good post or article.
I am so glad I started this blog when I did as I’ve seen my writing improve and change over time, and spotted ways that I can get better. It feels like playing the piano, if you exercise the muscle every day or every week at least, you can only get better at writing but also get better at coming up with new ideas more easily and don’t find yourself bashing your head again your desk quite so often.
“In love with Emma Gannon’s Ctrl Alt Delete. So funny & smart, and reminding me of some of my own cringe teen Internet exploits!”– Anna James, former literary editor of ELLE
"Funny, honest, and nostalgic!"– The Debrief
“Emma Gannon is a bright spark of light in the world. I seriously dig everything she makes”– Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Big Magic