Creative Writing as a Means of Escape

by Shayla Hall

We each have our own sui generis way of escaping reality and the everyday pressures of society.  Some decide to pick up their headphones and listen to their favorite song , while others choose to indulge in a more questionable form of escape.  In actuality,  doing any activity that you enjoy can be a momentary escape; however, it is not very often you hear of people writing when they feel the need to “get away from it all.”

When we hear the word “write,” we often think of standardized tests and essays, so we are not inclined to explore the various styles of writing. Creative writing is a way of releasing stress and delving into a different world, if only for a moment. You can write fictional short stories or write about things that are actually tangible, such as a memoir. Either way you can take whatever is floating around in your brain , put it on paper, and turn it into something intriguing and marvelous.

Creative writing is often used as a way to relieve stress due to the amount of imagination and thought involved. If your mind is consumed with creating a short story or a journal entry, you will naturally have less time to focus on what may be stressing you out. Dennis Palumbo of explains, “If you feel so impotent in the face of your anxiety that you can’t even imagine utilizing it in this way, then write about that feeling-even if you have no characters whose voices you can appropriate; even if your fingers tremble at the thought of making narrative sense out of the inchoate feelings inside you.”

If you take the time to sit and write, you will have all of your ideas and thoughts on paper, which will help you make sense of overwhelming emotions or complicated problems. Think of the way a therapist listens to you speak about your issues, and writes down each thing you say to get an idea of who you are. The concept of creative writing is very similar, except you are your own therapist! Studies show that creative writing actually reduces anxiety and depression in certain people. The next time you are feeling sad or maybe you just need an escape, consider creative writing!


One comment

  1. You’re absolutely right about the value of creative writing and journaling as self-therapy. I find journaling easier when under stress than fiction writing – my fiction writing ground to a halt for three months last summer because of the stress I was under. But I really don’t want that to happen again… The key is to keep writing through the stress and even, as you say, use it as a way to offset the anxiety.


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