As time has gone by, I’ve found that writing can feel exclusive to some people. I’ve heard it from people ages ten to forty to six-five: “English class is/was the worst. I hate writing.” But it’s a closely held belief of mine that writing is for everyone. The question is not can you write, but how do you write? Storytelling is important. It gives us a way to express ourselves creatively, to voice our opinions, and learn about ourselves. Below are just a few writing mediums that can offer exactly that.
Poetry & Lyrics
When people think of writing and self-expression of feelings, many minds instantly jump to poetry. I’ve coupled song lyrics within this category because often they can be a form of poetry in themselves. We can be deeply moved by the beautiful sounds of the music and vocals, but my favorite songs usually speak to me through the story their lyrics tell. Both poetry and lyrics are excellent forms of writing because they can be as short or as lengthy as desired and leave room for freeform writing. (Spoken word poetry is phenomenal. If you need an example, look up Sarah Kaye or Ruddy Fransisco IMMEDIATELY!)
Novels & Short Stories
Longer pieces are more my style (see Meet Marley Emmons). They allow the writer to dive into multiple subjects at length and express opinions or pose questions without directly confronting the audience. Sometimes it’s a method of working through our thoughts in a tangible way. At the same time they can be fun and imaginative, pushing the bounds of reality.
Essays & Journals
For those who are less inclined to works of fiction, essays and journals are another way to process and create physical representations of feelings, arguments, and opinions. They can be about research, everyday life and struggles, and so much more. I’m a big believer in journaling. It doesn’t have to be daily or even weekly. But, as someone with a family history of Alzheimer’s, I keep a journal for practicality, because there may come a day when I won’t remember my own story.
The possibilities of writing are endless. The trick is finding what medium suits a particular person. It’s also important to keep in mind that not that all writing requires an audience. Writing is for the individual as much as it is for the reader.