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(19)The Joys of Creative Writing

How does the old saying go? Everyone has a novel in them! It stands true today as much as it did when it was first coined a century ago, for the experiences we go through in life and on a daily basis are enough to provide numerous anecdotes and tales that would hold a reader entranced.

The problem is - how do you write it? Creative writing is something that many people take up as a hobby, and many others use to make money. The phrase itself covers many different forms of writing, but the major picture drawn by 'creative writing' is that of the story teller, the fictional writer.

Being creative is something that many people - writers or otherwise - believe they will find difficult when first starting out, but there are some simple tips that will help you find your feet in the creative writing world.

Before we visit some of the best, bear in mind that the internet has opened up a new world of creative writing - the blog is a universal item now, something that many people have, and blogging lends itself to creative writing - and to developing the art - very much.

The first tip may seem obvious, but it is the first rule of creative writing: write! Quite simply, too many people who wish to write creatively spend too much time thinking about it. Keep a pen and paper with you - a notebook or journal is ideal - and make notes of things you see, people you meet, odd thoughts you have, arresting images and snippets of conversation. Make notes of anything and everything that appeals or interests, and then set aside some time to sit back and write using the information gathered.

Time is an important factor, too; you need to give yourself a set amount of time - be it ten minutes, half an hour or more - in every day to write, and even if you can think of nothing interesting, simply write about the first thing that comes into your head, or the scene outside a window, or a picture in a newspaper - anything at all to keep the creative process alive.

Creative writing works best when you have an idea of what it is you want to create: you need to think about the format - short story, poem, novel - and the genre - you may wish to write romance or science fiction, horror or otherwise - and keep a basic idea of a structure. Do not make things too limiting, just keep enough rigidity in the structure to guide you.

Inviting criticism is also important; ask your friends and family to review sections of your work as you go along, and do not be afraid of aggressive editing - a great writer will reduce, rather than expand, a draft by wiping out the superfluous.

Most of all, enjoy it; you may wish to make money from creative writing, but for now make sure it is something less than a chore!

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