Share your stories, improve your well-being,
become part of a supportive community
When an old man dies, a library burns to the ground.
  ~ African Proverb

Writing is good for you

Writing can be a powerful tool for older adults, with many benefits.  Whether you are keeping a journal, writing down your dreams, writing memoirs and essays, or writing flash fiction stories, here are some of the ways writing can improve your life:

Brings Structure to Daily Life

Retirement can often bring a sense of being at “loose ends”, with nothing to do.  Writing regularly can bring a sense of purpose to your daily life.  Establishing a daily or weekly writing routine can be comforting, bringing you stability and predictability. Creating a disciplined approach to writing can help you organize and stabilize the rest of your life as well!

Enhances Cognitive Skills and Communication

Writing can be a wonderful exercise in learning to be clear and precise.  Creative writing, and flash fiction in particular, asks for brevity and clarity, and sharpens your mental skills to an amazing degree!  Choosing just the right word or phrase is a great workout for your mind and your creativity, and can also help you communicate with others more effectively.

Helps Build a Positive Self-image

Your writing often reflects important parts of your life journey.  Remembering and celebrating meaningful events of your life through writing helps you acknowledge your achievements, and the way you’ve met and overcome challenges. Writing can be a powerful tool for personal reflection and growth, leading to an appreciation of your accomplishments, and improving your self-esteem.

Relieves Stress 

Stress is often caused by anxiety, guilt or other unhealthy emotions that have been held inside for too long.  Sometimes the simple act of releasing those thoughts onto paper or a computer document can help tremendously with stress relief.  Especially when writing fiction, you can address difficult topics in an objective, judgment-free environment.

Supports Emotional Intelligence

Writing fictional stories enables you to explore a depth of human emotion in a safe space.  Often when you have your characters work through an emotional problem, it helps you work through your own emotional challenges.  Writing requires a certain degree of introspection, which can lead to empathy and a greater sense of emotional awareness. 

Builds Strong Community

You can share your writing with family and friends, or even join a supportive writing community.  Having your works published allows you to share with an even larger community of all ages.  Feeling a sense of belonging and having your work understood and appreciated, can greatly enhance your emotional well-being.  Sharing through a writer’s group can be the start of meaningful conversations, deep connections, and the knowledge that you are being heard and valued.

Improves Mental Health

Mental health practitioners often work with people through the medium of writing. Expressing yourself clearly so that others can understand can aid in therapeutic situations.  Your writing becomes a means for others to understand you better and reach you at a deeper level. It also helps you understand yourself better, and let go of memories or regrets that have weighed you down.

Enhances Creativity and Intellectual Curiosity

Sometimes getting older can lead to isolation and loneliness.  If you feel alone and “past your prime”, pick up a pen or type on your computer, and fashion a world of creativity and excitement – all through the magic of words!  One of the best answers to the widespread “loneliness epidemic” is to develop a life of curiosity and wonder.  The beloved poet Mary Oliver gave wonderful instructions to live a life: “Pay attention. Be amazed. Tell about it.” This is a good panacea for boredom, stagnation and any degree of loneliness! 

Preserves Your Personal History and Legacy

You’ve lived a full life, experienced joys and sorrows, gained wisdom.  Now is the time to share your life stories with others, and pass them down to future generations. The world you have known is quickly disappearing – writing about it ensures that it will never really disappear.  Some of the things you have taken for granted may seem like unimaginable treasures to the next generation. Make sure that your internal “library” never burns down!