Creative Writing 101: An Introduction

Interested in writing your own novel or short story? Fiction or non-fiction, the choice is yours. I will be sharing my favourite tips and exercises for creative writing in my blog. During my pregnancy I’ve finally found some extra time to do what I love – write! I’ve already sailed, through not always completely calm waters, far past the halfway mark. This has made me want to share what I’ve learnt so far in terms of exercises and tips to get your creativity in writing flowing. Writing will be my own little niche during this pregnancy and something I deeply recommend to all mum-to-be’s. It helps stimulate your mind and escape from the days that can easily all start floating together between doctor’s appointments, cutting down on caffeine, alcohol, chocolate and sushi.. Don’t get me started on the soft cheeses! 

Pregnancy is one of the most exciting and whirlwind-like times of our lives, where emotions and our own mind surprises us at what we do or how we react. These 9 months calls for an unusually active mine, whereas on the flip-side we walk around the house feeling like rotting carrots.

I always suggest having a particular pregnancy project on an in-definite deadline. Trying things you’ve always wanted to do is not just rewarding and inspirational when you end up surprising yourself, but keeping yourself occupied and focused can do wonders for those in-between-sluggish days. I’m not saying that every pregnant person will become the next J.K Rowling but I do believe that our minds at this stage in our lives can accomplish wonders. It would be a shame not to let it surprise us and give into our imagination whilst we have the chance.

  • Keep a Diary: If you don’t normally do this, don’t feel forced to write ‘Dear Diary’ every single night. Pick it up when you have something on your mind, even if you’re not sure what, and let that be your opening line: ‘I don’t know why I am feeling like this but right now I’m…’ or ‘My thoughts are all a blur, related/unrelated to my pregnancy but I seem to keep thinking about…’ Be as expressive as you wish, this is for your eyes only.

Tips: If you are interested in fictional writing you may be surprised at the reference of true emotions your diary can give you. It’s likely that otherwise, when it comes to writing similar feelings felt by your characters you can’t find the words.

I recommend going out and physically shopping for your diary. It can feel very therapeutic to get out of the house for a small purpose. Have a look around for a diary or notebook. It could be leather, fabric, printed, ruled lines, blank pages – anything that tickles your fancy. Write down whatever you feel like, and most importantly, Whenever you feel like it. Getting words down by hand is always a great way of collecting your thoughts, relieving stress or just escaping for a little while.

  • Start writing Stories: It’s not necessary to aim for a complete novel or book, unless you actually want to. Writing and dipping your toes into the world of authorship is something I suggest everyone to try at some point in your life. Again, even if it’s only for your own eyes.

If you love to write or are completely new to the experience you may very well know what it’s like to get stuck. Stuck for inspiration, stuck with characters, plots, scenes, dialogues… you name it. Know that you are not alone and by trying out these simple exercises you’ll find that you’re juices start flowing again. 

Not every exercise or tips may be related to what you are doing or have in mind for your own writing, but believe me, they all let you engage with a story and characters. This will help you do more than make decisions on your characters behalf; you will also see how each decision they make will open up a new fork in the road, sending them down a completely new path.

Don’t be afraid to let your characters out on a journey where you haven’t got every bit planned out, it will make it all the more rewarding as you’re able to discover more about them than you thought possible. 

If you’re interested in my writing exercises there’s an option to subscribe to my posts by clicking the button to follow this blog through your email. You can find it in the column to the right. I’d love to hear your thoughts and input so you’re more than welcome to post your them in the comment field!

– Jamie-Sofia, xo.

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