How to Get Started As a Creative Writer

Has creative writing sparked an interest in you that you can no longer ignore? Are you attracted to the art of transforming an idea into a vibrant, coherent, imaginative stream of well-chosen words? Do you have the motivation to grow and to learn, the drive to push yourself to improve each and every day, and a tolerance for risking rejection or failure in pursuit of your dreams? Then the challenge and rewards of creative writing await you.

The below suggestions may be worthwhile as you begin charting your course:

Capture your ideas. Keep a notepad handy to write down your observations. Worthwhile ideas can present themselves at any given moment. You may find that fresh material comes to you in the dead of night, or early morning, or perhaps as you're driving or riding as a passenger. Inspiration can't always be predicted or manipulated, so stay ready.

Paint pictures with words. Instead of writing about a character involved in a motorcycle accident, describe the smell of the slick, wet pavement, the length and violence of the skid, the panic of the character as he/she realizes that control has been lost and some degree of unpleasantness now awaits. Don't just tell, show. There's a potential reader on the other end of your creation, so provide enough sustenance to keep that reader involved and turning the pages.

Unleash your imagination. Your characters can become whoever you want them to become. The scenes are yours to devise, the plot yours to construct. The story develops from an idea into a short story or novel based upon the power of your own imagination. You can make your main character larger than life, strong and determined, heroic yet flawed. It's your choice. And don't be afraid to take risks. It's your story; tell it like you want it.

Write every day. Writing is an acquired skill, and thus must be diligently practiced. The skill development, discipline, and dedication needed to become an effective writer require continuous practice. It's not always easy, but your writing should improve over time if you write, write, and keep writing.

Have fun. Make your characters come alive. Discover the unanticipated twists and turns that the writing process often takes once you have begun. Enjoy yourself. It will reflect in your writing.

Find your voice. Learn and practice your craft. Write, write, and write some more. You'll be pleased when you find the high satisfaction that creative writing offers.

Good luck and good writing!