7 Tips For Getting Yourself Back Into Creative Writing

7 Tips For Getting Yourself Back Into Creative Writing

Need help getting those creative juices flowing?
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If you're into any kind of creative writing – whether it be poetry, novels, short stories, screenplays, or creative nonfiction that you write – it can be hard to begin again after a hiatus of not writing anything. For me, this hiatus has been almost three years. My last piece of creative writing was a short story written in 2013. So, needless to say, I was a little nervous coming into this semester when I remembered that I chose to take a Creative Writing: Fiction class.

Writing is like working a muscle; even if you haven't used it in a while, all it takes is a little exercising every day to whip it back into shape. Here are some tips I've gathered from my own experience from other writer and books about writing creatively to getting that muscle working smoothly again.

1. Free-write

If you've done any kind of writing in a classroom setting before, you've probably heard this one and done it more times than you can count. But in case you haven't, free-writing is when you sit down with a pen and paper and write literally anything that comes to mind. There are no limits. If you're hungry, write about how hungry you are. Eventually, your free-writing session will turn into a description of your favorite foods. If you're nervous, write what you're nervous about. This exercise can be challenging because it requires you to turn off the critic in your brain, but the result is that you will be getting used to writing in your own voice again.

2. Keep a journal

Now this is something like free-writing because you can write about whatever you want in your journal. Pick a notebook that you'll want to write in – one that you like the look of and that you feel most fits you. Set aside some time each day to write a journal entry. You can write about your day, what you're into at the moment, what emotions you're feeling, etc. The only key to keeping a journal is to do it regularly. This is to get yourself used to making yourself write.

3. Listen to music

This one is simple! Put on your headphones and find a playlist that fits the mood you're in. You can do it while you free-write or journal, while you're thinking of ideas, or while you're doing anything but those things. Music will help you clear your mind and open up some space for creativity.

4. Doodle

Some writers draw when they need some inspiration, but if you're not so talented in the drawing department like me – try some quick doodling. There's no need to put pressure on yourself to draw something worthy of the Sistine Chapel; this is just to free your mind if listening to music doesn't do it for you.

5. Do some writing exercises

This can be fun and/or challenging for any writers looking for inspiration. Google writing exercises and you will find websites, such as this one, that give you random prompts to get the creative juices flowing. For example, one might be to write about two people meeting for the first time. It doesn't matter who they are or what they're doing – that is all up to you. As soon as you write the first line, the rest will fall into place. Writing exercises are like the warm-up stretch before you workout. It may even lead you to an idea for a story!

6. Do a character study

Speaking of writing exercises – if you have a vague idea of a character in mind, do a character study to develop him more. A character study involves writing down basic information about a character (age, appearance, likes, dislikes, etc.), his strengths and weaknesses, the conflicts he faces, and the choices he will make. Even if the study leads nowhere and you don't actually end up using the character, it could still be a fun way to stretch out that writing muscle.

7. Pick your writing place

Now, after you've done all of these tips, I think you're almost ready to delve into your new story, poem, or play! My last piece of advice is to pick a new location to do your writing in. This will especially help if you haven't written in a long time. Giving yourself some new scenery will surely inspire you. If you normally write at a desk in your room, try the library. If you normally write inside, try writing outside if it's warm enough where you are.

I haven't done all of these myself, but I have used music, free-writing, and character studies to my advantage. I hope you try some of these out yourselves, find out what works for you, and flex those writing muscles. Good luck, writers!

Cover Image Credit: Flood G on Flickr

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The End Of The Semester As Told By Todd Chrisley

Because we're all a little dramatic like Todd sometimes.
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The last 3-4 weeks of every college student’s semester are always crazy hectic. We have last minute assignments, group projects, and exams all squeezed into the last few weeks before break.

Sometimes we all need a little humor, and sometimes we are all a little dramatic, so why not experience the last few weeks of the semester as told by the king of drama himself, Todd Chrisley of Chrisley Knows Best.

1. Sitting in class listening to your professor explain upcoming assignments/exams.

2. When your group project members refuse to do anything until the night before it's due or just show up the day of to present.


3. When you and your roommate try to cook with whatever few ingredients you have left in stock.

Because we definitely want to avoid going to the grocery store at the end of the semester if we can.

4. When your parents get tired of you calling them about every little inconvenience in your life.

5. Sitting down to work on assignments.


6. Your thoughts when the professor is telling you what they want from you out of an assignment.


7. When you've had about 30 mental breakdowns in 2 days.

8. Trying to search out the class for the right group members.

9. The last few days of classes where everyone and everything is getting on your nerves.

10. When your friend suggests going out but you're just done with the world.

11. This. On the daily.

12. When all you want to do is snuggle up and watch Christmas movies.


13. Studying and realizing you know nothing.


14. When your finals are over and it's finally time to go home for break.


You're finally back to your old self.

Cover Image Credit: Instagram

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The Breath of Solitude

A Poem With A Prologue // Polar Viewpoints.

mccall
mccall
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Prologue:


She smacks your parted lips,

sucking the dry,

open cracks to a seal.

Pumping energy into your chest

and sending a continuous shiver

from lung to navel.


You can't help but cough,

as your lungs tighten and twist.

Ringing the frosty sensation out –

slipping through your parted lips.


The same parted lips that

allowed her deliberate fingers

to crawl inside

where she can escape her own dimension

of solitude.




The Breath of Solitude


All I know

is solitude.


We chat

every day

in conversations that circulate

behind the backs

of the present.


Solitude grinds my coffee beans,

as we sit

with our legs crossed,

waiting for dawn

to explode over our opaque landscape.


Solitude runs my bath,

bubbling

as the Sun crashes

against the diminishing horizon.


But none of this is reality.

I am above

the dimension of reality.

Not theoretically,

but physically.

I am only a tool

to be used in the dimension

of your reality.

Drifting in and out,

twirling through your negative space.

My only purpose

is found through your breath;

but what do I do

when you stop breathing?


I wait for your fingers,

less deliberate than mine,

but filled with that

that I lack.


I cannot see the blood

that sloshes through the veins

in your innocent hands.

The blood that energizes

those fingers

upon which I wait.


But I know

the blood is there.

It isn't

what you do.

It isn't

the way you move.

Simply put,

it is

the way

that you exist.


The sheer fact

that you have a bursting burgundy waterfall

streaming,

not only through your fingers,

but engulfing all of you

in its rich,

rooted,

energy.


The only waterfall

that I encompass

is the waterfall

that you imagine.

I have no blood;

I have no way to exist.


And so I

wait for your fingers,

less deliberate than mine,

but filled with that

that I lack.


I wait for your fingers

to filter the heat

to a state of regulation,

a state of production,

a state in which I can exist.

The peach fuzz

that sleeps on the bridge of your nose

begins to rise

when your fingers initiate the flame.

The temperature reacts,

as would my heartbeat,

if I had a bursting burgundy waterfall,

or some type of life source

inhabiting my chest cavity.


As the heat

starts to melt

my metaphorical skin,

I become reality.

I don't have a face to smile,

or eyes to produce tears.

But I have thoughts.

I have words to say,

I have feelings to express.


I still can only drift,

in and out,

twirling through your negative space,

but now spiraling

into your positive space,

as well.


mccall
mccall

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