“Creativity is just connecting things.” Like Steve Jobs said, creativity is just about putting things together. It is helping something come full circle and connecting the pieces of a puzzle. This might make the process of creativity sound rather simple, but most of us know that creativity is no easy feat; especially when it comes to writing. Creative writing, especially — a type of writing that is meant to be creative, has the tendency to slump you into a standoff between you and the writing block Gods. We feel your frustration, and have a number of online courses that will help you better tackle those creative writing hurdles. In the meantime, read on for some fun and creative suggestions to get your words flowing.
Why Creative Writing is Important
Before we get into some creative writing exercises, we are going to throw out reasons as to why creative writing can be so beneficial to you individually. This will help you put your mind in perspective and on the right track to turning your ideas into creative pieces of work.
- Imagination: You might think that a good imagination is only useful when you are a kid. After all, when you get older you cannot escape the real deal, right? Not necessarily. No matter what you are doing, a creative imagination helps you think outside of the box and can lead to wonderful ideas, short-cuts, and problem-solving skills. These are essential for any age, school, work, and even in relationships.
- Discipline: People might think writing is just for fun, like telling a bedtime story. But this is hard work, especially when you are translating your thoughts onto paper. Creative writing means being coherent, having a formula, an outline, and a goal in mind for your story. As a writer, you also need time management skills—all of which exercise your discipline.
- Persuasive Skills: Creative writing often means that you are trying to persuade your reader to do something or that something happened. These can help with overall skills and persuasive efforts by enabling you to see something from the inside out and act almost as a sales person for your writing.
- Therapy: This might be why most writers start writing. Some children, and even adults, have a hard time getting their messages across with words or speaking what is on their mind. Writing provides a creative and free-flowing outlet for them to express and see their thoughts before communicating them verbally.
Now that you know how important creative writing can be, hopefully this will make getting into the actual writing a bit easier for you. Try to start out with a no-pressure relaxing assignment; we know writing can be tough, but remember that it is a creative process, and all creativity takes time, patience, and perseverance.
- Free write: One of the best ways to get your thoughts and ideas out there is to free write. The great thing about free writing is that nearly any form of free writing can be creative because it involves your thought process, which is unique in itself. All you need to do is set yourself a time limit, a word (or page) limit, and start writing about whatever it is that comes to your mind first. Be creative, this time it will be easy!
We know you’re Ready!
After an exercise in free writing, you probably have enough going now as to where you are ready to start tackling those creative topics. It is always better to have choices, so here are some creative writing exercise ideas to consider. All of these choices incorporate scenarios that will help you reach way down to see how creative you can be.
- Decisions: A great topic to tackle is a moral dilemma. Think of a character and come up with a tough decision that he or she is going to have to make. Maybe she cannot decide whether or not to disobey her parents by moving across the country, or maybe your character just found out his younger brother steals dogs – what does he do? Things always get interesting when characters need to make decisions, and moral dilemmas are a great way to build on a story and character.
- Journey: A lot of great stories or movies have a journey involved. This can be an individual one or a group journey (the more the merrier)! A journey requires going somewhere, so first decide where your character or characters are going to go, and go from there. This will be a fun way to feel like you are experiencing something with the characters in your book as you direct them through the unknown.
- Superpowers: This is always fun; remember how popular “Captain Underpants” became? We are sure you can think of plenty of popular and captivating Superhero stories for any age. It is always fun to pretend you or a character has an inhuman ability. For this exercise, create a superpower and a character. Be sure you are clear on the superpower and what it can achieve, it is has any weakness, and how it is beneficial or harmful to humanity.
- Journalism: Journalism does not have to be without creativity. You can always put your own spin on things. Think of an event or an instance and report on it. Make it fun and turn it into something suspenseful, or something very lighthearted and heartwarming.
- Surprise! It is always fun finding something you never thought you had, even if it is just a crinkled $5 bill in your pant pocket. Start out this creative exercise by finding something that you did not know was there. This could be something in your attic, under your bed, or in your jeans pocket. Be creative, and remember that surprises can be anywhere and from anything.
- Overcoming: At one point in our lives, we have all overcome something that we might have felt was greater than ourselves. This could be anything from kicking a soda habit to daily physical therapy to heal a broken bone – we all have our stories! This time, create a character that is going through a plight that they need to overcome.
If you need an idea in creative writing and you feel inspired or curious about something, get into the habit of not texting, Instagraming, or Facebook posting your initial thought. Instead, write about it. This can be extremely freeing, rejuvenating, and helpful for your experience with creative writing. We know you have those ideas in you; it is just a matter of getting them out onto a blank page!