July 28, 2015

7 Ways to Improve your Creativity and Become a Better Writer

7 Ways to Improve your Creativity and Become a Better Writer
If you are a writer, creativity is your lifeblood. It does not matter if you write fiction, advertising copy, news articles, technical and training materials, or text books. The writing process still requires you to think of new and different ways to communicate thoughts, information, and experiences to your readers.

If you struggle with what to write next, or if you feel as if you are constantly writing the same thing over and over again, you probably need a creativity boost. When many writers are stuck in this sort of rut, they focus on methods of developing creativity that only focus on writing. Many of these are great (we’ll cover a few below), however, if you want to truly improve your creativity, you have to take a holistic approach. This means becoming a more creative person overall. Because getting started on this journey can be so difficult, here are 7 ways that you can boost your creativity.

1. Drop the Idea that Creativity must Result in a Product

If you give up any creative suit the moment you realize that you will not end up with a tangible product, you will never improve your creativity. Developing and improving your creativity is a process. Improving your creativity requires immersing yourself in that process without being concerned about the final results. Try thinking of it like this; an experienced and gifted painter can effortlessly produce a beautiful painting and use little to no creativity while doing so. An inexperienced artist can spend an hour or more using lots of creative energy just conceptualizing a painting and doing some rough drawings.

2. Wake up Early and try Morning Pages

The idea of morning pages is to wake up each morning and write three pages in longhand. The idea behind this is to simply write without self-editing or being concerned with the final product. Spelling, grammar, voice, and sequence should be the last thing on your mind while you do this. Whatever thoughts, ideas, words, fragments, sentences that come to you, go directly down on paper. Some people believe that it is the writing that builds creativity. Other people believe that this is essentially an information dump that gives room for new creative focus.

3. Indulge your Curiosity

How many times in a day do you become curious about something, ‘I wonder how they do that?’, ‘where does this come from?’, ‘who designed that building I drive by every day?’, ‘what was the name of that book?’. How often do you allow yourself the time to pursue those questions? If you brush your own curiosity aside in order to deal with more practical matters, you are doing yourself a major disservice. Pursuing creativity, even if you feel that the subject is trivial opens your mind to new ideas and information.

4. Schedule time to be Creative

How can you develop your creativity and become a better writer if you won’t even pencil in time for creativity into your weekly schedule? Give yourself time to work on creative projects each week.

5. Remember that Creativity is not a Talent

Creativity is a learned skill. Developing the creativity you need to become a better writer means that you have to you have to put in work. Natural creativity is a myth as is the idea that a person is simply not creative.

6. Attend Creative Events

Visit art museums. Go to concerts. Go to conventions. Invite your friends and drink wine and sculpt or paint in a public art studio! Attend a poetry slam.

7. Try a Different kind of Writing

Every once in a while, switch things up and do a bit of writing in a genre or category that isn’t in your wheel house. If you write non-fiction, try writing a poem. If your focus is short stories, try writing a review of the last restaurant you visited. You’ll use different vocabulary when you do this, and you’ll engage different parts of your mind.

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