BRIDGET WHELAN writer

August is archive month. Posts from the past

Ten good reasons to study creative writing …. some might surprise you

1) It’s a vocational subject. In every job and area of life it’s valuable to be able communicate as clearly and effectively as possible.

2) It could help you get a job. The most intimidating blank sheet you are ever going to face is the one headed: Tell us why you think you are qualified for this position…Remember that creative writing includes creative non fiction – it’s not always about making things up.

3) If you lose a job it could give you the confidence to get another. Back in the 90s an American study was done on 63 engineers who hadn’t been able to find work since being made redundant. The engineers were divided into three groups. Group One: the engineers weren’t asked to do anything. Group Two: members were asked to write about time management and Group Three: they were asked to keep a journal about their feelings, especially in relation to losing their job. Three months later less than 5% of the engineers in Groups One and Two  had new jobs. In Group Three more than 26% of the engineers had found work – they weren’t going to more interviews than they had done in the past, but it looks like they were better at being interviewed.

4) It can relieve anxiety. Researchers at Bristol Royal Infirmary looked at the benefits of writing poetry. Of the 200 study participants, over half said that writing poetry reduced anxiety and some were able to stop taking anti-depressants or tranquillisers as a result. .The research team suggested that other forms of creative writing, such as drama or biography, could produce the same effect.

5) It could mean less visits to the doctor. A research study in 2004 revealed that writing about good experiences makes you happier and less likely to go to the doctor. Chad M. Burton and Laura A. King organised two groups: one wrote for twenty minutes each day for three days about an intensely happy experience while a control group was instructed to write about a neutral topic. Following the study, the positive group reported feeling much happier while the control group did not. Over the next three months researchers recorded positive group went less often to the doctor than the control

6) Wounds might heal more quickly. Expressing yourself in writing may have a real impact on your physical health as well. Researchers in health psychology at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, studied 49 healthy senior citizens, aged 64 to 97. Half wrote about the most traumatic event they had experienced. The other participants wrote about their plans for the next day. They were asked not write about their feelings, or express opinions or beliefs. Two weeks later, researchers took small skin biopsies, under local anesthesia.  (The skin tissue was used for another study – pretty helpful group of senior citizens!)

The research team discovered that the wound left by the biopsy healed more quickly in the group that had written about their worst experiences. (Over three quarters of the group that had written about trauma were fully healed after 11 days while only 42% of the other group were.)

7) You may never write a bestseller, but you will come to enjoy sharing stories. Once you start to read like a writer you’ll have  a greater appreciation of other authors.

8) You might write a bestseller. In 2011 it was estimated that J.K.Rowling was worth $1 billion.

9) It means never being bored again. Waiting in a queue? You’re wondering why the man in front is wearing odd shoes.

10) You’ll mix with nice, tolerant people. Writers are the ones who don’t mind when someone has a telephone conversation at the top of their voices in a train carriage because we’re too busy imagining what the person on the other end looks like.

Is this the right time to mention that I have a creative writing book that you might like? It is available in paperback and ebook formats

Back to CREATIVE WRITING School contains 30 practical writing exercises designed to beat the blank page. You can buy here on Amazon UK  (82 five star reviews) and Amazon.com  (71% five star reviews)

It contains exercises on description and magic realism, dialogue and horror writing, on creating atmosphere and characters so real you feel they could walk off the page. Some are 10 minutes long and designed for practice in the same way as musicians practice the scales, some could give you a novel length idea that will keep you writing for months…

Creative writing ebook

 “I recommend it to all my students…” Alex Pheby, author and Head of Creative Writing at the Univeristy of Greenwich

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12 comments on “Ten good reasons to study creative writing …. some might surprise you

  1. ann perrin
    August 22, 2013

    I can promise potential students they will get loads of benefits, I’ve been on two of your courses and they were better than any of the others I have tried. I’ve never been on one for the ‘terrified’ but your exercises are always inspirational, you share time between absolute beginners and more established writers equally, give constructive criticism and even mark one or two assignments.
    Although I am already a writer of sorts, non fiction, poetry and a successful play one can always learn something new, change genre etc.
    Not least there was your gentle humour, wonderful knowledge of so many authors, writers and markets and it was lovely being with like minded people. Brilliant!

    • bridget whelan
      August 22, 2013

      Ann, I don’t what to say…except I think I’ll have your comment printed on a t-shirt!

  2. ann perrin
    August 22, 2013

    Order one today x

  3. creativityorcrazy
    August 23, 2013

    Writing is definitely healing. I just wonder sometimes how much writing I’ll have to do to come to peace one day. Wish I was near enough to take the class…sounds wonderful. 🙂

  4. bridget whelan
    August 23, 2013

    It would be so nice to have you too…I think the healing aspect comes from not only releasing pent up feelings that need expression, but also because it is one of the creative arts and being creative nourishes – it meets a basic human need

  5. Pingback: Creative writing event, Purley Library: Fri Aug 30 | Inside Croydon

  6. Laura Marcus
    September 1, 2013

    Very good point about creative non-fiction! And of course writing is the best therapy going – cheap, easy, accessible. Also good way to cure insomnia… or is that just me?

    • bridget whelan
      September 1, 2013

      Writing is definitely a recession-proof activity. Writers are cheap – we don’t need much. not sure about curing insomnia though, writing tends to keep me awake…

  7. Laura Marcus
    September 2, 2013

    I’ve got up and written stuff when I can’t sleep and I often find I can get to sleep after that. Like I say, might just be me. Sorry if you’re a fellow sufferer.

    • bridget whelan
      September 4, 2013

      I agree when you have ideas chasing each other around in your mind then you can forget sleep, writing is the only answer. No point in fighting it.

  8. Pingback: The most popular posts of 2013 were about publishing opportunities, the Nobel Prize and a rather misleading X rated story… | BRIDGET WHELAN writer

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