Friday, December 21, 2012

Why Creativity Matters--Storytelling Is Good for Your Brain and Your Whole Self

Writing isn't rocket science.  But maybe it does as much for the brain.  New studies are finding this true.  We get healthier the more we write.

Not many writers realize this. 

In my online classes, I ask a basic question:  Why do you write?  What's your writing doing for you, for your life, for your service to the world?   

Book writers spend hours, days, years on their books.  Why?  It must be more than the fun of roaming around in our own heads.  Right?  Because it's hard work to write a book.

But do you consider that writing every day might give you good health--and stories, the basic ingredient of writing, are the reason?  It's like the old saying, An apple a day . . .

How about, A page a day . . . ?

Writing as a Way to Heal
James Pennebaker, a social psychologist from University of Texas, wrote a ground-breaking book called Writing to Heal.  From his research, he learned that there's a keen connection between writing and healing from trauma.  He's gotten grants from NSF and NIH to study this connection. 

One of Pennebaker's colleagues, Louise De Salvo, is the author of Writing as a Way of Healing.  De Salvo cites research that proved daily writing of a certain kind and quality actually reduced serious medical symptoms and promoted healing. 
Your Weekly Writing Exercise 
If you have time and want to explore how, when your creativity soars, you can grow as a human being and a writer, check out these two offerings:

1.  If you are writing a book, ask yourself why.  Then, on paper, explore how your book-writing is good for your whole self, how it might be healing you, and how it's allowing you to be creative--perhaps for the first time.

2.  Not sure you believe that stories heal us, change our brains, make us healthier?  Read this amazing article, shared by a writer in my online classes, on
Science and Storytelling.


Happy holidays, and may your creativity soar in the new year! 


  1. Thank you for another year of great writing advice, Mary. Best wishes!

  2. Cindy,

    Thanks so much for visiting, and your post!

    Happy new year,