Courtesy of Ride the Pen

MY ANGLE: Why creative writing matters

It’s 1:30 a.m, and I’ve never felt more alive. Loud clicks echo across my room as my fingers slam into the keys on my computer. My heartbeat accelerates like never before as my mind is completely enveloped by a wave of dopamine.

Now it’s 1:45 a.m, and I’ve finally finished my short fantasy story. With a smile on my face and a rested mind, I finally fell asleep.

This inconsistent but cathartic routine was born from my passion for creative writing.  While so important to me, I realize that very few people, especially other high school students, write creatively.

However impractical it may seem to others, I believe creative writing is a fundamental process; it can be a form of expression and escapism, not just for those who write creatively but for those who read it.

   Creative writing is a conduit for self-expression and exploration. It allows you to immerse yourself within your own thoughts, struggles and experiences. For me, creative writing has allowed me to express my dissatisfaction and beliefs about the world around me. 

After getting suspended in the fourth grade for “poor behavior” and being barred from a school trip, I felt like the world was against me and the principal was purposely tormenting me with an arbitrary ruling. The stories I wrote involved underdog protagonists fighting to overcome the rules of a world seemingly designed to cripple their passion and strengths. 

Was I overdramatic? Undoubtedly.

Did the story I create express myself during what I considered to be a turbulent time? Absolutely.

Now, as a senior in high school, the stress, fear and pressure of the college admissions process is crushing. The terrifying prospect of writing poor college essays or not getting accepted into my dream school haunts me, and yet I have found solace in my writing. Unlike my previous stories, my current writing is merely a means of brief escape. 

Thanks to writing fantasy stories about heroes, violence and magical beasts, I’ve managed to calm and distract myself before the impending storm of the college admissions process. Writing captures then drains the anguish and horror that continually swells in my gut at the mention of college. It allows me to calm myself and refocus on the world around me by briefly surrounding myself in a non-existent reality.

Regardless of my age or the time of day, creative writing has always given me relief and freedom in times of stress by giving me a way to express myself and escape in times of hardship.

The results are evident in a plethora of books, essays and articles across the internet. There are countless stories of authors writing for themselves to help express their beliefs or escape from hardship. However, unlike many of these authors, your writing doesn’t have to be for others. 

I implore everyone, especially high school students, to write creatively because I wholeheartedly believe that creative writing gives everybody, especially those who are stressed or struggling with difficulties, a way to express themselves, calm and briefly free themselves from the world around them. 

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