There are thousands, if not millions, of ideas out there waiting to be captured and written down– maybe by you!
Being a good creative writer doesn’t happen over night. It’s a skill, and you have to work at it. Here’s a few suggestions on how to be a better writer, and then a whole pile of links and prompts that might be attractive if the idea of staring at a blank piece of paper and making a story with nothing to start with makes you cross-eyed with dread.
Everyone has a story to tell. The trick is finding yours, and communicating it with all of the beauty and precision that you want for it.
Sometimes all you need is a little light, so here’s my box of matches…
Start small, build up the skills and the momentum to write great things…
- Challenge yourself to write every day. It doesn’t have to be a lot. It can be an email, a post-it note reminding you to do something, or even just something funny you heard someone say at lunch.
- Take a couple of minutes and stare at a wall. Yes. Stare at a wall. You will look weird. It’s okay: you’re a writer now, and writers do weird things. While you’re staring at this fabulous wall, let your mind wander. Think about your day. Think about people. Think about things you don’t understand. Just give yourself a couple of minutes to mentally sail to the moon and back. Good writers should also be good thinkers. Sometimes the best way to become a better thinker is just giving yourself the moment to breathe, and to think. If nothing else, you’ve given yourself a nice break. Go you. 🙂
- Read. Read a lot. Read so much it’s ridiculous. Read lots of different things. The more you learn about what you’re interested in, and about the world, and the more you expose yourself to what other writers have created, the more tools you have to draw on as a writer. Tools are good. They’re for making things. Get lots of tools. Remember to read a crappy book every so often– this is to remind you what NOT to do. Knowing what you DISLIKE is just as important as knowing what you like.
- Grow a thick skin. Criticism is a part of creative writing. Your characters are your babies. Those who insult them shall be flayed alive! Burned at the stake! — This is the mentality you need to get over in order to be a better writer. When people give you constructive, or even negative, feedback, try to ask yourself “Why are they telling me this, and how can I make my writing better?” Rather than “KILL! MUST MAIM! IMMOLATION IS IMMINENT! DEATH!” Yes, sometimes feedback hurts, but understand that no piece of writing is perfect. Ever. Be open to feedback. Be open to making revisions and corrections. Be open to changing, and possibly even completely rewriting– if that’s what you need to do in order to make your story better. Sometimes this is the hardest part. If you can do this, you’re doing great.
Communities For Writers:
- Creative Writing Group on Flickr – People of all ages, all around the world, writing and sharing. Lots of photos to look at for inspiration.
- Poetry and Pictures International on Flickr – Lots of people posting their writing in the descriptions under their images. Combining pictures and poetry for a really interesting effect. Might be a good place to share some of your own work! For 18+
Prompts and Such:
- Creative Writing Prompts.com – Almost enough prompts to give you one every day for a year. That ought to keep you busy.
- Writer’s Digest Writing Prompts – These are potentially brilliant, and you can post them right on the website. Pretty neat– I’d definitely give these a try.
- Squidoo Daily Writing Prompt – You can sign up to have a writing prompt emailed to you. Daily. New prompt, every day. Yay! Perfect for the lazy writer (and there’s nothing wrong with being a little lazy.)
- Prompt Generator – Springhole is a great website to help you get started with a variety of different genre, plot, and story prompts. Just click again if you want a new prompt!
- Warren-Wilson Writing Prompts – A little short list. Some of them could be interesting to play with.
…I’ll add more when I find them.