Writing as Creative Expression

Each of us has a story to tell. It may be of a time long ago, or the present, or anything and everything in between. It may be direct and literal, bound to inescapable reality, or a flight of fantasy, rich with metaphor and symbolism. It may be as long as War and Peace or as short as a haiku. You decide what your story is and how to tell it.

Writing seems easy until we actually sit down and face that blank page. What, exactly do you want to write about? How will you bring the ideas into focus and get them from your head to the page? Do you want to write a memoir, a short story, a novel, a poem, a vignette? Do you have some other form in mind?

There is a plethora of resources to get you started. I’ve searched out and highlighted some really great books about creative writing at my aStore. And you can get specific prompts and other tools to help you at my other Creativity for You site, and, of course, the wonderful Daily Prompts right here on WordPress. Look to the books and prompts for inspiration, but it also helps to just get started and to set reachable goals. Filling the hundreds of pages needed for a novel seems impossible when a single blank page is such a challenge. But what if you don’t need a novel to express yourself? What about a short story, or a poem, or something even shorter.

One of the more interesting writing challenges I’ve seen is writing a 6-word memoir. Mine would be something like “Worked hard. Played harder. Still going.” Two of my favorites from friends and colleagues are “Did things halfway,” and “Never learned to play by the rules,” both being perfectly crafted violations of the rules. So write! Write something short, then move on to something longer. And if you do tackle something longer, heed the valuable advice of Art Markman of University of Texas who has blogged about achieving major goals by first taking a few small steps.

And, of course it helps to have a supportive community. There are many you can find, and it’s likely there is a local writers’ group near you. For a broader reach you can check out the google+ group Creative Writing. Lots of ideas, lots of support!

As with all creativity, what you need to express is much more important than what others will think.

Copyright © Thomas Ward 2017