Creative Writing

Long and Short Letters

This tip is mainly for non-fiction writers—even though fiction writers should also have an eye on this particular point: brevity and clarity. If you write something—anything—that you would like others to read, always have the reader in mind and give some thought to how you say it. Here is why:

I didn’t have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead. (Mark Twain)

Indeed, this quote sounds a bit weird at first. How can it take longer to write a short letter than to write a long one? But this is so painfully true.

A skill that many people lack is to explain an idea in few, clear words that people can actually understand. This is particularly true for scholars, as well as politicians and lawyers, although with the latter two I often think it’s intentional.

It requires less thought to just go on and on and on but actually say very little. On the other hand, it requires a lot of thought to extract the most important points and express them shortly and to the point. Continue reading

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Free writing

What is free writing?

A handy and very popular creative technique is free writing. It is very easy: You take a pen and a piece of paper or open up a page on your computer—whichever you prefer—and start writing. Just write down anything that comes to your mind. Write quickly. Do not pause to think. Pay no attention to correct grammar or spelling. Do not go back to read what you have written. Just continue writing.

Basically, free writing can be three things: 1) a brainstorming technique (only that you use a full text instead of just key words), 2) a cathartic output of whatever is on your mind, and 3) a catalyst for creative energies that can get you started for the real deal. Continue reading

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Being a Writer

What makes a person a writer? Answering this question should be easy, right? We all know what a writer is. But do we really?

I’m not so sure anymore. I have always thought of myself as a writer. But I know that many people would disagree with me because they apply other criteria. Continue reading

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The Writer’s Notebook

Next to writing materials, a writer’s most important tool is the writer’s notebook.

It helps you with your writing. It is a lot of fun. And it can even enrich your whole life…

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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.
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