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Why creative writing is actually the coolest hobby

Sponsored by STABILO®

You hear the spiel year in, year out: “New year, new you.” ERM, we’re awesome already, thank you very much *hair swish*. However, the new year is a great excuse to pick up a shiny new hobby and, while we do love getting outdoors with our mates, it’s still pretty cold outside. With our betty book club running throughout the month, why not get your own creative juices flowing, just like the authors we love? Creative writing isn’t just a subject in your English Language class. Oh no. It’s so much better than you ever thought. Here’s why…

You’re the boss

When writing, you hold the pen (or tap the keys) and *you* choose what comes out. Most stories have a beginning, a middle and an end (and there are lots of theories about how these should happen), but essentially you can write whatever you fancy. As J K Rowling once said, “I just wrote what I wanted to write. I write what amuses me. It’s totally for myself. I never in my wildest dreams expected this popularity.” She wanted to kill off Hedwig and Sirius (RIP guys), so she did. We don’t mind J.K. – and thanks for asking but it’s just something in our eye.

There’s no right or wrong

Unlike the rules of football (offside, schmoffside), or the front loop/back loop skill of knitting, there is literally no right or wrong when it comes to creative writing ideas. You can write whatever comes to mind for the characters in your tale. And, if you don’t like it? Just try and try again until you do. You can do-over whenever you like, too. It’s not like having to unravel the whole blanket for one dropped stitch. Phew.

Your parents will approve

Unlike hanging out with that crush in Year 11, this is a hobby your parents will actually encourage. They’ll love the idea that you could be the next J.K. or Jacqueline Wilson. What they don’t know is that said crush in Year 11 is the inspo for the main character in the dramatic romance you’ve penned. Sneaky.

It’s a good form of escapism

If you’ve got stuff going on in your life that you’re worried about or if you’re just feeling a bit down, writing can be a great release. You can transport yourself into a totally different world and away from your problems for a bit. Sometimes, your worries may even come out in your writing. By doing this, perhaps you can come up with a solution and address any issues in a positive way through your creativity. However, don’t forget to confide in your nearest and dearest when you feel comfortable. They’re there to help you.

It can help us understand others

When creating characters in a story, we can make the absolute best people, or the absolute worst (President Snow, we’re looking at you). Whichever you choose, you’ve got to understand what motivates them and create a story around why they are the way they are. This translates into real life and can help us understand the reasons behind other people’s behaviours – this is called empathy. Tracey may be an absolute gossiping cow, but speak to her, and you may find out where her insecurities come from.

You can make something totally original…

… and that’s pretty damn cool. As Shakespeare wrote, “And as imagination bodies forth the forms of things unknown, the poet’s pen turns them to shapes and gives to airy nothing. A local habitation and a name.” Don’t worry about fast-tracking that GCSE in English Lit just yet though; the ol’ bard basically means you can turn nothing into something amazing. And what could be more satisfying than that?

So, how can I get started?

It’s simple. Grab the STABILO® be-You rollerball pen from your January bettybox, open your notebook, and get scribbling. Words, names, ideas; ANYTHING that comes to you. Just write it all down – don’t worry, the STABILO® pen is specifically designed to help handwriting for the lefties and righties, so it will be legible no matter how fast your ideas fall – and slowly but surely, themes and sentences will appear. Reading other people’s work will also help generate ideas, so get inspired by the #bettybookclub this month. Go girl, go!

It’s time you started celebrating your period, guys. Sign up to bettybox RN and get all your tampons and pads, beauty products, sweet treats and loads more cool stuff delivered to your door, every single month. We know. It’s totally awesome.

Image: Kate Borrill

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