Interested in creative writing and don’t know where to start? Looking for creative writing ideas for yourself or your kids? Here are 10 tips on creative writing from Olive O’Brien, children’s writer and creative writing tutor, to help kickstart your (or your kids’) writing!
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#1. Have a Writing Routine
The most important thing about being a writer is to write. Write every day. If you write half a page every day, you’ll have several written by the end of the week.
#2. Turn Off Screens
Some writers prefer to write early in the morning, others late at night. Experiment with different times to see what works for you. Turn off the internet and the TV. Sit down, lie down, stand up, whatever works for you, and write.
Observation is one of the most important skills you can learn as a writer. The people and activities around you can be fantastic inspiration for creative writing ideas for plots and characters.
Carry a notebook with you, something small that would fit into your pocket or bag. Write your observations down as soon as possible. If you don’t, chances are you’ll forget. If you don’t have a notebook with you, use your phone, your laptop, the back of a cereal box!
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#4. Keep a Diary
Keep a diary and write a summary of your day before you go to sleep. Your diary entries can include what happened on the outside, such as the events of the day, and also, the inside, as in the thoughts and emotions you experienced. A diary is a great way to keep up a writing routine.
#5. Free Writing
Do some short warming-up exercises. That’s writing exercises! It’s useful to just write anything for a while to open up your creative side. Let your imagination run free.
- Write about anything you like.
- Don’t pause for more than a couple of seconds.
- Don’t worry about spelling.
- Don’t cross something out.
- Don’t over-think.
- Just write. If you’re thinking, oh no, I don’t know what to write, you could write about this. It will help you exercise those writing muscles.
#6. Getting Stuck
If you find that you’re stuck on a particular piece, try something else. It could be a new story, poem or article. Whatever you do, keep writing.
#7. Leave Revisions to the End
Try and leave most revisions until the end of your first draft. Over-revising while you’re still writing can break flow and creativity.
Great writers are great readers. Use your local library. Libraries also have information on book clubs and writers’ groups. They can all be a fun way to not only connect with other writers and readers, but also get valuable feedback on your work.
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Think about setting up a blog. It’s another brilliant way to connect with like-minded people, to get some of your work out there (scary, I know!) and to establish a writing routine.
#10. Keep Going
You’ll have good days and bad days. If something doesn’t work out, try and view it as a learning experience that you can use the next time, not as a failure. The main thing is to persevere and keep writing. Best of luck with your writing journey!
Olive O’Brien is a children’s writer, creative writing tutor and editor based in Cork, Ireland.
Over to you now. Do you have any creative writing ideas that have worked for you? Share them with us in the comments below.