Are you finding you are a little rusty after Covid lockdown? Get moving & sharpen your creative writing skills with these five tips to get writing today.
In this Creative Writing Skills article, you will find tips in the following areas:
- Where to start, especially for those of us who are new or inexperienced as a writer,
- Why telling yourself that you are a writer and believe in your abilities is a vital mental creative writing skill that all creatives can develop further,
- How taking baby steps is vital to ensure you take on works that you tackle realistically,
- Why setting up a structure and routine can help you meet deadlines and treat writing as a job, rather than a hobby,
- How reading, learning and being open to evolution as a writer helps you to see creative writing as a journey and can help you accept your shortcomings,
- Why developing an online presence is critical in the modern world as a writer. Polishing online creative writing skills can help you grow an author platform who will engage with your writing.
Read the rest of the Creative Writing Skills article and consider how you develop your abilities as a writer in 2021.
Creative writing skills require exercise and maintenance to ensure that you stay on top of your game. With Covid lockdown, homeschooling, and little free time in the past few months, one could be forgiven for taking his eye off the ball in relation to writing. Therefore, I understand that I need to get back into the habit of writing something every day to get back into the routine of making progress towards an end goal.
There are thousands of creative writing skills out there that fiction authors, poets, and dramatists can draw upon to improve their craft. Some of these skills are related directly to the composition of the work you produce, some are mental, and others are promotional. As a writer in a world where we need more than a couple of strings to our bow, we must hone several creative writing skills that can help boost our platform as creatives.
In this creative writing blog article, I will suggest several exercises that fellow writers can use to produce better books as well as SEO copy for your website or social media content. Yes, we are writers, but how many of us see other, less glamorous aspects of what we do as being a creative writing skill? Let’s dig into the exercises below and consider whether you see them as creative writing skills or not.
Creative Writing Skills: Where To Start
As with all projects we undertake, it is essential to reflect on where you are. Whether you are a writer, a teacher, or a student at school or college, you should perform an audit on the skills you possess and, in turn, consider which skills you would like to hone or learn in the future. By taking this approach, you will not only take note of some of your excellent skills as a writer, but you can also take action to improve upon considered areas for improvement of the coming weeks or months.
There are no ‘quick fixes’ or shortcuts to being a better writer. Ultimately, it is a process that takes time and a lot of hard work. By seeing the development of your creative writing skills as the evolution of you as a creative, you will enjoy the journey of self-improvement as you learn new skills over time.
Tell Yourself That You Are A Writer
One of the most obvious but also important tips I could give anyone who sets out on the journey as a writer is to believe in your abilities and tell yourself that you are a writer. Many budding authors don’t view themselves as writers until they have written X books or have even secured a publishing deal.
Millions of people have often spoken about writing a book but have never gotten round to it. Whether they have been too busy with their careers, been crippled with fear of criticism, or been too darn lazy, the literary world is littered with the remains of books that never came to be. Don’t let your story be another discarded dream.
Make a start today. Once you’ve read this article, stand in front of a mirror and tell yourself that you are a writer. Believe it and say those words with conviction because you need to be your biggest cheerleader when others tell you that you’re not good enough. Pick up a pen and write something short in a notepad. Once that’s done, you are a writer.
Take Baby Steps
You’ve had a word with yourself and have written that short piece into the notepad. Now what?
This next tip is about taking baby steps and writing pieces that are achievable to your skillset and experience level. Understandably, you may feel pumped and eager to start writing your Ulysses, but it’s not that simple, and not everyone is James Joyce.
When you start at the beginning, it’s all about writing and doing it as often as possible. Whether you write flash fiction, short stories, or poems, it doesn’t matter. By developing a sense of functionality about the process, you will be able to experience success often and associate writing as a fun activity. This is vital when you are new to penning your own stories.
If you are more experienced as a writer but have fallen out of the habit, try to set out a series of writing goals that are SMART and structured in a manner that allows you to build up reps ahead of taking on a full-length novel. By building up word counts, pages, and finally chapters, you will be back up to speed in no time as you write your next book.
Develop A Structure & A Routine
Many writers do so around primary careers, and busy family lives. Therefore, the time you use to write is vital and should be used constructively.
In a world where we have access to the internet and mobile phones, it can be almost impossible to get time away from everything and switch off. However, if you sit down to write, you should plan to do just that. This means you may need to go to a specific area of your house and turn off your phone. That way, you will be able to focus on your task for that allotted time, meaning you feel an added sense of achievement for writing X words in Z minutes or hours.
If you set out this structure and routine, it is crucial to stick to it. That will mean your family and loved ones will respect the fact that writing is essential to you, suggesting writing time will be less prone to interruptions.
Read, Learn, & Be Open To Evolution
The foundation of any writing ability is to be an avid reader. However, this doesn’t just mean you read everything and anything. If you are a budding science fiction author, you should spend the majority of your reading time with a science fiction book in your hands.
Not only will you immerse yourself in the science fiction settings and stories of some of the best authors in that genre, but you will also be able to focus your attention on what you like and dislike about many books in the genre you hope to be a part of. This is a valuable time to spend learning what makes a good story within romance, sci-fi, crime fiction, or poetry. Get a straw and suck up every piece of knowledge you can and be open to evolving as a writer while you read.
Develop An Online Presence
By working as a professional content copywriter, I know the importance of developing an online presence through your social media networks, video streaming and your author website. It is not enough to lock yourself away in a room to write your Opus Magnum with the hope of one day scoring the publishing deal of a lifetime.
Instead, the writer needs to learn how to write in a multitude of media, including:
- Social Media Posts: By targeting specific social media networks that you feel work for you, it means you need to learn how to compose written content in the accepted manner for the audience you engage with. This takes time, effort and research.
- Blogging: The author blog is an excellent way to engage with your readership, but it can’t be done in the same tone as your creative writing. Instead, you need to get your voice across and let the readers feel as though you are talking to them.
- Website Copy: Not every writer can hire a professional website developer to create a bespoke website, complete with Search Engine Optimised website copy to help you get found better on Google. Therefore, learning how to compose your website copy to SEO best practice is vital to climbing the rankings.
Once all of those ‘functional’ writing jobs have been done, you will have the time to settle down and compose your work in progress. Remember, as a writer in the modern world of publishing; you have a multitude of plates to spin and hats to wear. It’s time to get busy.
Creative Writing Skills: The Takeaway
For those looking to develop creative writing skills in 2020 and beyond, there are many tips and tricks that you can implement over the coming months to improve for the year ahead. When I started researching this article, I wanted to compose something functional as a poet, fiction writer, or playwright that could help your craft evolve. However, I also wanted to share some of the practical, online creative writing skills that are required to get your name noticed online and to grow your author platform.
2020 has been a year that we won’t forget for the wrong reasons. Use the remainder of the Year Of The Beer Bug to start something that you will remember for all the right reasons. Develop as a writer, evolve your creative writing skills, and start 2021 in the best place possible as a writer.