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What Is Creative Writing?

Creative writing is a lot of things. It can be a simple poem or short story that you craft for yourself. It can be expository writing (creating a storyline from your imagination). It can be a play you write for yourself or for a friend. Or, it can be a novel you write completely from scratch. The sky is the limit.

Whatever you may write, you must write creatively. For some people, this can be easy. They may already have an idea for a story and just need to flesh it out. For others, it can be a little more challenging. Maybe you have an idea for a poem, but you lack the technical ability to craft the perfect verse. Or, perhaps you have an idea for an expository piece, but you struggle with finding the right words for the idea.

If you lack the ability to be creative, that is absolutely fine. You do not have to be a creative writer to enjoy writing. What you do need is an idea. An idea for a story, a poem, or an article. Something that you can build upon and make your own. Without that, you will never be able to craft creative writing. Even if you have the best idea in the world, you will not be able to write creative writing if you do not know how to put your idea into words.

Why Is Creative Writing Important?

If you ask most people what is the difference between creative and non-creative writing, you will get different answers. For some, it is the process that you use to get the story or poem or play written. For others, it is the product that you create. Either way, the key is that you must be creative. Otherwise, you are just writing algorithms. Algorithms are the set of instructions that you follow to get a specific result. In this case, the result would be a tedious essay that barely has any literary value at all. Or, a play that is just an endless string of uneventful scenes. Not exactly Shakespeare, right?

As we mentioned above, the sky is the limit when it comes to the types of writing you can do with creative writing. Meaning, you can take on any subject you want and explore it in depth through the use of literature. Plus, you get to decide what the theme or topic of your story is. What is more, you can write it in any style you choose. Be it, a realistic portrayal of a character or an over-the-top fantastical story. Basically, it is limitless possibilities.

How Do I Start Creative Writing?

If you want to start creative writing, all you need is an idea. No, not just any idea. An organic, creative idea that came from somewhere inside you. It should not be something that you simply pulled out of thin air. Especially not something that you think will make for a good story. That is what led to the demise of many a promising writer. A couple of good ideas that they thought would make excellent stories. And, voila, they ended up being utterly terrible stories. Because, you know, they did not come from somewhere deep inside them. They came from…well…not exactly from nowhere. But they were not fully formed either.

If you want to start writing creatively, the first step is to find a notebook or a journal and start jotting down your ideas. No need to keep them private. This is your writing workshop. Your notebook is your writing partner. You can be as candid as you want. It will only help you develop your ideas and make your writing more authentic. (Plus, you can refer to earlier entries to flesh out scenes or add more details about the characters.)

As a writer, you should only be writing what you feel is important to your creative process. That is the only way you will make valuable progress in your writing. If you have an idea for a short story about a time when you were younger, you may decide that you want to write it. But if you do not feel that you can connect with the topic, you should not force it. Find the equivalent in your own life and use that as your starting point. Be a little selfish and think of what you need. Because, ultimately, that is what this is all about. You. And what is important to you. What do you need to make you happy?

How Do I Keep Creative Writing Going?

Once you have started, how do you keep going? That is a great question. And, it is not one that you can easily answer. For some, it can be tough. Especially if you are not used to putting in the required hours. It can be tiring chasing down the inevitable story that pops up in your head. Especially now that you seem to be possessed of a perpetual storyteller’s muse. The daily grind of a normal job will certainly take its toll. But, for those that can keep at it, they can reap the benefits of a more relaxed mind and a relaxed body. A less stressed out, happier writer. This is important to keep in mind. Because, while normal jobs can be incredibly beneficial, they can also be incredibly draining. Especially if you are not used to putting in the required hours. (Now, if you can find a way to make your job feel like a benefit to you, who knows…you may just end up loving your job.)

How much time do you spend on creative writing? That is a common question. Many writers will happily tell you that a typical day is filled with random thoughts and fragments of ideas. Some will even say that they spend most of their time day dreaming or coming up with ideas. So, you may find that your days are filled with creative writing. Or that you spend some of your time in writing workshops or during breaks at work. This can vary. It can depend on your unique situation. But, as a general rule, you should not be doing anything else other than writing. (Unless, of course, you are editing your work. But that is a different matter.)

Some people can only write when their mind is completely free of distractions. So, it is not necessarily the case that you have to write when you are unoccupied. Especially, if you have other responsibilities in your life. Like family or friends or school. It is important that you set aside the necessary time to write. Even if it is only a couple of hours a day. Without that, you may end up finding yourself burnt out and frustrated. Which, in turn, will discourage you from continuing at all. Or, at least, writing in a way that is valuable. If it is not valuable, at least it will not be of much use to anyone else. Except, maybe, you. As a writer, the value of your work should not be in question. Especially not after putting in the necessary time and effort to create something valuable. So, make sure that you do not waste a single hour of the day. Especially the time that you could be spending doing something else. Like sleeping or eating or going for a walk. Or, reading a book. Or, just chilling out.

Do not hesitate to ask for help. Even if you think that you are capable of doing it all on your own. It is good to have somebody you can trust. Somebody who can provide you with an objective opinion. Even if it is just a friendly word to get you going. Or, if you are stuck and cannot seem to make headway, it can be incredibly helpful to ask for some assistance. (If it is not too much trouble, of course!) Even if you think that you can find the solution all on your own, there will always be somebody who has been there and can provide you with valuable insight into the process. (After all, nobody is an expert in every subject matter. Even the greatest experts sometimes find it difficult to find the right words for certain topics. Especially, if they have not written about it before. So, if you ever find that you are stumped for words, do not hesitate to ask for help. This is particularly important if you want to write something fantastical. Something that goes against the grain of what is commonly accepted as reality. If you go against the grain, you must make sure that your work contains sufficient evidence to back your claims up. Otherwise, it will surely remain a magnificent idea that was never realized. (Which, in turn, will make you feel like a total genius.)