Staring down a blank page? Getting your creativity flowing is often the most difficult part of the entire writing process. It can be so daunting for some would-be writers that they give up entirely! So what can you do to avoid that spiral of creative mishaps? Try out one of the following tried-and-true creative writing exercises – you might be surprised how much they can help!
Use a Writing Prompt
Many times, the problem for writers is thinking up a topic to focus on. You may know what type of story you want to write, but not the details. Other times, you might not even be that far. In this case, many writers use writing prompts.
Using prompts is one of the most common creative writing exercises because it gives you the bare bones of an idea to simply get you started, and you can take that idea in any direction that you wish. This eliminates that blank-page problem that can be so intimidating. Writer’s Digest has some great prompts to explore!
Keep a Journal
Keeping a journal is another one of the best creative writing exercises to try! When you have a journal, it can motivate you to write every day, without any pressure about the content of that writing. When you’re comfortable recording your thoughts and feelings on a daily basis, transitioning those into plotlines or dialogue can seem far easier. If you don’t have much experience with a journal, don’t worry too much – there is no right or wrong method. Just sit down daily and write whatever comes to mind, and keep your observations honest and personal.
Expand On Your Own Experience
There’s a good reason the old writing cliche of “writing what you know” is always passed on to new writers. When you write what you know, you’re approaching the topic with plenty of experience, insight, and passion. You can then expand those experiences into creative works simply by ramping them up in your imagination. When you go on vacation, for example, imagine possible scenarios of what could happen along the way. Or, imagine the worst case scenario and how you would survive it. Apply these expansive thoughts to your experiences and you may come away with tons of potential story ideas!
Change a Story
Another way to get yourself in the creative mindset is to think about stories that you love and then figure out how you would change them for the better. How could you change the ending of a great story to make it even more memorable? What characters could you add to a story to give it comic relief? What changes could you make to classic novels to make them more relatable to modern audiences?
Some writers like to start with a story and make subtle changes to see how they affect the outcome. You could also make changes to it until it is unrecognizable from the original story! This is one of the creative writing exercises that can lead to a completely original story. Keep on writing, and you never know what you’ll come up with next.
Photo by Roco Julie