While surfing the net some time ago, I came across a list of tips titled “33 Ways to Stay Creative.” I found it very inspiring and decided to adapt the original to the world of writing. In addition, I added a brief explanation to each of the points on the list. As a result, I have the following 23 tips to becoming a more creative writer. I hope you enjoy them.
1. Make Lists
Sometimes we feel overwhelmed in thinking there are hundreds of things that must be done. However, if we write them down in a list (differentiating between tasks and micro-tasks), we realize it’s not such a big deal. In fact, they can be finished one at a time and crossed off our to-do list. This leaves the brain better organized, we feel more relaxed, and we can make space for creativity.
2. Carry a Notebook Everywhere
I think I’ve mentioned this many times because it is of great importance, but take a notebook with you. You never know when you will come up with a fantastic idea, and you’ll appreciate having a readily available place to jot it down.
3. Try Free Writing
Free writing is writing without any planning ahead of time. It can be a magnificent way to activate your inspiration. Start with a sentence or a combination of words, and then let yourself go.
4. Get Away from the TV and the Computer
If you’re trying to stimulate the part of the brain that is in charge of providing you with ideas, turn off the TV and the computer, disconnect from the Internet, and place your phone out of reach. They’re useful tools for other tasks, but they aren’t good for your creativity.
5. Be Otherworldly
Dare to think differently … be unique! Forget about trying to be like everyone else. Being original means being your natural self.
6. Take Breaks
Did you know your brain works faster when you’re relaxed? Knowing that, relax some of your life a little every day, and you’ll see how new ideas come along.
7. Sing in the Shower
… and sing in the car, at work, on the street, etc. Sing and whistle all you want. It’s very healthy for your mind as well as your mood! A cheerful person is a more creative person. Besides setting your shyness aside by singing loudly in the shower, it also helps free you from inhibitions, is relaxing, and relieves stress.
8. Drink Coffee or Tea
In moderation, of course. One or two cups a day will stimulate your brain and can also help prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
9. Know Your Roots
I think writers should be clear about where they come from meaning they know about their culture and their roots. It will help you find your own voice and be aware of your particular way of looking at the world. In no way does this mean you have to limit yourself because there are many interesting things out there!!! Nevertheless, as a good friend of mine told me long ago, when you know where you come from, you are more prepared to know where you want to go.
10. Listen to New Music …
… and read new books, visit new exhibitions, watch new films, etc. Do “new” always. Culture is alive and in constant motion. Pay attention to the things being done around you as they provide unexpected points of view and key ideas for your writing.
11. Collaborate and Be Open
If there’s something I’ve learned from this blog, it is that writers shouldn’t lock themselves in a room with no contact other than their own words. Whether virtually or in person, it’s very rewarding to share your writing, participate in writing groups, and comment on the writing of other people. In short, it’s good to exchange words with other people.
12. Surround Yourself with Creative People
Do so whenever possible because creativity attracts creativity.
13. Don’t Give Up
Never, ever give up! Keep on trying. Perseverance is essential if you want to be a writer; it matters as much or maybe more than talent matters.
14. Practice, Practice, Practice
Writing is like playing an instrument – you have to spend time on it. The more you practice, the closer you are to excellence.
15. Allow Yourself to Make Mistakes
Here’s a universal truth and one of the few I believe in – you’re going to make mistakes. That’s for sure. Sooner or later, we all make mistakes. Everybody does. Never being wrong means you’ve never tried anything. You have to make many mistakes to be right sometimes.
16. Go Somewhere New
Taste food you had never tasted before … dare to try new things. It stimulates creativity and provides you with experiences which then give you new material to write about.
17. Watch Old Films …
… and read old books. Go back to the classics. It’ll be worth it when your creativity gets a boost from the favorite films and books of old.
18. Count Your Blessings
We’re usually very clear about our defects, right? Nevertheless, we often find it more difficult to be aware of our virtues. To remedy this problem, make a list with all the good things about you. Believe in them, and enjoy them. Take delight in your qualities. Self-esteem is a good partner of creativity because it removes fears and insecurities that prevent us from thinking differently.
19. Break the Rules
You know the old saying, “You have to master the rules before you can break them.” Once you have a good command of the rules, dare to transgress them a bit. Write differently, and seek new ways to do things, etc. You’ll probably be wrong often, but it’ll be worth the effort when you get it right.
20. Learn Something New Every Day
I really like this tip. It’s difficult, but it’s also invigorating. It makes you pay attention and stay alert in the search for new information. All the interesting things we learn remain in the brain which is then responsible for shaping them to form ideas.
21. Clean Your Workspace
You probably have heard the saying Latin saying, “Mens sana in corpore sano” which roughly translates as “a healthy mind within a healthy body.” However, it should also be emphasized that the brain works better in a comfortable environment. It’s not about becoming obsessed with order, but organizing your workspace once in a while will help you think clearly.
22. Have Fun
Fun is indispensable. Have fun in your life, and have fun when you write. Some may believe in the image of the tormented writer or the bohemian and depressed artist, but you should find that writing (even if it’s sometimes hard) can also be very funny.
23. Finish Something
Finish everything you can. If you finish what you’ve started, your brain will get used to it being a habit, and you’ll take your work more seriously.