The Sparks Of Creative Writing
Like most skills, writing takes practice. Strange jumbles of words, countless iterations and inspiration. I finally stopped feeling sorry for myself. Stopped feeling convinced I’d lost the ability to write well and would have to just learn to exist without this “magic” I held so dear. But it’s not magic. You need to give power to those words and it just starts with one. Just write one word.
And so I opened a clean notebook and stared at it blankly. This continued for months. I’d open the notebook and freeze. Then I decided the solution was to give my future writing a purpose. Aha! I’d write a book! And so I spent the next month trying to come up with a plot for a book and then settled on conjuring up just a single theme, idea, premise to start writing about. Again, nothing.
Spring began rolling into Summer and honestly, I was irritated with myself. Even reading old poetry and prose I’d written in my late teens wasn’t helping. To take my mind off of this, I poured my free creative time into photography. Experimenting, mainly with flowers, and started Sara Tasker’s Bloom & Grow course. It’s centred around floral photography on Instagram and equip with that same clean notebook and Sara’s journaling prompts I opened my mind to visual experimenting and storytelling.
There was the spark. I could tell a story through visuals. Stuck for captions, I’d scribble out short paragraphs inspired by the scenes I’d shot. Focusing on describing the surroundings or turn it into fairies at the end of the garden. It eventually became this equilibrium between writing and photography. I’ve been ebbing away at the staleness in my writing ever since.
Ask “how can I still provide a level of creative flair through non-fiction writing?” - The more you write, the more you can grow your authentic voice. So no matter the topic, that ability to genuinely connect with the reader is there.
Stationery - Filling notebooks with words
I made the decision to not type out my ramblings because I don’t want to give myself the ability to erase sentences. Everything that leaves my brain - I want it on that page. Because words and phrases can twist themselves together and sow the seed for a new idea or imagery that may spark the next creative adventure.
I will write in lined, blank, dotted or even squared notebooks. And A5, always, so I can carry them around with me in case I feel like writing something on a train or in a coffee shop to pass the time. I love the bold bloom prints on these notebooks* from Edie & Rona. I'll use any soft, blank ink but pretty notebooks are a must!
*discount code expires 31st August 2017
FIND your sparks of creative writing
- As an exercise, use the photo you’re about to post to Instagram as a writing prompt. Tell a story however wild or true to the events of that scene. You don’t have to post them in your caption.
- Don’t pressure yourself into having your writing live up to the standard of someone else you admire or to the standard you think it should be at. The goal is to just write. Don’t stop after every sentence and read back what you’ve written. Just write. I would put so much pressure on the notion that it had to be great, I would end up writing nothing at all.
- Start with an emotion. Create a character in your mind, however abstract, that embodies how you feel today and write a paragraph surrounding this.
- There is no need to define a creative purpose other than just because you want to. You don’t need a million pound novel idea. It doesn’t have to be a blog post or work task or anything other than for your eyes only.
- Pretty stationery! Honestly, it helps and adds to the fun after you have the basic steps down. Having a stack of notebooks filled with creative ramblings and ideas is something to be proud of, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
*Edie & Rona kindly sent me these notebooks which I have happily begun scribbling away in. No affiliate links used!