Why is that?
Because we write about the hard things of life. We write about the things that haunt others' souls. We write about our pain, share our torment. We write about the worst experiences of our lives.
Why Write About Your Worst Experiences?
Writing about hard things is powerful and has more benefits than you may realize. Here are three reasons you should write about the worst experiences of your life.
1. Writing About Your Worst Experiences Heals
I've read numerous articles recently that have explained how beneficial writing is for one's health. It has been shown that writing can help even physical injuries heal.
Research also shows that blogging is good for mental health. When a person writes, they process events around them in a healthier way, which reduces stress.
I've found this to be true in my own experience as a writer. As I write my own memoir, I have been amazed at the healing I've found from past hurts.
Basically, writing is really cheap therapy. Through blogging and personal journaling we are able to process situations in a healthy way that brings about a lot of healing.
I have found that this applies to fiction as well as nonfiction or personal writing. Even as we write fictional stories, so often we find pieces of ourselves amidst our own characters, and through writing about their experiences, we are able to process our own.
2. Easy Stories are Boring
Have you ever wondered why fairy tales end with, “and they lived happily ever after,” but rarely actually depict the happily ever after. That's because the happy, bird-chirping, charmed life isn't what people want to read.
We want to read about the struggle, the climax, and the solution.
Kid President says it himself: “Easy is boring. Anyone can be boring.”
Your worst experiences are the events that can most powerfully engage your audience and compel them to keep reading.
3. Writing About Your Worst Experiences Creates Credibility With Your Readers
Something that I've learned through writing about hard things on my blog is that it creates credibility and authority with my readers. When we are willing to share the hard things, we gain trust. Just like in a face-to-face relationship, building trust with readers often requires vulnerability.
When you share personal and even painful things, you create a bridge between you and your readers. And in turn, they are more likely to subscribe to your blog, buy your book, or tell a friend about what they read.
For example, books such as The Perks of Being a Wallflower and The Fault in Our Stars are based on true, hard stories. They are bestsellers because readers can relate to feeling left out or witnessing friends and loved ones dying. These books put words to the pain readers are already feeling and help them feel understood.
When you write with honesty and vulnerability about the hardest things in your life, you have the power to inspire others. You inspire them to overcome their fears, and you help them know that they are not alone in their dark night of the soul.
The Key to Writing About Hard Experiences
I've had a lot of practice over the last few months writing about my worst experiences as I've written my memoir and confessed a few secrets on my personal blog.
The most important tip I have on how to write hard things is this: Remember hope.
Hope is the feeling of expectation that there is something better around the corner. Hope is what keeps us turning pages and scrolling down. Hope is the answer your readers are searching for.
Write about your worst experiences, but don't end in the middle of the pain. Remember to hint at the sun behind the cloud or the hero around the corner.
Your reader needs this, and so do you.
Why do you write hard things? What can you write that will inspire someone today? Tell me in the comments below.
Take fifteen minutes to write about a hard, painful experience. You can use a personal story or a fictional one. Remember the hope with which you want to inspire your readers.
When you're done, practice being vulnerable by sharing your writing in the comments below, then leave feedback for your fellow writers.