Four Reasons to Embrace Your Inner Joyce

It’s may only be August, but that means there are only a few months until you can begin that new novel. In case you are not familiar, November is NaNoWriMo (for the uninitiated, that’s National Novel Writing Month). What does this great holiday entail? Well, it’s a challenge and an opportunity to write 50,000 words in one month. Why might you want to take on this monumental task? Besides the thrill, there are plenty of reasons!

Gain New Perspective

Writing gives a person the opportunity to put themselves in the shoes of someone else. Like Atticus Finch, you too, can learn to see the world from a different set of eyes. Try picking out qualities that are opposite of your own. If you’re a introverted bookworm try exploring the mind of an extroverted party animal. You might just learn something about someone who seems so foreign to you. Writing gives you a chance to understand the motivations that inform the decisions of those we find to be perplexing or alien. You might just come to realize that people don’t act at random, they have reasons for what they do, despite how foreign they might seem.

Essays Will be a Breeze

If you can break out 50,000 or more words in a month, you will be in a great spot before college starts. A 2,000 word assignment, which may have seemed daunting in the past, will be nothing compared to your accomplishments during NaNoWriMo. In order to succeed in the 50,000 goal you need to be writing about 1,500 words a day. This kind of writing schedule will prepare you for the most demanding assignments in college, which typically require a lot less and give you plenty of time. You’ll never look at an essay assignment the same way again.

It’s Time to Journal

That’s right, you don’t have to write a novel. Instead, you can start keeping a journal. Catalog your thoughts and feeling each day, making sure to touch on the important things going on in your life. You’ll be identifying your feelings and gain better understanding of how you are mentally composed. This can be a great way to decompress at the end of the day. You can leave your worries on the paper and sleep easy, knowing you’ve addressed them. Not to mention, journals make for great reference material too! You can review these journals and see how much progress you’ve made emotionally and mentally. It can also reveal patterns in behavior that you may want to stop or improve.

Enjoy a New Hobby

Of all things, you might realize you enjoy writing (gasp!). Honestly, there is no better cure for boredom then developing a world full of characters as rich as the ones you meet in real life. It can be exhausting at times, but you’ll find yourself flying through hours and having fun as you do it. Don’t be afraid to take up the pen or the keyboard! Writing provides a great creative outlet for those of us not gifted with great voices or amazing painting skills. Yes, writing is fun! I dare you to try it.

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Ryan Schapals

Ryan Schapals

Ryan Schapals is a senior at DePaul University studying Creative Writing and Psychology. Outside of class, Ryan can be found working in the Pysch Lab or at a local health clinic. When he's not distracted by cat videos, he tries to balance his time between playing guitar, writing prose, and running around the soccer field.