How Writing Fiction Helps You Grow as a Person

You create a world.

Although my writing has fantasy elements, any fiction writer is in charge of making a map, populating it, and moving those people around on the map, so they interact in interesting ways. Every character will have a sliver of resemblance to a real person, even if it's the villain who seeks to destroy the earth. That evil lives somewhere deep in a true-life beating heart.

It's daunting to be in a dozen heads at once. 

You have to play out scenes in your mind to imagine how each of your characters would react in their voice and with their worldview. There is no greater exercise in empathy. Joanna Penn of has often said that she believes people who write dark novels are some of the healthiest people emotionally. I think she's right because you have to acknowledge the shadow elements of your own nature. In doing so, they aren't as scary.

You might realize you have a serious comma problem.

I use Grammarly to check my grammar. Not only do I forget half the needed commas, but I also overuse the word actually to a startling degree.

You're forced to find new ways to recharge your creative battery.

Inevitably, a writer will begin scraping the bottom of the idea barrel due to burn out, a crisis of confidence, or the dreaded block. Writing my first novel felt like I was standing in front of a cartoon merry go round and each of those obstacles was slapping me in the face again and again. Turns out, that's normal. I took up new hobbies, rediscovered old ones, and avoided words altogether for days until something sparked, and I returned to my fictional world.

You have to get over yourself. 

When I hit publish, there will be no parade down Main Street in my honor. Although it will mean one of my life's goals has been achieved, no one will care (except my husband, because he will not ever be asked to read another draft of that story). I will build a fan base organically, write more books, and eventually make some dollars. 

Getting over yourself relieves a heap of pressure.

When you figure out no one will bat an eyelash when you say, "I'm a writer," it's oddly comforting. To you, it's a huge part of your world, so you imagine horrible criticism, destroying your reputation, and other outlandish scenarios. If the book stinks, you can remove it from Amazon, and/or write a better book next time.

You start to see yourself as the protagonist (and sometimes the antagonist) in your own life.

Your life is a story that you are writing, full of turning points, dark nights of the soul, calls to adventure, tragedies, and happy endings.


  1. You will let us know when you hit publish, won't you? You write well, I'm intrigued, and I'm looking forward to reading that book!

    1. Of course I will be broadcasting loud and clear when I publish!!! And thanks for the kind words :)


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