5 Ideas To Spark Creativity In Writing

5 different ways to help spark creativity in writing.  Writers get writer's block from time to time and these ideas might help spark something!

I have so many story, article, blog, and general writing ideas floating in my mind. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed so much that I can’t even put word to paper – or computer screen.

I’ve jotted down parts of a poem so I wouldn’t forget it, made notes about a topic to write about, researched some ideas for blog posts or future articles, and yet…I feel stuck. And sometimes I feel overwhelmed with what I want to write, that I freeze because I don’t know where to start.

I had hoped to have way more of my book written at this point than I have. I seem to be focusing on one particular area than the others at the moment. Maybe that chapter is almost complete. Or, maybe I just need to keep writing about that particular topic and make it into a full book.

And, on the flip side of the coin, I get writer’s block. And then I don’t know what to write or how to proceed.

It’s the life of a writer, I guess.

I know I’m not the only one in this predicament and I’m pretty sure all writers have experienced it at one time or another. The point is, they didn’t stay stuck. They worked through the blockage and were able to produce novels, articles, blog posts, poems and so much more.

And that’s what I need to do as well. I need to “keep on truckin’” as the old quote says.

I’ve read some ideas elsewhere regarding situations like this and the following are some suggestions that I have tried, or will try, to help with writer’s block or trying to not keep so many ideas floating around my brain:

  1. Free writing – this idea can be fun and might help spark some ideas. In free writing, you take a specific amount of time (can be as little as 3 minutes or as long as 15-20 minutes) and just write. When you start the timer, simply write whatever is on your mind. Don’t stop to correct spelling, grammar, punctuation or anything. Just keep writing. It doesn’t have to make sense, and if all you can write is how you think this method doesn’t seem like it would work, write that. When the timer goes off, stop writing. Who knows, the free writing might spark an idea for that novel you’ve been wanting to write!
  2. Classical Music – I took some painting classes in 2001/2002 and the instructor always had classical music on. At the time, I didn’t really care for that genre, but since then I have grown to like it. I remember hearing at some point after those lessons, that classical music is good for people who write or do some form of art. And as well, drawing/art is said to help those who write. I believe it has something to do with getting the creative juices flowing. There’s more to it than that, science and what not, but that isn’t my area of expertise, so I won’t get into that here. It’s worth a try, though.
  3. Poetry – Recently, I tried my hand at poetry again. I’ve written a few in the past, but never felt that I was a poet and I stopped. I wanted to change things up a bit, because I was stuck about what I wanted to say next in my book, so decided to do a smaller piece of writing. It’s by no means perfect, and I don’t think I followed any “rules/guidelines” for poetry writing, but I think it did help me. I mentioned this to a friend a week or two ago, and she said something about how changing things up can help get the creative juices flowing again.
  4. Reading – This is one I have heard about for a long time. All good writers read – a lot! There are various reasons for using reading to help, from helping to spark ideas, to help you find your own writing voice, and more. Reading and writing go hand in hand. By reading, you are exposed to grammar, spelling, and punctuation. I’ve also read recently that it’s a good idea to read books from the genre of writing you are doing to help you reach that particular audience.
  5. Writer’s Note Book – Having a note book for writing is a great tool to have. In it, you can jot down ideas so you don’t forget them, character descriptions, definitions of words, story ideas, parts of poems, quotes that speak to you, and so much more. This would be handy to have beside me when I am writing and get other ideas that I don’t want to forget while I’m working on my book or another writing project.

Those are a few ideas to help with writing. The goal, of course, is to write and most writers want to create something that others will enjoy reading. The only way to do that is to write. Which is what I am heading off to do!

Have you tried any of the above methods, or others, to help your writing? Let me know as I’d love to have more ways to help me as well!

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On Writing With Pen and Paper

I remember the days before writing on a computer was a big thing. Mind you, I’m sure it was done, after all, it was only in the 1980s. But, at least before I started using a computer for writing, paper and pens were my go to.

During the mid to late 1990s, I was big into the Victorian era and reading L.M. Montgomery’s journals. Her journals were collected and assembled into books, but I had seen pictures of her actual journals. I’d read about other men and women, while doing research for my family tree, who kept diaries and journals. I found it fascinating to read about what life was like in “the olden days.”

I wanted to be like those men and women. I wanted to keep a record of what life for me was like. I wanted to have something for my descendants (and maybe others) to read and see what it was like during my lifetime.

I started with one of those little girl diaries with a lock and key. I didn’t keep it locked, because nothing I wrote was secret. This diary was white and had a cute little kitty cat on it. I started making a record with each entry of what the weather was like that day, and then discussed what happened or who came to visit, how we were related, etc. Over time, I transitioned into notebooks so that I could record more information, more details.

And eventually, my journals turned into the typical kind where I would vent my frustrations and fears, my hopes and joy.

Over time, I stopped recording in my journals and turned to the computer instead, beginning my blogging journey. I want to say that my earliest blogging began in 2005, and I don’t think I have used a notebook style “journal” since. Though, to be honest, there are some days that I think about keeping one again, just to record more private things. So far, that hasn’t happened.

What I like about using the computer, is that I can type faster and record my thoughts almost as quickly as they come. When using pen and paper, I would get the thoughts coming, and by the time I had written some of it down, I’d forget what the next thing was that I had wanted to record! I can certainly type much faster than I can write!

As much as I now prefer to use a computer for writing, there is something that draws me back, from time to time, to the old fashioned pen and paper method – especially now that we have so many pretty coloured inks to choose from, so many different styles of pens to use, and a vast collection of notebooks and journals to choose from.

I want to set a “goal” for myself. OK, it’s not really a goal per se, but, I want to start doing a little writing from time to time using pen and paper. Some form of writing different to what I’m doing now. To be honest, I do have a small prayer journal that I write in with pens, but I want to keep a notebook of writing as well, something I can carry with me to record descriptions, jot down a quick poem or thoughts and ideas.

I want to keep this for no other reason than the fact that I enjoy using pen and paper!

Do you have a preference for writing with a computer or pen and paper? Why is that your preferred method for writing? Let me know in the comments!

Wednesdays Are For Writing

In The Beginning

I remember when I was young and in school, we often had to do short pieces of writing for class. I don’t remember if I used to enjoy this or not, but I do remember not being very good at it. I had a difficult time coming up with something good that didn’t sound like I had copied it.

When I was in grade 5, in 1978/79, we read a short story about a ghost who caused mischief. We had to write our own ghost story afterwards and I remember that I didn’t understand it had to be our own creation. In my little piece of writing, I used very similar situations and the teacher wrote on my paper that it was too close to the story we read. I didn’t know anything about plagiarising at the time. Mrs. G also got quite angry with me for calling the woman in my story a dame. In a brusque tone, she informed me that, “That is not how we refer to women!”

My real love for writing began when I was in grade 11 and I began writing stories and what I had hoped would be novels. Some of these would be what we refer to now as fan fiction. Again, I had no training, no writing class; I just wrote for the fun of it.

These were horrible pieces!

I do remember what I enjoyed the most (and still do) was in creating my own characters, places, descriptions. I didn’t worry about spelling and punctuation as I wrote (which was fine, because that is what editing is for); I just let the ideas flow from my mind and onto the paper.

Cringe-worthy Discovery

Many years later, as I was cleaning out my mom’s house after she died, I came across the notebooks I had used for these stories (put away in a box in my old room) and I sat on the floor in the bedroom and read them over. Definite writings of a high school girl – terminology and all! I think I consistently cringed as I read through every page. They were certainly not worth saving so I readily tossed them in the trash!

Drawn to Creating

Over the years, I felt drawn to creating, drawn to recording the plots and characters I gave birth to. I’ve written several short-short stories (of around 700 words each), a couple of poems, and attempted a couple of novels.

More recently, I wrote a piece of non-fiction for an anthology called, Carpe Diem (see the Published Writing tab) which was published and released in March of this year. The book hit best-selling status in the self-help category on the release day!

I am now a published author, and I am working on my own non-fiction book!

Growth

I have learned a lot and grown since I first began writing. It’s all part of the process, and all writers go through it. I want to include a writing portion on this blog – likely on Wednesdays (hence the title of the post). These posts will be anything from sharing pieces of my writing, discussing the writing process, referring other writing blogs and/or podcasts, inspiration – anything writing related.

What have been your writing experiences? I’d love to hear about them! Let me know in the comments.

Jumping Back In

apple blossom jumping back in pinterest

Today is my last day of a 10 day vacation I took with my husband – though a couple of the days were work related for him.

I really enjoyed my time off because I had been feeling stressed from work, and I think I was taking on a little of my husband’s stress as well.

Directing More of My Time To My Ministry

sunset beach people sunrise

While away, I was able to come to the conclusion (from talking with my husband and a friend) that I want to jump into my writing more.  I want to start directing more of my time with my ministry, following my dream and what I believe is my calling.

I need to get more serious about it than I have been.

The Need for Focus

That means I need to be more focused, and now that I have had some time away, with my husband, to relax and rejuvenate, I feel encouraged to continue with my writing, and with my direction for Apple Blossom Ministries (come check out what I have so far).

Today’s “focus” involved spending time on my blog post writing, and with creating the first few instalments for my Thankful Thursday series (debating on whether or not that will be featured here on the blog, or on ABM). I also started working on another project I have in mind for ABM.

Please keep me in prayer regarding all of this. I want to serve the Lord and help other women along in their journeys as well.

What do you need to take more seriously and focus on? Let me know in the comments.

 

It’s Not Really A Guest Post Per Se…

apple blossom blog 1

I have a post over on the website for Apple Blossom Ministries! It’s called, “5 Steps to Help Study the Bible.”  I’d love for you to visit there.

I’d also love for you to come back and let me know how you study the Bible. Do you have any steps to add? What are you currently studying?

Ah, I See You’re Back!

action blur car child

I have been on vacation with my family for the last week. It’s been a much needed time of rest, relaxation, and rejuvenation.

Recently, I submitted a piece for the True Wellness Project, a part of the Well Christian Women blog, and while I was away, my article was published on their site.

I’d love for you to read my submission and then come back and leave your thoughts on what you read in the comment section here.

two man and two woman standing on green grass field

Searching For Some Direction

Since high school, I’ve dabbled in writing. I wrote what would be partial novels, but never finished them. I held on to them for a long time and when I went back to read them, they were horrible! I pretty much just rambled on in thepexels-photo.jpg tone of a high school girl who had absolutely no idea of what she was writing, let alone how to do it.

Needless to say, I threw those babies out!

I’ve tried to write some poetry, and I think I had a couple of good ones, but, I don’t know if poetry is my cup of tea. I’m not saying I’ll never try to write poetry again; I just don’t think I’ll use my time for that, at least not now.

I’ve also written a few short short stories. I was part of a Christian writing forum that held weekly contests. The first story I had written and submitted won an honourable mention and was published in a quarterly book. There was no monetary gain, but at least it is something to put on the resume!

Recently, my hours at work have decreased, and I have decided to delve into writing more. Of course, I have all those thoughts of: What am I going to write? Do I focus just on Christian content or just on secular content, or both? Do I write articles? Should I write about every day life?

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You get the picture.  I need some direction.

I’ve also been reading some articles on creating more of a “professional” blog and I have seen that it’s a good idea to spend the money and get your own domain. I’m seriously considering this.

And I need content. That’s what I’m working on now.

I’m also working on developing my style as a writer. I think blogging will help with that. At least I hope it will!

I’m also open to suggestions on what to write about. That’s where you come in! Let me know in the comment section what sort of articles you like to read. What topics are you interested in? What types of blogs do you frequent? What style of writing are you attracted to as a reader?