It doesn’t have to be like that, however. There are many things you can do to get started with creative writing, as well as continue on with your creative writing project or goal.
- Write It Out: That doesn’t help much, but it’s the truth. One of the greatest pitfalls that those who set out on creative writing find is that they just can’t write. When you open up that new blank document on your computer and that bright white screen stares back at you, well, it can be intimidating to say the least. That’s why you have to shut off a certain area of your brain, and just let the thoughts flow. What this means is you have to choose a topic and start, but more importantly, continue to write about it.
- Fill It Up: Just fill up your page with words as they form in your mind. Don’t waste time going back to correct spellings or grammar mistakes. Don’t agonize over character names or specific facts. And especially don’t doubt yourself. When you stop your creative writing because you think you’re writing is rubbish, well, keep going anyways. If you can make a sentence you can make a paragraph, and if you can make a paragraph you can fill out a page. After that you’re off and running.
- Cut The Shit: What do I mean by this? It’s simple really: stop doubting yourself. You think William Faulkner or Truman Capote was a spot-on writer right from the get go? Well, think again! Plenty of creative writing is rubbish, and plenty of great writers produce prodigious amounts of it on a daily basis, so you have to cut through that shit when proofreading and editing, but you also have to cut through it when you’re writing. Never stop and say this isn’t any good. Keep going until you finish that idea. If you’re working on a topic and nothing is coming out, start writing about what you did that day. Just fill up a page. Get the words flowing, and the rest will begin to come.
- Make Ideas: Alright, you wrote it out and cut through the garbage, and now you’ve got a wonderful creative writing page all about your dull day. Congratulations, you’re writing! Now make some ideas. Whether you’re writing fiction or non-fiction, when you’re stuck, try these simple tricks that will get the ideas rolling:
- Find a picture: It should be someone you don’t know. Type people into Google and pick one. Don’t spend a lot of time on this.
- Choose a name: Any name is good, but the shorter and easier it is to write, the better. You’re not keeping it forever, after all.
- Give a Job: What does this person do? Think of something, perhaps something outrageous, or what you always wanted to do.
- Ask 3 Questions: Simple. Think of three questions. Start off with “do you like blue?” Very easy, and very easy to answer. Go from there.
- Answer 3 Questions: How does your person choose to answer these questions? What tone do they use? Are they serious or nonchalant? Crazy or critical? It will tell you a lot.
You’ve just created a character and began an interview with them. Would you like to continue this creative writing exercise and see where it goes, or get back to whatever it was you were trying to write? And does it matter? You’re writing, cutting through the shit, and making ideas. That’s what creative writing is all about.