Each paragraph I write is like the unwrapping of a wonderful gift. Treat yourself with a present today and begin to write.

Most of us can recall a birthday or a holiday when we received the most incredible gift – One that was fun to play with, one that offered up a challenge from which you grew, one that provided relief from the stresses of life. Maybe it was a board game, perhaps a science kit, possibly a book that inspired you.

In many ways, writing is a gift – except it’s not one you give not to another but to yourself.

Writing delivers the pleasure of creating, of shaping something artistic. It is like a game that you play out and make choices as trying to reach an endpoint. In short, it’s fun.

Writing offers mental stimulation. You attempt to master the craft as outlined in guidebooks by masters of the profession, following their “instructions” to see if you also can build a “working model.”

Writing provides good therapy. Examining the stressors in one’s life and learning about oneself can help you work out inner demons, which is soothing and calming. It’s like reading a beloved book, which takes you to a place of comfort and joy.

Writing imparts a sense of accomplishment. Once you’ve filled a page with sentences or added a thousand words to your computer document, you point to something tangible, something measurable, that you’ve achieved. Like being the first to reach “Finish,” like hearing a radio broadcast from science kit circuits you’ve connected, like closing that book after spending the afternoon reading it, you feel a surge of self-pride.

Some psychologists say that giving a gift actually yields more pleasure than receiving one. If so, why not enjoy the benefits of both by giving yourself the gift of writing?