The benefits of writing workshops

Writing prompt: “Describe the tooth fairy’s first day of training.”

Writing workshops are the best. They exercise the imagination. And they’re even more fun when you have the opportunity to present them to individuals who typically don’t consider themselves either imaginative or writers.

I had the opportunity to hold such a workshop at a senior community this week. About twelve individuals attended and while not all of them participated, they all seemed to enjoy themselves.

We wrote responses to two prompts. The first one’s the headline. I learned a lot. One of the writers indicated that the person applying for the position of Tooth Fairy would have to be a night owl. That makes sense. And another individual indicated a love of children was mandatory.

The responses, though, are far less important than the act of thinking of the prompt. A good writing prompt, in my opinion, jolts you out of your comfort zone and requires you to consider conditions you normally wouldn’t encounter.  How often do you think about a tooth fairy in training? And for older individuals creative writing can help keep dementia at bay.

But you don’t need to be a senior citizen to enjoy the benefits of creative writing. According to, anyone at any age can profit from the activity in a number of ways.

In addition to the boost in mental health, writing gives you a chance to discover your own voice. If you create characters, you give them their own personality and opinions, which can be a reflection of your own thoughts. Sometimes it’s easier to say what you really feel through a fictional person.

Writing also helps you clarify your thoughts and even your emotions. Detailing what your characters are doing, even the mundane activities of sitting, or running a hand through their hair, makes you slow down and think about the action.

But perhaps the most amazing benefit is that of empathy. When you put a character in a situation, you’re forced to live through it with them.

And that’s exactly the participants did in my workshop when one decided a tooth fairy needed to be a night owl and another knew the position required a love of children.

Have you written anything today?

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