How creative writing has boosted my mental health during COVID-19, by Samara, 16, of The King Alfred School Academy

2020. It’s been a rollercoaster ride of a year, hasn’t it? From the Coronavirus Pandemic, to the Black Lives Matter Movements, to the Australian Bushfires, it’s all been an awful lot to get our heads around. But, our country has come together stronger than ever. 

Throughout these past twelve months, we’ve all had to adapt our lives in the face of these unprecedented circumstances, whether that’s being asked to stay home, to joining school lessons on video call, to being asked to socially distance, to being asked to wear a face covering, this year has truly been a challenge for us all.

During the lockdown, many of us were out of school, work, business, and turned to hobbies to help us pass the time. 

Whether this was art, sewing, fitness, learning a new language or for me, writing, we desperately searched for an escapism from the ever changing Coronavirus Climate. Today, I’m going to share my own personal experience of lockdown, and how writing helped me see this tough time through.

When I first heard the announcement on 23rd March 2020, that England was set to go into National Lockdown, my heart stopped. 

This was all too fast moving for me to cope with, my exams had just been cancelled the week before, schools had been closed on Friday, and now to be told that I had to stay at home. It was a lot to take in. I knew that this was going to be a challenging few weeks ahead, but I had something which could get me through the other side. Something which could give me hope. And that was, Creative Writing.

Creative Writing. Ever since I was 6 years old, it has been and still is my passion. My escapism. My favourite hobby. The way I clear my mind after a stressful day. The way I escape from the stress of modern day life, the way I improve my reading and language skills, the way I feel better as a person. 

Ever since a young age, I loved the idea of creating your own fictional world, fictional characters, kingdoms, spells, and just getting lost within it. Getting to know the world, the characters, the kingdoms, as if they were real. 

I love the idea of conveying your opinion, your voice on key issues prevalent in society today. Whether it was scribbling it out on a piece of paper and the taps of a keyboard, writing was the way I kept a positive outlook on the future days to come, no matter how distant they might have seemed.

Creative Writing has been proven to have positive impacts among our health. It can better our ability to clarify our thoughts and emotions, help us to develop our reading and writing skills, help us to understand other people better and help us to construct a positive identity. 

This is just a few of the impacts that Creative Writing can have upon our emotional, physical and mental wellbeing. 

When we begin to unveil stories and settings, we can help uncover and understand the experiences and emotions that we ourselves as writers might be experiencing. We understand the complexity of our emotions, our fears, our anxieties or anything that we might be experiencing. 

When we write and release these emotions onto the page, we subconsciously plan and learn how to move forward in a more happy and positive direction. 

Creative Writing truly is a force for good. Words are the most powerful tool we have as human beings. With words, we can change the world, strengthen our futures, build our relationships, improve our lives and make the world a better place for us all.