Writing for yourself


Lia Portillo Cantarero

Be the author of your own life, and write about what makes you feel the way that you do. Put yourself first, because you are the only one that knows what you deserve.

The stigma against writing has been instilled in us since we had our first major writing assignment in middle school. It’s become something people dread, so they generalize writing as an act of wasting time. In reality, not all writing can be as detrimental as it seems.

As the age of texting is our reality, we write about our feelings to friends or strangers almost every single day. Separating these two things may seem logical, but communicating through written text is the same thing as communicating with yourself while writing in a notebook.

While journaling seems to be a one-way ticket to dissect every part of your day, writing for yourself can be much more than that. For some people, writing has given them a voice and a space to portray their opinions. A place where everything that is said is between you and the rough pages of a notebook.

For me, journaling has transformed from a simple hobby to writing my feelings in a maze of poems. I get to express my voice and power through words that do not need to be said to understand the sentiment behind them.

Writing for yourself does not have to be elaborate or tedious. It can be a simple “I felt good today” or “I really don’t want to be here right now.” The point is not to become a prolific writer, but to help yourself become a better person.

Acknowledging the things that make you happy and the things that make you sad in a notebook can be good for your mental health. Journaling allows you to know who you are, and the things that drive you. It can allow you to self-reflect on the things that you can improve on.

Often, we worry about the way people will perceive us after we tell them what we do or what we think about a certain situation that has happened to us. We seek other people’s approval because we think that we need to; we need to feel validated or recognized by someone to make the things we do worth it.

We get caught up in this idea that people need to understand who we are, which makes us forget that we need to understand ourselves first. We put our means and mental health in the back of our minds like it’s something that can be handled later, but it cannot.

That is why an effective way to understand yourself can be achieved by writing to yourself. Verbal affirmations can be hard, so write them and read them.

As college students, we never take the time to reflect on the way that we feel. We are constantly going through the motions and neglecting the only thing that matters: ourselves.

So on your way to class, turn your phone on and open the notes app and just write something to keep you going through the day. Write messages to yourself or write poems to make you feel better.

The goal is not a definitive amount of words. It’s the impact that those words can help you to reflect on yourself.

Be the author of your own life, and write about what makes you feel the way that you do. Put yourself first, because you are the only one that knows what you deserve.