Not sure when exactly did I get the idea (although I do know that I started writing a diary when I was 9), but I’ve always wanted to be a writer. When I realised that I need to teach myself what I want to become, first thing I did is that I found a single book translated into Serbian language from Dorothea Brande called exactly: Creative writing. I haven’t put the link to this book as Dorothea, good bless her soul, destroyed me from the start because of her belief that if you don’t write every day, you might as well quit writing straight away, which in my case doesn’t work as I have the bad habit of not writing for months. Unsatisfied with what I just read, I decided to try my luck elsewhere, so I got myself a bunch of textbooks in English that all have the words creative writing in its title.
And now is the moment where I ask you to be very careful in the class, because this is the important part. Not all books on creative writing are equally useful nor everyone has the credibility to write them. When choosing from hundreds of books, I decided to go for the official Cambridge and Oxford textbooks because they surely know what they’re doing. Besides these books, I read all kinds of stuff that famous writers wrote about writing to improve my skills so this is the other thing I recommend. As a grand finale, I also finished creative writing in the class of Mihajlo Pantic, the distinguished Serbian writer and this has greatly contributed to my writing.
Of course, in order show others how to learn creative writing which was a great help for me, today and in the next few weeks, I have prepared a series of creative writing texts and exercises. In regards to competence, I’ll tell you that I won’t be reinventing the wheel and that exercises presented here have been specially selected blend that consists of the following:
- Canbridge introduction to creative writing and others (text)books on creative writing 60%
- My own experience 30%
- Wise words by various authors and artists gathered for years 10%
Now, there is also a difference between individual work and group work. When you work alone, you can practice creative writing, but you won’t have the objective feedback from the other participants nor you are able to see if and how you progress. My series of articles will focus on one thing and another, because both types have their advantages so prepare yourself to be both writers and critics.
These assignments can be done by everyone, both accomplished authors as well as absolute beginners, and other than goodwill and love for writing, all you will need is a pencil and paper or a computer and about 30-45 minutes of your time.
Texts will go once a week, every Wednesday, so you have 7 days to fill your mission before we go further. Unfortunately, I don’t hand out any diplomas, but I’m happy to receive gifts because I have prepared all of this for you completely free 🙂
And now it’s time to start with your very first exercise yeiii 🙂
Creative writing, foundation: Why do I write
Introduction of the task
Did you ever stop to wonder: why do I write?
Today’s exercise may seem easy, but you have to answer honestly. Your opinion about yourself reflects the way you write, and ultimately, live. What is behind your writing? What makes you write? How would you describe yourself as a writer? What do you expect from your writing? How do you see your writing?
It is very important that you understand all of these questions. Who is a good writer for you? Do you write for fame or for yourself?
If your answer is “because of money”, consider the following. You have to understand that the success of your business (ie writing) will be measured with the money you earn, and in this case your passion is money, not writing (which is completely fine by me). If, however, you do not want to sell your soul and still have a similar stupid comments, please read my article on this topic. To begin, ask yourself whether you want to live from your writing, or writing is just a hobby (which is again fine).
On the other hand, a good indicator of the results of your writing is your satisfaction. Do you write because you feel joy when you write? People around you may appreciate your work (or feel envy, which can be the same thing), only if they see that you are happy or making money. Of course it does not matter what other people think, but it is very important that you know your reasons “why”. I’m sure that you’ve all read a bad book once, but you couldn’t quite explain why it’s not good. The truth is that such book was an unwanted child and that the book writer didn’t enjoy while he was writing, nor he was driven by passion.
Therefore ask yourself, what is your call? I don’t mean the vocation given to you from heaven, but the skill that you love and that you access with passion. Find your passion for writing as passion empowers you and give you wings. Call (or vocation) is important for many professions, but the impulse for writing and a desire to be a writer are not the same things, and you’ll know that because you go to a professional surgeon and not to someone who wants to be a surgeon.
Task: Find your why
Type: individual (does not require feedback)
Lenght: (about) 800 words
Write a text of 800 words that explains why do you write and your current writing methods. This is your first personal poetics.
Mention authors who influenced your style and the direction in which your writing going. What moves you and what limits you? How can you improve your writing? What is the purpose of your writing? What do you want to achieve in life with writing? What do you expect from writing? Use these questions as a guide and write quickly without too much delay.
Aim of the task
We all write from different impulses. Some of them may include a desire to play with language, to share a part of ourselves, to describe emotion, to communicate with the world, to describe a character, to express your opinion, or to simply, tell a story. This exercise can be done once a year, so feel free to use this statement as a measurement of progress of your creative thinking and writing. What is the most important is that you be completely honest with yourself and by answering these questions, you will learn how to find your passion for writing.
This, my disciples, has been your introductory task. Feel free to write your answers below this post – what’s more, I strongly recommend that you do so in order to be kept up to date. However, I will personally not comment on your posts for several reasons. First of all, this is not a question of aesthetics and I am not here to rate something as good or bad. Furthermore, these posts will remain on the site for ever and ever, and if somebody comes to this post in a few months, I may not be able to answer. So you’ll be here both critics and those who receive suggestions from other participants. This is your inner journey in which you have to move yourself (such as Frodo, Luke Skywalker or even Raskolnikov), and for all other questions (and spiritual guidance), you have my valuable writing consultations.
Of course, if you liked this exercise, subscribe to my blog to keep track of these creative writing tasks, and surely feel free to share or like this post.
To keep everything in one place, here’s the whole online course here:
INTRODUCTION: Why Do I Write – it’s this text 🙂
FIRST PART: Screw Inspiration
SECOND PART: Common Writing Mistakes
THIRD PART: Surprise Your Reader
FOURTH PART: Enemies & Allies Of Writing