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Creative Tips to Keep You Writing

Writing can be tough on good days and nearly impossible on bad days.  I can usually manage a few words for a blog or a personal essay, but fiction can stop me in my tracks.  Over the years, I have found some tips and tricks to help jump start my writing when the coals are burning low.

1.      Make a character folder.  If I run into interesting people or see a striking (good or bad) face in a newspaper or magazine then I clip it out or write it down and put it in a folder.  A great character can really get the creative juices flowing.

2.      Eavesdrop.  I’ll still bits and pieces of conversation that I will put in a dialogue folder.  Be careful though.  I once got caught writing out a story a lady was telling ;).  When I get stumped, I refer to real conversations to get me going again.

3.      Go on a trip – in your imagination or even online.  Look up a place you have never been before and then write a short story about that location.

4.      Look up your family history.  You might be surprised at the numerous stories your heritage has hidden in it.  Make your family history into a book that can be given out at Christmas or just use the colorful characters in your past to get your own story flowing.

5.      Write a tall tale for your children (or nieces, nephews, cousins, etc).  Take an event from their lives and then add lots of exaggeration and humor.

6.      Read.  Just the other day I was stuck in the doctor’s office.  Instead of being annoyed, I skimmed several magazines and got some inspiration for future articles (which I jotted down in the notebook that I carry in my purse).  I also read a few articles to get an idea of the style that magazine was looking for, incase I decide to query in the future.

7.      Write a poem – just for fun.  It doesn’t have to be publish worthy, but it does have to be from the heart.  Unable to get my thoughts going one morning, I wrote a poem about our crazy cat.  I still work on it when things aren’t going the way I want.  It gives me a break and lets my mind wander.

Writing doesn’t have to be a chore.  If you change things up and look for creative outlets, writing can be an adventure every time you pick up a pencil (or sit down in front of the computer).

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