We Can All Be Better Writers
We aren’t all born to be perfect writers, but I believe we all have the ability to write. One of the best ways to cultivate that writer in all of us is to practice. Thankfully, I took creative writing courses in college. That opportunity has taught me a number of exercises to help flex and strengthen my writing ability. I want to share some of those exercises with you all:
Using a Writing Prompt Generator
This is one of the first exercises I learned and probably one of the most commonly suggested. One of the best ways to practice writing is to diversify your writing. By writing on unique prompts, you’ll flex that creative muscle and write about things you may not have otherwise. Furthermore, because this is such a common exercise, there are plenty of online generators out there to choose from. If you can’t find a website that suits your tastes, there are a number of Twitter accounts out there that tweet out daily writing prompts. Whichever option you choose, this is a tried and true method to practice your creative writing.
Stream of Consciousness Writing
Sometimes the best thing for your writing is to write with no restrictions. Sit down, pull out a pen, and start writing the first things that come to mind. It doesn’t have to make any sense, it doesn’t have to be grammatically correct, the words just need to flow. How does this help with creative writing? It helps clear the mind. It allows all of the junk to just fall out of your brain onto a sheet of paper. Often times, we find ourselves too caught up in our own minds to write what we really want to. Thus, stream of consciousness writing is there to clear out any of those restrictive thoughts or feelings and get you back on the path of constructive writing.
Now, you may think stream of consciousness writing is a waste of your writing time. While it does take up a bit of time, the gift it gives your creative mind is worth it. Furthermore, stream of consciousness writing, since it is completely unrestricted allows those more outlandish ideas to come out. While you may not have thought about something during your “productive” writing time, perhaps it spewed forth during your stream of consciousness. This type of writing can produce a variety of new ideas to explore once you’ve cleared your mind and can settle down for some of your more focused writing time.
Go Somewhere New
Not everyone, of course, can travel too far out of their city or town. However, that isn’t a problem! You can very easily just switch out which room you write in. All that matters is that you go elsewhere, switch up your surroundings, and once you’ve settled in to write, write about said surroundings. Depending on what genre you typically write in, you may have to do a lot of world-building. One great way to practice creative writing is to practice describing your surroundings.
Write About Your Past
One piece of advice that you will inevitably hear in the writing community is “write what you know.” This way of practicing your creative writing plays into that piece of advice. Write about a moment in your past, no matter how insignificant. Depending on how long ago it was, this is also a good way to practice your ability to write character’s of different ages.
Keep a Dream Journal
A great way to flex those creative writing muscles is to write about what is on your uninhibited mind. Keep a journal on your bedside table. After a night of active dreaming, wake up, and try to describe what you dreamed. Trying to make sense of what the different elements of a dream could mean can be a great way to exercise your creative mind.
Keep a Journal
If you aren’t someone that dreams very often, or even if you do dream, keeping a journal of any kind is a great way to practice your creative writing skills. Anytime you write, you are practicing your writing skills. So keep a journal and write in it as frequently as possible. It’s a different form of writing than most people will do as a writer (especially a fiction writer), so it’ll help break up the monotony of fiction writing, but it will generally get you in the habit of writing all the time.
These are just a few of the ways you can exercise your creative writing muscles. What do you think? Have you tried any of these before? Let me know, and comment below. Thank you for reading!