Creative Writing for Beginners

creative_writing_main2Creative writing is a great way to expend some creative energy, explore emotions, invent new worlds and characters, as well as brush up on your writing skills. Writing creatively is something you can do with very little time, or with extended periods of time, and you don’t need much to get you started. It is a great hobby that anyone can do, alone or within a group. Who knows – you might even become a famous writer one day!

Choose a Genre
Creative writing can take on many forms. When you start to write creatively, you should choose a genre to focus on. These might include poetry, short stories, novels, creative non-fiction, memoirs, or a hybrid of two or more of them. It’s a good idea to test out a few genres before you pick one, but focusing on one can help you hone your craft and improve over time. It’s the same with any other activity; practice makes one perfect. You don’t want to spread yourself too thin by trying too many things.

Any writer will tell you that the best way to improve your writing is to read. You should read both within your genre and outside it. This will not only give you ideas for different styles to test out, but also ideas for what to write about. All writing is part of a conversation, and you need to find what voice and topic you can add to it. In that way, it’s okay to use snippets of other writing for inspiration, and it’s okay to respond directly to another piece of writing. Professional writers do that all the time. 

You don’t need much in the way of supplies to start writing. If you prefer to handwrite things, you may want to start with a notebook, journal, or a diary. It’s a good idea to keep all of your writing in one notebook though, so you can refer to it. Your first draft of something might not work perfectly, but you may be able to take pieces of it to use in another piece of writing. That’s what good writers do; they reuse what worked and keep what didn’t, just in case. Don’t ever throw anything away, and if you make significant changes to your draft, it’s a good idea to save the original in case you want to go back to it. Another great idea is to start writing with a computer if you have one. This will allow you to track your changes and save your drafts without taking up too much space.

Classes and Writing Groups
If you feel you need a little more formal instruction, you can take a creative writing class or join a writing group. You can find writing classes in almost any town through many venues, but sometimes they cost money. If you want to start a writing group, all you need are a few people who want to work on their writing. You can meet or exchange emails, but having a group can help you meet deadlines and get feedback too. It’s also free to start one.

Publishing Options
Writers generally like to have a venue for their writing. If you are writing creatively and just want to get your work out there, you can start a blog or a website with your writing. This can also help you get feedback from readers and can hold you accountable for writing regularly. If you want to pursue more professional venues, you can submit your work to magazines, professional websites, or publishers, when you feel you’re ready.

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