Writing is intensely personal, especially creative writing. Creative writing reveals the vulnerable soul of the writer and leaves it open to scrutiny from strangers. It takes courage to reveal yourself. A creative writing workshop can help you hone your craft with the help of other writers who understand and respect that vulnerability.
Creative Writing and Writing on Your Own Terms
Fiction and poetry depend on imagination. This kind of writing comes from the heart, which is why it leaves you vulnerable.
If you’re going to write creatively, do it your own way. Be true to yourself. There will be a price to pay, but hiding the truth will cost you more in the end. If you’re ever going to truly succeed, you have to do it as yourself.
Benefits of Creative Writing Workshops
Writing can be lonely, and you can also get in a rut without knowing it. A creative writing workshop or writer’s guild can give you the opportunity to share a work in progress, so you can see it from a reader’s perspective. It lets you explore the possibilities by sharing your writing with others who share your passion.
The Holistic Approach to Writer’s Block
Perhaps the best way to overcome writer’s block is to not write. Whether you choose to run errands, do household chores, go grocery shopping, or see a movie, you need to be distracted. Another approach is to do something soothing that you love. You might take a nap, do some creative cooking, listen to uplifting music, or even participate in some other artistic endeavor like painting, drawing, singing, sculpting, or playing a musical instrument. Keep your writing task safely tucked away in the back of your head, and keep a notepad next to you. Ideas might reveal themselves, and you don’t want to lose them.
Tips and Tricks for Freelancers
Make sure you’re able to focus on your writing. When motivation hits, be ready. Write the way that best suits you and your style whether it’s using a computer, typewriter, dictation, or by hand. Have all the supplies you need on hand. There’s nothing that will wreck your mood like running out of paper if you’re using a typewriter or writing by hand.
Controlling Your Environment
If music helps you sustain your mood, keep plenty of the kind you like handy. If you prefer silence, find a place away from all distractions. Does it help to have snacks when you write? If so, make sure they are nearby, so you don’t have to go hunting for something. Also, make sure you have plenty to drink. You don’t want to interrupt your train of thought because you’re thirsty.
Keeping a Journal
Journal-keeping is unique for the creative writer. You may write about events that occur in your life, but there are many other valuable things to record. Write about the unusual people you meet. Describe the different places you visit. Write down ideas that pop into your head, or write about your feelings. All of this material can be used when you write. Read through your journal when you need ideas.
Techniques That Work
Something has to drive your story. Do you have characters that are powerful enough to create a story? Do you have a compelling story that needs characters to make it happen? Do you have an exciting beginning, middle, or end that can carry the story? There are many things that can spark creativity. Understand what’s driving you, so you can keep it viable throughout the process.
The Process of Writing
You start with an idea. Create an outline if that helps you. You can use the outline to create a rough draft. Once you have a basic draft, you can fill in the bare spots to make it flow smoothly. The next step is the revision. Is everything consistent and in order?
The final step is editing. This is the time to bring in readers to see if they are hearing what you have to say. You will likely find yourself repeating the steps, sometimes even going back to the outline.
Having a structure doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice creativity. It’s like a skeleton. Without it, you have a formless mass. You need a beginning, middle, and end. Don’t fight it. Make it work for you. Rules are important, and once you know what they are, you can selectively break them to create something unique.
The Science of Writing a Compelling Novel
Writing a novel can seem impossible. The millions of novels that are available prove that isn’t true. There are things you can do to make it possible, and it doesn’t have to be difficult. A good story is probably going to be the driving force followed by the kinds of characters who are worth knowing. If you’ve never written a novel, you don’t have a personal technique. Learn about what successful novelists are doing, and pick a first step that is appealing. Whatever you do, remain consistent.
Six Essential Books All Aspiring Writers Should Read
The more you read, the better you will write. Here are some books that can help you with the writing process:
- The Art of Writing Fiction – Andrew Cowan
- On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft – Stephen King
- The War of Art – Steven Pressfield
- The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity – Julia Cameron
- Zen in the Art of Writing – Ray Bradbury
- Ernest Hemingway on Writing – edited by Larry W. Phillips
You might write a book and never sell it. What is certain is that if you don’t write it, you’ll never have anything to sell. A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step, and your first work begins with your first word. There’s no time like now to begin. If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact Michele Campanelli.