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”I write only because there is a voice within me that will not be still”- Sylvia Plath
Resting under a tree, looking at the distant horizon, water slowly passing by in the stream, mindsets off to some distant space, and hence from the realm of images, thoughts turn into a beautiful piece of art- An art of words. Creative writing sets sail the imagination of a creative mind beyond the plane of reality almost making this imagination a tangible truth.
But do you know what does it take to become a creative writer?
Is it just a curious mind? A defiant soul? An unwavering determination to pass through the not-so-good phases of writing? An inborn talent as a writer?
Let’s find out what makes a successful creative writer and unleash some amazing facts about creative writing.
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Let’s now plunge into some of the amazing facts about creative writing and give a push to the creativity within you-
Let your Imagination Run Wild
Yes, please do yourself a favour. Lower the voice of self-critic inside you and set wild in expressing your thoughts. There is no better way to know your areas of improvement and areas where you certainly hold the capacity of developing the strength of the content but by writing freely. Release the fear of judgement. Be open to feedback. Make sure you put forth your work for people to evaluate and help spot the areas which call for improvement.
We as writers can never cast off the shadow of self-doubt. We are certain to face times that engulf us with the weighty feeling of insecurity. We need to understand that creativity will always be exposed to vulnerability. Instead of making this not-so-comfortable part of your writing journey a burden, make it your friend. The little nudges of self-doubt only make us feel human and leave space for improvement.
The key is to keep writing and improve upon the skill every day.
Know your Timing
One of the very important tips is to keep your work in the shed until it is ready for the world to review. Getting out your writing too early in your writing process will only deepen the feeling of self-doubt further. When we expose our work when it is half-baked, we unnecessarily invite feedback that hampers the development of the writing process. Knowing the right time to show the piece of work for public review is crucial. Make sure you are comfortable getting your writing into the world.
Edit, Edit, Edit
Good editing can turn trash into gold.
“It is perfectly okay to write Garbage- As long as you edit brilliantly” – C.J Cherryh.
Every great writer has talked about editing. The point is to just write whether it is good or bad. You can always come back to edit. Editing exposes good writing from bad writing. It is good to have trash initial drafts to understand what makes great writing. Editing can turn a piece of garbage into a fantastic work.
Read a lot and Write a lot
”If you want to become a writer, you must do two things above others: Read a lot and write a lot”- Stephen King.
Writers are first Readers. A fervent reader who passionately indulges in works of the different writers is always in a better place to express.
You cannot become a writer without being a devoted reader. But reading just for the sake of reading doesn’t help. You must enjoy the process of reading. You must dive deep into the work to understand what makes a good book. Notice what shakes you as a reader. Understand the areas that call for your attention. Only when you have felt the emotions a good book triggers, you can write to generate the same emotions for your potential readers.
Constant reading will help you be in a space of writing freely and expressing clearly.
Just like reading, make it a habit to write every single day. Set your target and achieve it. Continuous writing helps sharpen your skill.
It isn’t about using Glorious Long Words
Most writers tend to clock their writing with long words to make it look more flourishing. But do you realize what it really does? It distances you from the readers. It isn’t about using glorious long words. It is about speaking your heart out, writing authentically, and connecting with the readers. Avoid using passive voice or complicating your writing. Complex long words only make your writing mediocre.
Imagination must have the Ability to Communicate
Remember reading Harry Potter and instantly getting transported to the world of Hogwarts. Every bit of the Harry Potter book creates clear images in the mind of the readers whether it is the Great Hall Halloween decoration or Rowling’s splendid introduction to a whole new array of food. You can literally visualize and feel the scenes described in the book.
Imagination that starts from the mind of the writer must reach the readers. Writing must have the ability to create clear images in the mind.
The right dose of description makes all the difference. The description shouldn’t be overly done or undone. Use well-chosen details that can throw light on every aspect of a potential scene.
Do not Strike for Perfection
Perfection only kills creativity. It is important to muddle through the phases of ambiguity, initial bad drafts to be able to know how to rise above the obstacles. Continuously applied mediocre ideas are better than never implemented perfect ideas. Perfection is a myth! Make it a habit to write regularly. Write anything and everything. You’ll eventually find yourself in a better place. You do not have to know everything at the beginning. Be comfortable with the learning process and make the best use of the information available at the moment.
Find your Voice
We tend to follow our favourite writers and imitate their writing styles. Imitation is good for beginners and is in fact a very important practice, but it eventually becomes a habit if we don’t try to find our voice. Our mind refuses to expand because exploring one’s voice isn’t an easy journey. But authenticity is important to stand out as a writer. Try to figure out what makes you unique, what you can do that nobody has done before. This task can be daunting but with practice, you’ll easily sail the sea of obstacles.
Writing is a slow process
You cannot certainly expect to wake up one day and find yourself master the skill of writing. It is a slow process. It takes a lot of hard work and determination to keep going. Some days will be better than others. It will be easy to write flawlessly on some days and in others, you will find yourselves stuck for words. It holds true for even the best of writers. So be kind to yourself and understand that it’s all-natural to feel stuck at times. It doesn’t define your ability. Writing is a lifetime learning process and it improves gradually with practice.
Overcome Writer’s Block
Who doesn’t face writer’s block or what it is called Colygraphia? Everyone struggles with it. “Writing about writer’s block is better than not writing at all”- Charles Bukowski. It happens to every writer. It is inevitable. Your writing has turned into mush and you want to throw yourself on the bed. You have no creativity left in your body. Whether you like it or not, it just happens.
Let’s look at some of the reasons that cause writer’s block –
Timing– Sometimes your ideas need to stew a little longer before it takes a tangible form in the paper. Sometimes bad writing is barred with circumstances or a deadline ahead. And sometimes bad writing just happens.
Fear– Some writers are just afraid to write because they fear they are not good enough or are not ready already for writing good stuff like the others. Fear is a major setback. Understand that every writer begins from different levels of writing, with unique set of strengths and difficulties. Good writing is only a product of numerous trials.
Perfectionism– The ideal picture of a perfect piece of writing strays you from even attempting to write down your ideas on paper. Unshackle perfectionism and just start writing.
Writer’s block pretty much includes all the points already discussed above.
How to Smash this Enemy?
Writer’s block may appear different to different writers. There is no precise answer to this question. Each time you face writer’s block, there can be any reason behind it. Every writer has their own way to overcome writer’s block.
What you can do is start hacking away. Start trying things. See what works the best for you. Nonetheless, the following tips might help you in overcoming the writer’s block-
1. Go for a walk: Walking helps release the creative juices.
2. Read a book: Pick any book and deeply emerge in it. You may have a change of mind once you’re out of it.
3. Develop a writing routine: Most writers maintain a writing routine to keep writer’s block at bay.
3. Listen to music: Music is one of the best ways to relax your mind and boost your creativity.
4. Make a cup of tea: Yes, make yourself a cup of tea or coffee.
5. Freewrite- Freewriting means to write with preset time without pause and no regard for grammar.
6. Call an old friend: Warm conversation with old friends also helps to relax your mind.
7. Do not focus to start at the beginning: It sometimes becomes very difficult to construct an introduction. Avoid starting writing from the beginning. Write from any part of the blog/ article that you feel can put you on your toes of writing with the flow.
Exercises to Boost your Creativity
1. Practice Stream Of Consciousness: Taken from the book “The Artist’s Way” by Julia Cameron, what she calls the “morning pages” is about just writing without pause to edit or think what you’re writing. She suggests doing it every morning. Stream of consciousness can extract great ideas and help overcome any subconscious writing blocks.
2. Keep a Writing Journal: Same as above, keeping a writing journal will help you dump all your thoughts on paper without the fear of judgement. Write anything that comes to your mind. One of the best ways to fill a writing journal is by describing your day. This little exercise will help to keep your writing stay sharp and in shape. Begin writing from the waking moment of your day and fill in your description in the most creative way possible. Something as simple as brushing your teeth can be written creatively.
3. Edit your old writing: Editing your old writing is a game-changer. The best way to analyze your writing is by getting back to your old writings and editing them. It almost feels like a paradigm shift to do so. You understand your writing patterns better and construct better sentences with better use of words.
4. Write a letter to your younger self: Do you wish you could say something to your younger self? Here’s your chance. Write a letter to your younger self taking any significant event. Offer advice or guidance you wish you had as a child.
5. Use Unique language– This exercise includes using creative words to describe a simple everyday situation. For example:
Instead of writing “I woke up too late”, you can write “I snoozed on”.
6. Practice Description: If you are someone who struggles with description. Choose a scenario of your choice and start describing it. The description helps the readers understand the surroundings of the characters. The goal is to show the characters as much as you can without mentioning them.
7. Describe with Emotion: If anything holds a book in its highest form is its ability to touch the five senses. Unlock your fictional world by describing these senses with minute details. Choose a sense and work on describing it in as much detail as possible. This will help you master the ability to trigger emotions in your readers and transport them into the world of characters.
8. Give voice to your characters: One of the best things to do in writing is giving voice to your characters. This is what brings the characters to life. Choose different emotional states and bring out the voices of your characters of how your character feels and interprets the emotions.
9. Make a summary: Well, this is also an excellent exercise. Pick your favourite book and make a summary. It is pretty much like writing a book review. This helps you engage in the story better and understand the plot. You can also make a summary of the favourite parts of the book. This will help understand the emotional state of the characters and practice words to describe it well.
10. Unique Plot – This is a part of the previous exercise. Pick a plot of your favourite book and try twisting it with your unique ideas. No doubt remakes are an accepted and appreciated form of creative writing. But nothing strikes a chord with the writers other than an original piece of work. Create your unique plot with your unique ideas.
11. Character Development – Characters are the heart and soul of creative writing. Readers despair to live parallel realities through the lives of the characters. Along with giving voices to your characters, give them an appearance and describe their surroundings. Your writing must hold the power to vividly show the journey of the character from the beginning to the end. This exercise will unlock your potential to describe characters with efficiency.
“Rome Wasn’t Built In A Day.” Writing is a slow process and requires a lot of patience and perseverance. Keep honing your skill. Include these writing practices in your daily habits to see the results.
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Q.1 Is a creative writing course beneficial?
Yes, joining a creative writing course gives you a chance to explore your creative potential, think creatively about the language, and practice the elements in writing prose and poetry. You learn from the firsthand experience of the trained writers about the dos and don’t of writing.
Q.2 Can you make money as a freelance writer?
Yes, you can make a good amount of money as a freelance writer.
Q.3 Can beginners join a creative writing course?
Yes. A creative writing course is great for beginners.
Q.4 Is creative writing a good career option?
Writing, in general, is a great career option. You can surely make a lifetime career as a writer.
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