Creative Writing 101

My all-time favorite creative activity is creative writing. I love expressing ideas in words and when—after lenghty hours of moving those words around ;-)—it eventually sounds good.

I love writing. And I’m one of those writers who needs writing as much as breathing. And yet, I find that Thomas Mann was right when he said that …

A writer is someone for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.

This category is for people like myself who seek inspiration and want to improve their style, to collect helpful writing/creativity techniques, discuss ideas and thoughts about writing, and share my experiences as a somewhat ambitious hobby writer.

What is creative writing?

In creative writing courses, the focus is mostly on fiction writing. In fact, however, any writing that is not done for professional purposes (e.g. business correspondence) can be called creative writing. This includes fiction as well as non-fiction.

Where business writing is usually motivated by the desire to earn money and/or to communicate information, the purpose of creative writing is first and foremost:

a) keeping a record for ourselves,

b) sharing experiences with others, and/or

c) expressing ourselves in writing

When writing only for ourselves, it is often more a vent of emotions, ideas, and thoughts that we want to get out of our heads or that we’d like to capture. This writing can be organized or erratic/chaotic since it has to please no-one but us.

If we want our writing to be read, we might be a bit more careful how much we reveal about our inner self, and we will take the reader into consideration by making an effort at correct spelling, coherent sentences, structure, and making the content interesting to others.

Typical forms of creative writing are fiction stories, diaries, journals, blogs, 😉 notes, letters to the editor, lyrics, poems, zines, essays etc.

Why does it rule?

I love creative writing for several reasons.

1) It helps me to get my thoughts straight when I’m pondering a problem, have to make a decision or am working on a project.

2) You can document current thoughts or events. Memory is so fleeting and we easily forget things. It really helps to write things down that we do not want to forget.

3) I’m with Sharon O’Brien who notes: “Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn’t wait to get to work in the morning: I wanted to know what I was going to say.” It is really amazing how much you actually find you know and have to say about a topic if you only sit down and write about it.

4) On the other hand, dealing with a topic so thoroughly as to be able to write about it also shows you what you don’t know about the topic and where you have to dig a little deeper.

5) I find that it is a good way of expressing myself. I can be myself, but it also gives me the possibility to grow.

6) You learn so much about yourself when you are writing. Even if you don’t write everything down or cross it out again because you feel it is too personal to be read by others.

7) It is fun. Period. 🙂

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