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Growing as a Writer

Writing Can Help You Grow in Way You Never New

Here we are, at the time of writing this post and there are only a few short months left of 2021 - and I just can't believe it. Life is a whirlwind, which isn't anything new, but ever since the covid-19 pandemic hit, life has just been a wild ride, more than normal. How have I coped with it all?

Well, should you even ask? WRITING!

Sneak peak and inspiration town behind my debut novel. #newenglandcoast

Lighthouse - New Castle, New Hampshire

Photo Credit: Don Gargano

New Genre; New Me

After I published my memoir in 2018, I remember feeling not only extremely proud, but also really excited. I knew it meant it was time for me to venture into the genre that I always knew I would do - contemporary romance. Also known as "sweet and cozy" romance - think all things Hallmark and that I what I write now.

And once I started, I haven't stopped! I finished my first manuscript and I am in the throws of querying fun with agents and submissions, but I know my debut novel will make its arrival for the world to read. I just need to make sure it goes into the right publishing home.

Writing this first novel has really helped shape me in ways I didn't expect, not only showing me what this new genre is all about but a new me. When you dive into writing a fiction story, the best thing you can do is become best friends with your characters. Some call it "psychology of a character" and that is exactly what it is.

My characters felt like family to me by the end of my manuscript and now that the first draft is done, I miss them! As I wrote, plugging my music into my headphones in a nearby coffee shop or in the background of my home or in a park outside - I escaped the challenges this world is facing with my characters and the world they were in. It was cathartic, healing and helped me grow because it gave me a time out to just be with my story, control the direction the plot is going and create whatever I wanted within it.

That pause from reality helped me to put my emotions and thoughts into my story - such a great release! This is where the strength of fiction writing can go.

3 Ways You Can Grow Through Your Fiction Writing

Fictional narrative is hugely underutilized as a way of healing our emotions. - Lindsay Gibson, Light Up With Literature
1. Nourishes Your Nerves

Spending time with a good fiction book bring you to a still and calm place. It gives you permission to slow down, and spend time with the thoughts and life of a character or rather, another "person". Sometimes it does not matter what you are reading, but rather the act of reading itself can calm you down.

When you are engaged with a story, it gives you a break from dwelling on the present challenges or your past or even worrying about the future. You can literally “lose” yourself in a a good book and relax your nervous system. Some reading experiences even provide a sense of “hitting the zone.”

2. Distraction

Besides "getting lost" in a book, reading fiction distract you from reality. A good book removes you from the nonstop thoughts that dominate your minds everyday. You can begin to imagine yourself in the characters world and step outside yourself, which can give you the much needed break to be able to think through whatever it is you are dealing with.

3. Ignites Bravery

When we travel with fictional characters into their story and into their world, we can read how they healed certain situations, choices they made and lessons they learned. We can feel what they feel without having to get deep into our own emotions. Reading these fictional scenarios and outcomes is like trying out something new, one easy step at a time.

This reality simulator can help us to be brave to try new things or make new choices for our own selves. It's like fiction gives us advice and examples on how to act within our own world, a new kind of therapy.

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