Try Lots of Different Writing Formats

Today’s creative writing tip is to try out lots of different kinds of writing formats. Explore fiction, non-fiction, poetry, experimental writing. Dive deep into the many options in each: different fiction genres (romance, fantasy, sci-fi, literary, crime/detective, mystery… ), different types of non-fiction and different topics (how-to, academic/textbook, travel, cookbooks, self-help… ), different types of poetry (the many different types of traditional rhyming poetry, plus multiple modern non-rhyming styles, prose poetry, slam poetry, international styles… ). And much more: here are some ideas to get your creative writing juices flowing:

  • Go through cookbooks and find recipe ideas you’ve never tried before. Write out the recipes, making changes that appeal to you–different ingredients, different methods, etc.
  • Write a grocery list of ingredients for your favourite meals–or for gourmet or international dishes you’d like to try. Now go shopping–you might need to find speciality grocery shops, and they can also broaden your creative mind (and taste buds, scents, etc.)!
  • Plan a unique, adventuresome gathering and send out creative invitations.
  • Write and mail real thank you letters for gifts and for good times, etc. Explore second-hand stores to find packages of old-timey notecards (which will also stimulate your creative writing). Or create your own cards, of course.
  • Write letters to people you care about (parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, cousins, romantic partners … maybe even lonely people you know of, but don’t personally know).
  • Every day, write down any ideas that pop into your head. Keep a notebook especially for that purpose; later on, it will be a personal goldmine of creative writing ideas.
  • Write about something that you think would be fun or cool or do, or a new way to do something, or how to fix or make something, or whatever. Then try and combine some of those ideas to come up with new, even more creative ideas for stories or how-tos or adventures.
  • Write a manifesto: a list of things that are in important in your life, and a list of your goals and wishes for the future.
  • Story/narrative writing–in many different lengths. Try writing the same story as a 6 word sentence; a 100 word flash-fiction story; a 200 word prose poem; a 500 word story, then 1000, then 5000, then 15,000 word story. Or start with the long version and work down to the short one!
  • Do life writing/memoir pieces–stories based on your own experiences or the stories you’ve been told of your family’s past–and even imagine what your future will be like, based on your life so far. Write as autobiography (true to the facts, in chronological order); memoir (based on a theme or specific period from your life); creative non-fiction (stories from your life, but with some “creative” elements); fiction based on events in your life or your forebears’ lives; poetry based on your life. Read or tell the stories aloud to your family, and then to others.
  • Write a paragraph or two every day for a week–or a month–on a blog. Or write in a cool-looking journal or diary.

Are you enjoying these creative writing tips? What tips can you add— list your ideas in the comments!

Want more tips on writing creatively? Check out this entire series:

What is Blocking Your Creativity?
Creativity: Planning and Organizing
Creativity: Be Unique, Original
Activities to Stimulate Creative Thinking
Creative Writing Relationships
Try Lots of Different Writing Formats

And while you’re at it, why not check out my creativity tips for students series over at my site.

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