How to Unleash Your Inner Writer and Perfect Your Craft
Let Your Creativity Run Free
This guided journal designed for writers is one of my favorite ways to beat writer's block.
Why Do You Write?
Ask yourself, "why do I write?"
It is an important question if you desire a career in the writing industry.
Writing has tremendous energy, and if you find the answer to why you write, it can help you grow and write more clearly. The answer to the question doesn't matter, it only matters that you know what it is, because it will shape your writing.
Do you want to write for yourself as a form of catharsis? Do you want to write for others? Do you want to become a teller of stories or do you prefer that sticks to facts, figures and concrete information?
Pick up your journal and write down the question- "why do I write?" Jot down any answers that come to mind. No answer is wrong and no answer is right, yet everything you jot down matters!
Learning to Freeflow Write
Since you have your journal out, let's keep writing.
Below I have outlined a timed exercise to help you practice freeflow writing. This practice exercise is particularly great because you get to pick the amount of time allocated each time you practice.
It can be twenty minutes or an hour, it doesn't matter as long as you keep track of the time.The only things that matter include sticking to the time you pick and continuing to write until the time is up.
Practice Exercise for Freelow Writing:
1. Just start writing.
2. Keep your hand moving.
3. Don't cross out anything.
4. Don't focus on grammar and spelling.
5. Lose control.
6. Don't think.
7. If something scary or surprising comes up, just keep writing.
This is a great exercise to help you break through writer's block or to help you get going on something you have been meaning to write for awhile. Consider it meditation for your creative spirit.
Howard Jacobson, Professional Author, Discusses Writing Tips
Make Statements- Answer Questions
It may be unhelpful to always view the world as black and white, but sometimes it can be helpful when you are writing.
Black and white, concrete statements have a clear message, difficult to misconstrue. Making statements is practice in trusting your mind and learning to stand up for your thoughts.
If you ask questions or evoke them in your reader's mind through your writing, be sure to answer those questions in your writing as well. Don't ever assume that the writer is going to infer what you don't write down but think in your head.
Every thought, every detail, every underlying meaning that you want to get across must be articulated in a way that doesn't create confusion, unless you are aiming to create an abstract piece.
Airing on the side of being redundant isn't a bad idea, as redundancies can be corrected when you proofread, but if you choos to omit a detail you think is important, you may not remember that detail later on when editing. Even if you are not sure of something, express it as though you know yourself.
List of Topics for Writing Practice
Writer's block happens to us all. Sometimes we sit down with the intention of writing and find that we can't seem to put the pen to the page. A blank page can be intimidating, so here is a list of topics to help you get writing:
- "I remember when..."
- Your first memory
- The streets of your city
- Describe a color
- Write about your day
- What do you feel passionate about?
- How do you feel right now?
Keep a list of topics that help you break through writer's block in your journal so you can refer to it whenever you need it.
Be Descriptive with Your Writing
Don't tell the readers how to feel, show them. Writing is not psychology. We don't "talk" about feelings. Rather, we feel through our words and awaken feelings within the reader. Writing is a powerful gift that allows us to guide readers through the valley of sorrow or joy without having to mention those words in the first place.
When you write, stay in direct connection with your senses and what you are writing about. Be specific and make sure to describe things with great detail. Penetrate experiences but be careful to not become myopic.
We think of details as daily and mundane but this isn't true. Original details are only ordinary to those who cannot conceive their extra-ordinariness. Katagari Rushi said "it is very deep to have a cup of tea."
Don't Allow Yourself to Become Your Own Worst Enemy
The Action of the Sentence
Verbs are very important when you are writing. They are the energy of a sentence. Be aware of how you use them. Try this exercise:
- Fold a sheet of paper in half length-wise
- On the left side of the paper, write down ten nouns
- Turn the paper over and make a list of fifteen verbs
- Don't think, just write down the nouns and verbs
- Open the page so your nouns and verbs are both visible
- Make sentences using one noun and one verb from each list
The more awake you are to all aspects of language, the more vibrant your writing will become.
As someone who has tried and failed to write a novel, I know how difficult it is to tackle long pieces. This book includes many helpful suggestions that you can
Tackling Large Topics
You may get an urge one day to write about love, passion, guilt, or some other large topic.
With broad topics like these, it is easy to get philosophical or abstract with your writing. This can come across as long-winded and boring to your readers.
When you concentrate on a topic that is too general, it can be easy to get lost in translation.
Remember, the readers don't know what you are thinking, they only know what you are writing.
This is the reason why it is so important to bring in the reins a bit when you are writing something lengthy and concentrate on what you really want to say. For the most part, generalizations work best for short pieces, but cloud the message when applied in a long piece of writing.
Many writers find it helpful to outline what they want to write before they start writing anything. Break the topic down into its different aspects. Whether these turn into chapters or subheadings is up to you.
Approach each aspect one at a time and jot down every topic or idea you want to cover pertaining to the topic. This doesn't mean you need to include all of those ideas, but having something tangible to help you during the process can make a big difference.
After you are done brainstorming, go back and try to tie it all together in a cohesive manner.
Be specific in your writing to ensure you don't lose the reader and potentially ruin a fantastic concept because of a lack of focus.
Writer's Block? Go for a Walk
A Question for My Readers
Do you consider yourself a good writer?
Wise Words from a Writer - Stop Doubting Yourself
Do you want to be a successful writer? Let go of all doubt. Stop questioning whether you are talented enough or not.
Don't fear that you won't be successful, just pick up your journal and write. Don't ever let anyone make you think you should stop, including yourself.
Write and write and write.
For every one book that gets published, thousands go unpublished. That doesn't matter.
If you write something and it doesn't get a good reception, write something else. Just keep writing. Eventually, you will create something brilliant - but only if you stick to it, which requires the ability to relinquish yourself of the thought that you lack the ability.
Doubt leads to no place but pain and negativity.
Adopt a determination for your passion and a deep patience that knows you are doing the right thing.
Avoid the nagging voice of doubt and believe in yourself.
Just keep writing.
© 2014 Kathleen Odenthal