Back in the old days, you were a tough guy if you knew how to hold a sword. This illusion of sword being the best tool for world conquest only started to shatter when tough guys started to notice that their ladies were fawning over the pale, fragile and sickly type of people who were more likely to pick up a quill and scribble down some sweet little nothings. The proverb of pen and sword was most likely invented by those fawning ladies when they were trying to comfort the poets who had gotten beaten down by jealous boyfriends.
Not many tough guys know how to wield a sword nowadays – and, sadly, many of them don’t know how to wield a pen either. Keyboard comes to our rescue, but even when it has made writing a whole lot easier, it hasn’t made it more popular. I wonder why that is? Haven’t people yet realized that writing is the optimal tool for life, made of win?
Maybe not. I mean, that’s why I’m here, writing for you about writing. Maybe some of these things come off as a surprise, but I hope that you take them to your heart and start wondering if you could pick up that keyboard for something else than good old game of Frets On Fire.
Out of all the forms of art, writing is the one that can has the greatest effect. I’m not going to mention how writing as an art form is the best way to reach out to people, their minds and their hearts – that should be an obvious fact. Instead I’m going to talk about how writing doesn’t only have an effect on the world around you. It can have a great effect on you.
From a biologist’s point of view, writing when you are stressed is most useful. Writing consecutively for 20 minutes exchanges all hormones in your brains, including the ones that stress you out and make you feel like a puddle of vomit on the floor. Later you can read the piece of text you wrote – no matter how long or how short – as an expressionistic form of art.
From a psychologist’s point of view, writing is a way to organize your thoughts. You ever have one of those moments when all your thoughts are racing back and forth and you can’t make out what exactly is going on in your mind? Writing thoughts down, one by one, especially if you include the emotions related to each one, gives you a peace of mind. Even if you don’t know how to write a whole essay about your feelings, it’s scientifically proven that simply making lists about your thoughts has proven useful.
From a social scientist’s point of view, writing is a way of expressing yourself to the politicians. Even when it might sound utopistic, politicians work for you and your life. If they don’t know what you want, they’re going to do what they want. If you’re unhappy for that and you never spoke out, you can only blame yourself.
And, finally, from an author’s point of view: writing is a way to solve your inner conflicts. Try writing yourself in a story. Let the main character solve the problems you have. You might be surprised – maybe the similar methods could work in your own life. And since they originate from your own imagination, maybe that’s exactly what you want to do.
All you need to have is some faith in your own imagination and the fact that there is a difference you can make in yourself. Just write it out.
Serafima is a 21-year-old theater instructor, musician and performing artist. She is currently graduating from a double degree, and her thoughts of life, politics, music, art and internet can be read on her blog in Finnish and English.