7 Benefits Of Creative Writing For Seniors
Updated: Sep 13
Have you always wanted to write, but aren’t sure where to start? Creative writing doesn’t mean penning a novel. In fact, it can encompass so many different structures, which is why it has such broad appeal. There are real benefits to tapping into your creativity (including boosting your health and happiness). In this article, we’ll explore what creative writing is and how it can benefit you.
What is creative writing?
Creative writing is defined as writing, typically fiction or poetry, which displays imagination and invention. Unlike journalism or academic writing, creative writing gives you the freedom to use storytelling to articulate a real or made up point of view. That perspective could be from the perspective of a character, or even your own. It’s what gives your writing authenticity and allows your imagination to wander.
There are many forms of creative writing. Poetry, novels, journalling, plays, even personal essays can be creative if it’s written from your perspective and includes literary devices like tension, metaphors, or a narrative arc.
As an older adult, you have so many stories to choose from. Including your own. Lise Leroux, our creative writing host at Boomerang, says, “Wouldn't you rather read something written by someone who has lived a life and had experiences? I personally would rather read writing by an older adult, than someone experiencing things for the first time. That would be interesting in a way, but I value experience.”
Your perspective, your experience, and your ability to tell a story are factors that make creative writing what it is; a unique form of storytelling that gives you the freedom to create without many limitations.
Read more about how to start creative writing
7 benefits of creative writing for older adults
Apart from being really fun, creative writing has many benefits. Let’s cover seven benefits to pursuing your passion for creative writing.
1. Self-expression and reflection
It’s fairly normal to glaze over our memories, but creative writing forces you to dive deep into self-reflection when exploring the impact those memories had on your life. This process can help you look at past experiences through a different lens and invite perspectives you previously never considered.
2. Boost critical thinking
Which characters should you include? If writing a personal narrative or memoir, what part of your life should you start from? What format will best fit the type of story you want to write? These are all choices that need to be made either before or while you’re writing. With creative writing, you’ll always need to be thinking critically in order to advance your story in a way that is appealing to readers.
3. Build confidence
This isn’t an official stat, but if you took a poll of how many people want to write a book, chances are that most of them would say yes. If you took another poll of people who actually do this, that number shrinks closer to zero than it does anything else. All of that to say that starting and completing any story—novel, short story, memoir, long-form essay—is an accomplishment in itself. It will give you the confidence to take on new creative challenges and conquer those, as well.
4. Expands reading and writing skills
When you start creative writing, you’ll search for different ways to express yourself. The act of writing alone will help with this, but so will reading. Reading books of all genres and articles from different publications will help you become a better writer. You’ll observe techniques you can incorporate into your own stories if you diversify your reading.
5. Keeps your mind stimulated
You’ve probably had a bit more free time on your hands lately. That’s okay, because creative writing is one of the best ways to keep your mind stimulated. The process of storytelling and trying new angles or discovering new stories stimulates your mind and keeps you focused.
6. Can improve your mental health
Studies conducted by Harvard states that writing about your emotions can help with stress and trauma. But even if you aren’t trying to overcome any specific traumatic experience, there are studies that show the positive mental health benefits of writing, which can include improving your general mood. There are even some studies that suggest writing can more quickly improve your physical health. Regardless, it makes you feel good inside to get things out. Try it and let us know.
7. Community of creative writers
Writing may appear to be a lonely undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be. Our community at Boomerang is filled with creative minds who are finding ways to share their stories just like you. So while you may be the one physically typing on your own, you’ll always have a community of writers and hosts to tap on the shoulder anytime you need a helping hand.
Check out these creative writing exercises and creative writing prompts to get started!
About Lise Leroux, Creative Writing Host at Boomerang
Lise is an international life cycle celebrant and wedding officiant who creates and delivers personalized ceremonies for people experiencing change or transition, whether that be weddings, retirement, divorce, or lifestyle. She has married people in helicopters, yachts, on mountain tops and in forests. She teaches health and wellness topics online across Canada for Morneau Shepell in Toronto, and over the years has specialized in communication, creativity and management topics for many well-known companies globally, including NASA, Microsoft, the BBC, Celebrity Cruises, and the Cabinet Office. She parachuted into her own wedding and unfortunately landed on a sheep, which she stayed friends with although not the (now ex) husband. She recently moved back to Canada from the UK, is a published novelist and immersive theatre playwright, and lives in Kelowna, BC. See more of Lise’s celebrant work at www.reimaginecelebrations.com or her writing at www.LiseLeroux.com.
Join our creative community at Boomerang
Pursuing your hobbies or rediscovering your passions has never been easier. With Boomerang, older adults can register for over 250+ online workshops a month in areas of their interest. Express your creative side, learn to cook new dishes or get active in virtual yoga classes. Our online workshops are led by passionate hosts to help you explore your interests.
Learn more about our online creative writing classes
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