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A Bit More Alive

I started writing as a way to escape. I created my own world in which to live, separate from the strain and stress of reality. Then - years later- I found out reading is scientifically proven to be beneficial to the mind not only for knowledge but also for health.

Of course reading is mentally stimulating and will increase your vocabulary and cognitive functions but it also reduces stress, deepens empathetic tendencies, helps with depression, serves as a re-energizer, and even decreases your chances of developing Alzheimer’s disease later in life. Reading is the ultimate combination of essential and superfluous. Diving into make-believe worlds filled with grand adventures and whirlwinds of romance may seem silly, may even seem like a waste of time, but knowing how the dance of words across crisp pages makes me feel, and then adding that to the scientific backing for cracking open a book, I will never again doubt the power an author wields.

My mom once said to me, when I was feeling very discouraged about not being able to find a publisher, that I should be proud of myself. She said to me, “You wrote a book. Even if you never get published, you still wrote a book. That’s not something very many people can say. It’s a huge accomplishment, and you should be proud.” And that has stuck with me. It has put a smile on my lips on many a day when writer’s block or production issues would have otherwise brought me down. And so I want to pass that on to you.

Reading is powerful. Reading is good for the heart, mind, body, and soul. If you - brave, beautiful, creative spirit that you are - can manage to put words on paper, tell a story, spin a tale, or even write a poem or a paragraph, good for you. Be proud. And know that when someone reads your work, even if it’s just a friend and your work never makes its way into the hands of a commercial reader or reviewers, know that you have accomplished something wonderful, and enriched the life of who ever you choose to share it with.

If you love to read, read. Don’t ever, ever give yourself a hard time for “wasting time” with your nose buried in a book. And if you love to write, write. Even if it’s “bad”, even if you don’t think you’ll even be published; if writing gives you a rush, brightens your mood, makes you feel that tiny bit more alive, do it. Do it for your health. Do it for your happiness. Do it for the chance you’ll one day have a reader who will also be that bit healthier and happier because of you.

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