There’s a myth out there that emotional suffering is the key to a writer’s creativity and detrimental to a writer’s mental health. When we imagine a poet or a writer, we imagine them sitting in a dark quiet room with tea/coffee/alcohol and in a deep state of thinking, away from the world.
Most of the general population believe you write only when you have suffered a heartache or if something bad has happened to you. Well, I am surrounded by the whole writing community and as far as I can see and recollect, there is a mix of both, although I don’t know all of them personally, some have no brutal past and yet they write beautifully. Some are even hard-core professionals.
Research says, there is a connection between mental illness and creativity. Writing is one of the top 10 professions in which people are most likely to suffer from depression, with men particularly at risk from the illness, according to the U.S. website. But a writer’s creativity is not always an outcome of the writer’s mental health status, but people are also gifted, talented and highly creative.
I admire all the authors who weave fictional stories, write 50,000-word novels, not because they are suffering but they are creative, they have a special thing with their language and vocabulary. Rather, it is otherwise, they don’t get the recognition they deserve, or it is when they completely isolate themselves as writing is a lonely job, sometimes people fail to understand their views and writings. All this and a lot more add to a writer’s mental health deterioration.
Do You Know What Hampers a Writer’s Mental Health?
We the writers face occasional writer’s block due to the low remuneration we get, off-beat career choice, lack of supportive environment, isolated/lonely job, sociological factors, less recognition we get and more exploitation we face. That fear of missing out, losing out the essence of reading and writing hampers a writer’s mental health, so it is not how you see a writer in kurta and jhola, it is when you don’t appreciate their creativity, puts them in a tough spot.
If at all, anything that hampers a writer’s mental health is the low remuneration and content exploitation in the name of work. Clients/companies literally exploit writers and pay peanuts for the amount of work they put in creating a piece. Plus, if you are a blogger/digital creator people will come to your blog and would want to collaborate but most of them would offer a barter deal, and delayed payments…sigh!
Then the pressure of creating unique and original pieces every time, writing that another book, promoting it, dealing with gallons of self-doubt, dealing with grammar nazis, then those trolls on social media. Taking Social Media breaks to preserve sanity and all the other things we writers do in order to churn out the best of content out of our wrecked minds.
Aids to improve a writer’s mental health
Writing itself can have a significant impact on your mental health, it acts as a therapy for many. It is high time we start seeing blogging/content creating as a career option. When you ask GOOGLE about, “How to cook pasta” to “Best self-care tips”, it is some content writer/blogger writing the best-optimised article or blog post, to give you the best result on the first rank and first page of Google.
It may look like a thing of time pass to many but writing requires a lot of mental strength and out of the box thinking, plus courage to express your feelings. So, what can help to improve a writer’s mental health?
3 practical ways to improve a writer’s mental health
1.) Set realistic goals
Do achievable things, set goals based on your capacities and abilities and not on the basis of what others are doing. Prepare a content calendar, outline topics, put up monthly tasks, divide them into small portions, deal with one task at a time.
2.) Write like no one is reading
Like it is said, dance like no one is watching, I say, write like no one is reading. It could sound ironic, but it helps to write without judging our own writing skills.
3.) Be yourself
Do not fall for the race, the over-hype, competition. Be your own kind of writer or content creator, just be consistent with your thing.
To conclude, I would say that when writers write, they pour out a piece of themselves in every piece they publish, overcoming and fighting all the self-doubts, fears and nervousness. If you cannot appreciate and value the art, leave it to the creator.
Love and light
Priyanka is a published author of 26 Days 26 Ways for a Happier you, Ardhaviram and Broken & Beautiful. An NLP practitioner and Founder of Sanity Daily, helping you prioritize your mental health. Let’s build a happy community.