Writing has changed my life dramatically. It’s given me a purpose for living and let me fulfill my passion while making an income.
I wondered how writing has affected other people, so I asked a few of them:
How has writing changed your life?
Here are their unedited responses.
Click on a photo to go directly to the author’s Facebook page.
Writing changed my life because it saved it from a knife dancing too close to my throat in my own hand. Yes, you read that correctly. Yes, I mean every word. No, I won’t redact it because it’s the truth. I should not be alive to write this, my Depression should’ve been the end of the story back in 2009 when I was thirteen. Writing is one of the things, one of my core passions, that kept me going. The days were dark, but the nights of solace by a candle and a dimly lit computer, creating my universes, my characters and fashioning a world from nothing- it was serenity in a sea of entropy- my one saving grace. I shouldn’t be here to tell you about my novels coming out that bring Mental Illness into the spotlight, but here I am. I share this all freely because we lose people every, single, day, that we don’t need to. Everyone knows someone who battles with Mental Illness… I will tell my story, the world will hear it, and if it saves but one life, then all the effort is worth it. In short: I write because I do not have a choice.
Facebook: Kyle Waller
Unexpectedly it has provided me with the income I’d been hoping my pension would bring. So I’ve not needed to draw my pension. I realise this is unusual and I’m very grateful.
I wake up each morning happy and raring to go. I love writing and telling stories.
I particularly love getting emails from readers telling me how my books have affected them. Sometimes I wish I’d started this long ago – but I have no regrets and I loved my previous professional life.
But I don’t have time to do all the painting I planned!
Website: Clare Flynn
Chris N Jerri Schlenker
I started writing in retirement. It has grounded me and given me purpose in that I hope my writing is touching lives in a positive way. I strive for my writing to be inspirational. One of the best compliments I ever received was from a lady telling me they were reading my book Sally to a bedridden relative and it was giving her such pleasure. She was recounting her own past to them. Writing about Sally was one of my main reasons for beginning my writing journey. Sally lived from 1858 to 1969, born into slavery. I met her when I was 8 in 1961.
This is an interesting question, since from my standpoint I can hardly remember a time when I wasn’t writing. So has writing changed my life? I do know this. That I can’t imagine a life without it and my imagination is pretty active.
When I was 8 years old I wrote a 28 line rhyming poem entitled, The Christmas Alphabet, which I then performed for the church Christmas party. I was particularly fascinated by poetry and music, so it seemed a natural thing to write songs. I was never the one to count the number of words in my assigned stories in school, since my stories always exceeded the minimum number of words.
In high school I was named the Poet Laureate of the school in my freshman year. My winning poem was featued in a yearly publication called “The Albatross”. In my senior year I wrote a musical play based on the stories of Dr. Seuss.
Over the years I have written newspaper articles, stories, plays, songs, blogs as well as many reports and whitepapers.
How has writing changed my life? From a young child it enabled me to indulge my creative flights of fancy. It allows me to express things that I can do in no other way. It allows me to organize my thoughts and draw the pictures that my lack of artistic talent wouldn’t allow otherwise.
It gives me great satisfaction to see my words on paper and makes me happy when my words have a positive impact on someone. It allows me to keep a record for my children and grandchildren.
And, now that I am finally writing a novel, it allows me to hopefully give others the joy I feel when reading books by the authors I love.
Writing has always been a part of my life, one way or another. As a young child, teenager, student, then as an English language teacher and university tutor travelling and working around the world, I had always written stories, essays, and diaries of my travels, although I never published anything until last year. Writing is part of my being, part of myself; the epic historical fantasy series I am currently writing has been over a decade in the making. My father’s illness and having to give up my teaching career to become a full-time carer led to me taking a correspondence course in creative writing, which in turn gave me the courage to embark upon the novel writing I always wanted to do. The greatest way in which writing has changed my life is that it has helped me develop this new courage to put my work and myself out into the world like never before.
Before I published my first novel, I had no internet presence, no social media accounts. I never posted on internet forums or the like. I was never afraid to travel the world, to go backpacking in the remotest areas, or to live and work in countries where I knew no one and didn’t speak the language. Yet I was still chronically shy, deeply insecure, and lacked confidence in myself and my abilities. Writing and publishing, networking and making contacts, and gradually reaching readers and reviewers who like my work is helping me overcome my insecurities to become a more confident and complete person. I am now acquiring new computer and tech skills of which I was previously unaware or which I believed I would be unable to master. I love my work, I love my book series, I love my protagonist and her supporting characters, and I love that the new-found confidence writing and publishing has given me is finally allowing me to share them with the world.
Writing saved my life. I used to work as a blacksmith until spine injuries ended my career. The pain was so excruciating that despite maximum doses of painkillers I could still only sit in one position…which luckily allowed me to use the laptop. I started working on my first novel on January 1st, 2017. Since then the pain has largely disappeared, but I will never be able to forge again. If it weren’t for the writing, I don’t know whether I would be around. It allowed me to escape my body and immerse myself in stories.
It doesn’t end there. When the pain allowed me to get on a plane, I visited Iceland for research for a few days. I did not expect to fall in love with the country to the point where I spent all of April 2018 there, made friends, saw as much as I could, and became determined to move there one day. Because there is so much left to be seen. Writing gave me a reason to live, and then showed me how fantastic life still can be despite the fact I can’t work at the forge anymore. What was my plan B became a huge part of my life. I am finishing the first novel, drafting the second, outlining the third. Two years ago I thought this was it for me. Now? I have to go on living, I am busy, there are so many more stories I’ve got to write!
That’s a difficult question to answer. I have been writing and composing music all of my life. It is what my life is. The question might be, how would ‘not’ having been a creative artist changed my life? However, I would then have no answer because it would not have been my life at all!
Robin Leemann Donovan
I’ve always been a control freak, working hard to maintain a tight reign on as many aspects of my life as possible. When I started writing my first novel, I designed a process and built a timeline, allowing myself little leeway. As the writing progressed it became evident that I was not controlling the process, rather the process was controlling me. I would often find myself at points in the plot where I didn’t know what would happen next, yet I kept writing. I would often look back and be surprised at what had been written, sometimes an event that didn’t exist a few minutes earlier, and sometimes a memory from deep within my brain that found its way out and onto the page. That is probably why writing novels is one of the most relaxing things I do. I let myself go and let my subconscious take over – and I love the freedom it gives me.
I don’t worry as much anymore. I know that sounds strange, but early in my marriage my husband was a truck driver. Every time he’d be gone for several days, I’d have accident scenarios running through my head all day long. If family were coming to visit, I’d have visions of bad things happening to them. When I started writing, all of that went away because I had an outlet for my imagination.
I was quite good at writing stories at school – until I went for maths and higher maths at A level. My writing went to pot, because I had been drilled in a system of communication where every statement can only be a logical deduction from the previous one. Different from science – where the initial statement has to be one that is objectively ‘true’ and the final story also has to ‘prove’ itself by producing results under laboratory conditions.
In writing there is much less logical constraint and, in fiction writing, the initial statements do not even have to be objectively true. In that sense, maths is more like fiction, because you often begin with a statement that is pure fantasy, such as ‘consider a perfect circle’ – where the atomic structure of matter says that there can never be such a thing as a perfect circle. But writing, like science, does need to ‘prove’ itself – not under laboratory conditions but in the reader’s mind or life.
So if I write: “Let us create a garden as they did in Findhorn, by consulting the local devas” then I am starting like a mathematician, not like a scientist (who would require proof that devas ‘exist’). But, unlike a mathematician, the final test would be whether the reader liked what I wrote and, above all, whether following my idea and acting ‘as if’ devas existed resulted in a really super garden.
That is the way I learned to write, and how it changed my life.
For me writing was a lifesaver, or at least saved me from dying of boredom. Terminal boredom. I took early retirement on health grounds. For someone who worked every hour God sent, this was a bit of a shock. I started writing a book and my life changed completely. The first book was a step on my future journey. Little did I know just where that journey would take me.
In the past four years I have published nine books, edited two and have another coming out in the next two weeks. I have written books for adults, young adults and children, spoken at national and international conferences, started my own crime conference, Crime at the Castle, and present a radio show. I am also the President of the Scottish Association of Writers, secretary of the Society of Authors in Scotland, webmaster for the Association of Christian Writers and Scottish convenor of the Crime Writers Association. I have made friends too numerous to mention and I can honestly say I am no longer bored.
To be honest, I don’t know. I’ve always written, so you might as well ask what I did before I breathed. When I was at school, I wrote, but nobody else did so I thought I was peculiar for enjoying it. Later there was a phase when I wrote but thought I wasn’t doing it ‘properly’ because I did not have the means to become an author. And then, reader, I married an author. Suddenly every new person I met had a book they were writing. That was what I needed.
So I don’t think writing changed my life. I think my life gradually caught up with the writing.
Where to find me – Twitter @Roz_Morris
As I drove to work one morning in Southern California, time suddenly stood still. An ultra-bright image of dazzling skies flashed in front of my eyes, and a compelling idea popped into my brain: I would start writing children’s novels. Weird? Yes. But it did happen, and I did quit my day job, and I did become a writer.
My career careened among fascinating clients: Zondervan Publishing House, San Diego Zoo, American History Museum, Scholastic, Aneuser-Busch, Inc., The White House, and more. I’m still having so much fun that it’s hard to believe people actually pay me to have a good time. Of course, there were times with no work; I took a ten-year hiatus to work at the University of California; life happened, and I wrote my way through it. Writing not only changed my life, it became my life. And now that I’m old, I just won’t quit.
There are so many ways that writing has changed my life. I love that being an indie author has:
- Enabled me to start a new career that can be a global one… in a job that has no retiring age.
- Taught me patience and persistence… especially when dealing with software and technology.
- Given me the intense pleasure of achieving a long term goal… then realising the work doesn’t stop when the book is published.
- Shown me that the days of being an introverted quiet achiever are over… I need to put myself out there to succeed.
- Allowed me to discover that I could write poetry… The Mathematics Book contains 14 mathematical poems.
- Taught me to be humble in the true sense of the word… and learn to accept compliments graciously.
- Given me the opportunity to fulfil my childhood dream of working as a graphic designer… albeit an unpaid one.
- Let me interact with indie booksellers… and finding that they are passionate big dreamers just like indie authors.
- Exposed me to new people and ideas, even when home alone… it’s akin to travelling.
- Provided me with a chance to make a difference… particularly to maths phobic adults!
Writing has changed me and my life in so many ways. My book, Save the Butter Tubs!: Discover Your Worth in a Disposable World is a very personal journey of discovering my worth through writing my grandmother’s story. I absolutely feel I am doing what I was called to do. My goal is to help others discover their worth and transform their lives and legacy.
There was a significant time in my life where I felt absolutely worthless. I still have days, moments where I have to remind myself of whose I am and that He has called me to something bigger than myself. My worth isn’t determined by what I do, it is determined by my Creator. Just like the value of a Van Gogh painting isn’t determined by whose house it hangs in, but by the creator.
I believe that our gifts are the way our soul expresses itself and I am thankful to be able to fully express myself through my writing, speaking, and coaching. For the first time, I feel fully alive! I am doing things I once only dreamed about!
Speaker, Coach, Author of
Save the Butter Tubs: Discover Your Worth in a Disposable World
Writing has changed my life by making me a clearer thinker and a better communicator. But I also think it works both ways. Good thinkers and communicators are destined to write. Good writers are destined to become better thinkers and communicators.
It has made me more sedentary and sometimes gives the feeling that while you are analyzing life, you are not always living it.
Writing has added a new dimension to my life and reinvigorated my childhood imagination. It may take away most (okay, all) free time when not at the day job, but it’s certainly worth every moment. Knowing I’ve built a world for others to lose themselves in is the greatest reward and fills me with a true sense of accomplishment.
Writing has given me a purpose in life and even though I often write about difficult social issues such as war and refugees, writing has made me a happier person. Perhaps it’s because writing enables me to immerse myself in the subject and find resolution – which sometimes cannot be found in ‘real’ life.
My website is at: www.bronwengriff.co.uk
Here you can find my blog posts, flash fiction and poems.
Dixie Maria Carlton
How has writing changed my life? This is a question I ponder from time to time. Usually when I’m talking with others about the difference between being a professional speaker or thought leader, and a professional writer. As a writer, I’m able to locate what’s really in the deeper recesses of my mind and bring those thoughts and ideas to the front, and either share them or refine them.
Writing affords me the opportunity to explore topics of non-fiction and to develop my story telling skills in fiction. I get to get things out of my head and into something tangible what ever it is that I’m writing at any time and for any reason. When you consider the popular idea of doing that which you love and would do without reward because it is an integral part of who you are, for me, I realise that quite simply, I am a writer.
Now, I’m blessed to work in a way that helps other writers to bring their words to life, for the benefit of others. To explore their stories and how best to share them. What a privilige, what a joy that is!
For a start, I have a notebook to hand at all times, even by my bed, in case an idea pops into my head. However, the most significant changes have been in my working routine.
As a writer, I’m able to work for myself and pick my hours, deadlines permitting. I can choose my workplace too. All I need is a bit of quiet and comfort. Writing is the ultimate portable occupation, especially if, like me, you use pencil and paper for the first draft.
But it’s not all lounging about on a comfy sofa waiting for inspiration to strike. Writing is, as the saying goes, ten per cent inspiration and ninety per cent perspiration, and I believe in working at it just as in any other job.
There’s also been an effect on those around me. As a doctor, I’m used to complete strangers describing their symptoms. Now that I’m also a writer, people seem compelled to share their life story, begging me to include at least some of it in my next book. I haven’t yet, but maybe one day I will…
facebook author page (fiction) Carol Cooper’s London novels https://www.facebook.com/onenightatthejacaranda/
blog Pills and Pillow-Talk
A bad film, an obsession with Ancient Rome and Robert Harris’s ‘Fatherland’.
The bad film was beautiful, but the story line chopped up and the continuity dreadful. I turned to my husband and said, “I could do better than that!”
So he replied, “Well, why don’t you?”
Ninety days later, I had written 90,000 words of my first novel.