Creative writing can be a valuable activity for teens whether or not they consider themselves “writers.” Research shows that creative writing not only boosts academic performance and professional success, but enhances self-expression, benefits mental health, and fosters confidence and creativity. Here’s how:
Improving Academic Performance and Professional Readiness
Writing regularly can help teens improve literacy skills critical to academic and professional pursuits while allowing them freedom and choice not always promoted in traditional academic writing, such as literary analysis.
By engaging in creative writing and practices such as peer review at Write the World, teens develop critical thinking skills that help them analyze and evaluate their own writing and the writing of others. This improves their ability to recognize complex ideas and make informed decisions while better communicating their own thoughts and opinions with an intended audience—skills that are transferable in professional contexts beyond the classroom.
Lowering Stress and Supporting Mental Health
Sharing their writing with others can help teens build confidence in their abilities and develop a sense of pride in their work. This can also apply to things such as public speaking or leadership roles.
Writing can additionally be a form of stress relief, an important part of allowing teens to process their emotions in a safe and constructive way. This reduces feelings of anxiety and depression, and leads to improved mental and physical well-being. This is especially crucial in light of recent data revealing a mental health crisis among adolescents; in 2021, the World Health Organization estimated that one in seven teens worldwide experience a mental health condition. “More than a third (37%) of high school students reported they experienced poor mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, and 44% reported they persistently felt sad or hopeless during the past year,” according to the Center for Disease Control (2021), underscoring a persistent and worsening problem.
Teens can also engage inself-reflection through writing, allowing them to explore their thoughts and emotions in a safe and constructive way. This can help them develop a deeper understanding of themselves and their experiences, fostering identity development and equipping them with a tool for managing challenging thoughts and feelings—and better articulating those thoughts and feelings with others.
From journaling, to poetry that captures lived experience, to fiction inspired by real-world conflicts, creative writing offers many ways for teens to channel their emotions and explore their inner and outer worlds.
Fostering Creativity, Imagination, and Innovation
Creative writing exercises are a wonderful way to stimulate the imagination and help teens think outside the box. This can increase their ingenuity and lead to new ideas and perspectives, especially when supported by authentic exchanges with readers. Peer review and publication are social learning opportunities that lead to greater awareness of self and others.
Overall, creative writing can provide a multitude of benefits for teens’ personal development and academic growth, no matter which genre they explore.
If you are looking to enhance your writing skills and connect with like-minded peers, why not join our virtual writing camps this summer? With a variety of genres to choose from, there is something for everyone to enjoy in these exciting week-long camps, taking place June to August!