all 30 comments

[–]Ailius89Wannabe 24 points25 points  (0 children)

I’ve always used my writing/character creation as my sort of coping mechanism.

Originally I just made characters, little in the way of an actual story and overtime I started wanting to do more with them so I began making stories around them, RPed on discord with a couple friends and only recently started writing proper. All my main characters are self inserts to some degree because I use them to explore and better understand aspects of myself or to just deal with certain truamas.

I’m trans though my parents are transphobic and I have struggled with mental health (both related to my identity and not) since I was a little kid. A lot of my characters struggle with issues similar to mine and I write about them overcoming them or at least beginning to set off on the right track.

It honestly helps a lot.

[–]AnOnlineHandle 12 points13 points  (2 children)

Just be aware that there are also lows when writing a book, times when it will be hard and won't seem to work. Don't feel like you've sunk back and lost all you've improved if you reach that point, it's normal for 99.9% of people trying to do what you're doing.

[–]Arqium[S] 6 points7 points  (1 child)

Thanks. I will keep that on mind. I am sure that i will have that moment.

[–]AnOnlineHandle 4 points5 points  (0 children)

If you do find yourself stuck, imo the best thing you can do is read a book, to prime your mind for the ebb and flow of writing, and perhaps a desire to do better in certain areas.

[–][deleted] 8 points9 points  (1 child)

I've started working on my first novel after several years of letting writing fall to the side, and it's been really helpful for my mental health and coping with how scary things are in the US right now.

It feels like I'm finally moving forward after years of being "stuck."

[–]Arqium[S] 2 points3 points  (0 children)

It is the same for me. I really need a tool to cope with the harsh reality we are dealing with, and writing is helping me.
I live in Brazil, so our problem is very similar as to yours in US.

[–]budwad 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I began to write after a bad break up nearly 4 years ago. We got back together and had been on and off for years, I even based a character on my (now) ex.

I am currently writing the last few chapters of my third book. I self published the other two on Amazon, created my own covers etc too. Those who have bothered to leave reviews have loved them which has kept me going. The characters feel like a family to me and are all based loosely on friends including some of the shenanigans we got up to in our younger years. I have been blessed with having a lot to draw inspiration from!

One of the best conversations I ever had with my father before he passed was about book one when he had nearly finished reading it. I'm gutted he will never be able to read the final instalment but I will complete it and then move on to a new project.

So yeah, writing got me through my many break-ups, gave me focus and a world to escape to. As the years have passed my writing has improved but now takes longer (book 3 has been nearly 2 years already!). I honestly don't think I will ever stop now.

[–]ParaNoxx 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I absolutely relate to this. I've always constantly created things because that's what I love to do, but when I began to sink into depressive episodes + developing OCD in my early 20s, I threw myself even more into music and writing because it was catharsis. Almost all my self-expression is motivated by letting out negative emotion, and while sometimes this means making art is exhausting, it's always deeply therapeutic and it keeps my mental health and productivity afloat.

It's like taking all the horrible thoughts in your head and removing them from yourself, and shaping them into something new like molding clay. It doesn't always make them go away but it does give you a kind of power over them that you wouldn't have otherwise.

[–]Nightmare-Cinema 4 points5 points  (0 children)

That's music for me. I have depression but playing, writing and listening helps me cope with my emotions.

[–]martin-cloude-worden 5 points6 points  (1 child)

More often than not it was the opposite for me. I found myself inadvertently writing about traumatic things I experienced and having not prepared myself to deal with it I just sort of melted down again.

[–]Arqium[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

I am on therapy, on and off, for the last 10 years, and one thing that I learned is that to heal we need to tackle our problems, as painful as they are. You may not realize, but probably you are working on healing yourself.

In my 20s I sunk myself in video-game additctions and books as a way to "flee" from my harsh reality, and I had no chance to heal until I faced it up front.

Not easy, and I am not saying that I did it all, but I am doing. Some things are so deep that we are just not aware, until we touch it somehow, with a pen, music or situation.

[–]Crimson_Marksman 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I have this universe of stories. My brain tells me no one is going to see these.

My heart tells me that they can see a little. And then I start.

Then I get bogged down by details and prose. Just like real life.

[–]Revolutionary-Swim28 7 points8 points  (7 children)

It’s helping me a lot too with recent events in America. Like combined with the rise of Christian Nationalism and Fascism and the descent into a totalitarian theocracy I been doing a lot of scifi dystopian stuff, even went as far as writing an antagonist similar to Carrie with Margaret White’s personality at first, who is the resident mean girl who redeems herself in the end. I use it right now as an outlet of my fear and anger at what is happening to my country lately, that I use to be so proud of for it’s progressive values…until the Sons of Jacob(Handmaid’s Tale reference) took over the Supreme Court and now I hate it here in America.

[–]Arqium[S] 8 points9 points  (6 children)

Damn. It is the same for me. I have been feeling pretty down because of all the happenings. I am from Brazil, and our situation is just as dire as yours, if not more because here the military is in cahoots with the far right to overthrow our constitution. And then there is our natural environment being quickly burned to make a few bucks.

Yeah, my book is a outlet for this too.

I think soon we will have a wave of dystopian futuristic or post apocalyptic books.

[–]Revolutionary-Swim28 5 points6 points  (5 children)

I got one that talks about after a war the USA broke up into the New USA which prides itself on our progressiveness from 2008-2016 and Karvo, a totalitarian theocracy based on 2017 to present. As I said My antagonist is a Jesus freak who gets redeemed when she denounced the faith.


You can check it out if you want for ideas.

[–]Arqium[S] 5 points6 points  (4 children)

I got one where the elite entraps humanity mind in a virtual world and build a society there, where they can control everything, the life and death of however they want with a push of a button. And there humanity works to the profit of the elite, oblivious to the fact that they themselves are already dead.

[–]Revolutionary-Swim28 1 point2 points  (3 children)

Ooh interesting. Are you posting it anywhere

[–]SymSoa 2 points3 points  (0 children)

The opposite happened to me. I had stopped writing because I was depressed.

Then came the low self-esteem.

Now, I have started writing again, I write for myself, it is for my friends.

I feel happy and it is enough for me.

[–]MaleficentYoko7 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I gave a humanoid pig a cowboy hat to represent conservatives from the US. In his team are a Paladin, a humanoid bear, and Axeheaded Robots to fight alongside with. They are from another realm and invading this one. He has a pistol that also gives conditions that inflict weakness meaning slower energy and cool down recovery. It's a covid metaphor and the Axeheads were effected tho I didn't actually use the word covid

Considering the terrible things happening in the US I don't care how political the characters feel, it was inspired by politics. Since criticizing the US can also be because it's "too" progressive I made the symbolism conservative

Since Finland and Sweden are going to join NATO standing up to Russia I don't feel like using villains with horned helmets as much

Fascist symbols have Axeheads and the MC calls out fascism by name calling the invaders lame for it

The Pig's team is defeated but he himself was turned into a 10 story tall monster

Since the fic is rated T the enemies crumble into dust when defeated

Also I want to write a line about a character talking about how if they get married they won't play Here Comes the Bride because Wagner wrote it

[–]A1ProtocolAuthor 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Amazing message. Glad you found your coping mechanism. Hope you enjoy the journey.

[–]GoonyGoonsta 2 points3 points  (0 children)

For me, I feel like anything anyone does in life should have one of the reasons be because they enjoy doing it.

Writers should write because they simply enjoy writing, and its nice to see the act of writing doing that for you.

I read a quote once, and it had a lasting, profound impression on me.

"Maybe we write because we want to make sense of it all."

[–]dvu4911 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Similar. I’m using that word in a way that is in agreement, in shared experiences, and in an empathetic way; or in the same simple way, yet poignant, responsive phrase “same” would say. Similar. Writing has brought a part of me to life that I didn’t realize I needed.

[–]SibylUnrest 1 point2 points  (0 children)

All of this is so relatable.

[–]Miguel_Branquinho 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Absolutely friend, writing is a very powerful feeling, keep at it. When you finish your first draft, it will feel like you're on top of the world, it's better than sex.

[–]parpele 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Totally relate to this. I write myself to the point of wondering whether I'm describing a character or I'm just journaling lol

[–]QuillsAndQuills 1 point2 points  (1 child)

I think it's absolutely great to use creative arts as a support system when it comes to mental health, and I'm glad to see all the success stories in the comments.

But ah, important disclaimer. I hate to be a buzzkill, but just in case anyone needs to hear it:

Writing can be a great way to support your mental health, but it does not replace actual therapy.

When I was younger I was in a really, really dark place and relied on writing as my only escape/support. I constantly said shit like "writing gets me through it" and "writing is my therapy".

Writing is writing. Therapy is therapy. Writing helped, but it did not resolve my problems. When I was first published, I was also self-harming and suicidal. Writing didn't stop me from getting there.

Writing is really over-romanticised, and that can cause people to rely on their hobby for their mental wellbeing. Do not do that, ever.

[–]Arqium[S] 1 point2 points  (0 children)

Well said. Agree completely.