We live in the era of the “self-improvement craze” and are constantly exposed to articles, posts, and videos about how to develop various hard and soft skills. One of these skills is creative writing. One creative writing specialist is Paper Help, writing creative papers on various topics. Let’s figure out what it is and whether you need it if “creative” is a far cry from you.
What is Creative Writing
If everything is clear with the word “writing” in this phrase, then what does “creative” mean? Let’s not go far and turn to the Internet dictionary. Creative is “one who can create new things” or “designed to stimulate the creative imagination.”
It turns out that creative writing is a skill that allows you to create new, unique texts, the source of which is imagination and fantasy. Its distinctive feature is the absence of frameworks characteristic of academic, journalistic, and technical writing.
Creative writing includes poetry, prose, scripts for television programs, movies and T.V. shows, songs, memoirs, essays, diary entries, and even jokes.
How and Where to Apply
Of course, creative writing is primarily the primary tool of professional writers and screenwriters. But it will benefit you even if you are far from creative writing.
- It will help with writing documents. Yes, documents are not the most creative thing. You have to adhere to certain standards and structures in them. It is what makes them difficult to write. You need to write a motivation or recommendation letter to a university. You start going over facts about yourself and immediately try to adjust your thoughts to the format of the letter. It slows down the process and does not allow new ideas to emerge.
- It is where one of the creative writing techniques – free writing – comes to your aid. Its idea is to “splash out” all the thoughts that appear in your head on paper.
- Try to write freely about your accomplishments, ambitions, emotions, and dreams. Don’t be afraid to use seemingly inappropriate, overly expressive expressions, and don’t limit your thoughts in any way. It’s much easier to write everything at once and then remove unnecessary things than to pore over for hours trying to create a perfect text from the first time.
- Develop public speaking skills. In everyday life, people often write essays, reports, and reports types of writing with a clear structure and a set of common phrases. Because of this, the speech also becomes dry and cliched. But when a person uses creative writing, he tries to talk about ordinary things in a new way. He chooses words and expressions. It is also reflected in the speech – it becomes brighter and livelier.
- Also, with the help of creative writing, you can pump up your foreign language. Try writing short stories in English, French, or German. That way, you’ll look into dictionaries more often to find the right epithet or idiom. You won’t notice how your vocabulary will enrich.
- It will broaden your horizons. Imagine you’re writing a story about a warrior during Cleopatra’s reign. What people ate back then, what gods they believed in, what relations Egypt had with neighboring countries, and even what was fashionable for Egyptian women in the first century B.C. You need to learn all this to make your work compelling. It is how you increase your knowledge of the world.
- Provides extra income. Ever read success stories about how someone started making money from their hobby? You can do the same with creative writing. Maybe your first book won’t become a bestseller, and you won’t become the most popular and sought-after writer of the decade overnight. But you can certainly make some money.
- Participate in contests, blog and make money from advertising, write book and movie reviews, sign up for freelance platforms and get into copywriting or create content for online publishers. You’ll gain invaluable experience and gradually find your audience.
- Get rid of stress. Creating stories distracts you from real life and the problems associated with it. It’s as much a form of escapism as video games and T.V. series, but with big perks.
- In addition, an APA (American Psychological Association) study found that keeping a journal helps relieve stress and fights negative and intrusive thoughts. Researchers explain that this way, you look at your experience “from the outside” and, as a result, find the positives.
How to Develop
- Read not as a reader but as a writer. Analyze the text, the atmosphere, and the behavior of the characters in the book. Critique and think about how you would describe the same scene. Notice interesting turns and idioms. This way, you’ll develop a keen eye, understand what you should or shouldn’t use in your writing, and learn to notice strengths and weaknesses.
- Don’t edit when you write. There is a great temptation to reread the paragraph you have just written and immediately correct all spelling and stylistic errors. But resist that urge. Every time you stop tweaking the text, you lose the thread of your thought. It slows down the process tremendously.
- Don’t feel sorry for the text. When you’re editing material, be ruthless. If the sentence is out of place, clogs the text, and runs out of place – get rid of it.
- Participate in competitions. Challenge your skills and test them in various writing contests.
- Seek criticism. Don’t be afraid that they will find faults in your work. Any constructive criticism will only help you develop. Go to literature groups on social networks, share your stories, and ask for feedback. Strangers will look at your text with an open mind and pay attention to those flaws you didn’t notice before.
- Always carry a notebook and pen. All creators have heard this advice, but let’s repeat it. Inspiration is not waiting for the right moment and an invitation. It can catch you on the subway, work, or walk. It’s important to write down all the ideas it gives you so that later, in a quiet environment, you can review your notes and use them in texts.
- Observe. Imagine you are Benedict Cumberbatch’s Sherlock Holmes and observe everything that happens around you. Choose a “victim”-some passerby, a passenger on the subway, or a vacationer in the park-and from his appearance and behavior, try to describe who he is, what he does, whether he has a family, and what his hobbies are. Your characters will become deeper and more developed after such practice.
- Use online generators. Just like in sports, writing takes practice. Open an online store or title generator and write a short story for a couple of pages with an option that pops out. It’s a great way to distract yourself, relax and learn how to write about any topic. Here are a few sites you can use:
- Squier – you are given one sentence with which to start your story;
- Writing prompt generator – you choose genres, and the site offers you a back story;
- Reedsy – gives you a random title.
- Write backstories of famous characters. Why did the tooth fairy decide to collect teeth? Who’s hiding behind Santa Claus’ beard? Why does cancer never whistle on the mountain? What were these characters’ past, and how did they come to do what they do now? This exercise will help you look at familiar phenomena creatively and retell them new ways.
- Moreover, many modern authors sin with a lack of motivation for their characters, especially the villains. And this exercise will help you better understand your characters and explain their behavior in the present through the past.
- The idea behind the text. The idea is what leads and develops the story. Without it, the text will be empty, and the reader will be disappointed. To do this exercise, choose an issue that bothers you a lot. It can be anything from ecology to the dichotomy of good and evil. Then write a short story with your main idea running throughout the narrative.
Where to Study
If you want creative writing to become your profession, university programs are worth considering. They train more than just writers, screenwriters, and editors. Graduates work as literary agents, media columnists, copywriters for advertising companies, SMM managers, and public relations specialists and become creative directors with enough persistence.
In higher education, students study:
- Storytelling in various media,
- Publishing business,
- Literary criticism.