Psychological Benefits of Creative Writing

Much of the research I am going to discuss is on writing and happiness. It deals with the therapeutic value of writing and its relation to improved well-being and reduced stress levels for those who do it regularly.

Research by Laura King, for instance, shows that writing about achieving future goals and dreams can make people happier and healthier. Another study by Adam Grant supports this claim. He found that when people did stressful fundraising jobs, and they kept a journal about how their work made a difference for a few days, their hourly effort had increased by 29% over the next two weeks.

This indicates that writing is not exclusively only for professional writers. In both emotional intelligence and hard sciences like mathematics, writing has been shown to help people communicate highly complex ideas more effectively. The reason is that writing helps eliminate the “it sounded well in my head” line of thinking by forcing your hand to put it out on a blank sheet and to give the thought a tangible form. Brains might forgive whimsical abstractions, but prose does not. Read More

Book Hangovers

Even though the number of pages in a book  dwindles as I read, and the inevitable can be foretold, I find it quite impossible to prepare myself.  I just can’t seem to accept that the world I have been introduced to; have grown familiar with; has let me experience a different life, is about to end.  It isn’t until I have read the final sentence that it hits me: there is no next page; there won’t be any new adventures, mishaps or arguments.  (Series excluded, of course.)

Instead, I’m left with mixed feelings.  It’s incredible to have read a book that could swallow me up, that could send me on a holiday without as much leaving my own home.  Yet at the same time, there’s always the undeniable feeling of having lost something precious, something that cannot be regained by just re-reading the book. Read More

Fifty Shades of I’m Bored Already

Fifty Shades of GreyE. L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey – This was the book of the year as far as hypes go. Naturally I got hold of a copy somewhere back in May last year. O.M.G this book made me angry. And not because I have anything against popular fiction or because I’m a prude or a literary snob (I read Twilight, The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, The DaVinci Code and The Celestine Prophecy, The Clan of the Cave Bear etc with gusto, and by gusto I mean the same way I  buy a box of Ferrero Rocher’s once in a while and eat them all by myself as I watch the latest RomCom). Read More

The Britishisms Are Coming

I recently read an article on the BBC that talks about Britishisms creeping into American English. I found it interesting considering that for years all the attention has been on all the Americanisms used by Brits.

[Side note: my spell check knows the word Americanisms but puts a squiggly red line under Britishisms.]

What I loved most in the article, was that the influence of some of the words came from a book. A children’s book no less. Of course, the book is Harry Potter: Read More

Lightsabers Versus Wands

Walk into the average bookstore and you’ll see a section titled Science Fiction slash Fantasy. A term that combines both these genres is speculative fiction, which is slightly broader. David Bowlin of ShadowKeep Magazing defined it as follows:

Speculative fiction is a world that writers create, where anything can happen. It is a place beyond reality, a place that could have been, or might have been, if only the rules of the universe were altered just a bit. Speculative fiction goes beyond the horror of everyday life and takes the reader (and writer) into a world of magic, fantasy, science. It is a world where you leave part of yourself behind when you return to the universe as we know it, the so-called real world. Speculative fiction defines the best in humanity: imagination, and the sharing of it with others. Read More

What books triggered you to write?

This was a question in an interview with a Dutch poet which I read last week. It made me think about the books that have played an important role in my writing process – curious to see if I’d find the book that marked the beginning.

Faithful Timmy

I read an awful lot of books of The Famous Five series by Enid Blyton, when I had just started writing. Charmed by Timmy, Read More