Why Write?

Imagine your favorite activity. Keeping your thoughts on the activity and try to write a short paragraph in science or history. Difficult? Impossible? Yes it is.

A multi-window, multitasking, multi-tabbed system might be good on computers but it is difficult for our concentration. Like Micheal Yeboeuf says, few if any of us can write one thought and think another at the same time. Thus a pencil and paper makes excellent concentration tools.

A blank page has been a source of both excitement and trepidation. Few tools can accomplish what a scribbling pad can.

Dumbledore’s Pensive

If only we could all touch a phoenix feathered wand to our temples, pull out our thoughts and store them in a blue colored fluid for later contemplation or review. But such things cannot be done by simple muggles like us and hence we depend on the trustworthy pen and paper.

Our memory is like a leaking bucket. A lot escapes in time. Amazing ideas, powerful thoughts, goals and even passions regularly leak out of our memory bucket. Writing them down improves our chances of success.

Writing as therapy

Cognitive science and psychological studies show writing as a very effective tool in overcoming trauma. This means, it is also a very powerful tool in anger management, blockages in self expression and to boost self esteem.

Practicing the process of filling up a page with personal reflections is therapeutic and often paves way to better creative interest.

 Freewriting

An often talked and practised activity in creative writing is freewriting. Freewriting is the ultimate tool if you just don’t know what to do! If you are blocked, or your ideas are simply too tangled up to put down in a list, freewriting is for you. If you have an idea in the back of your head but just can’t quite pin it down, this is the technique that will pull that idea out. Freewriting is a little like fishing – you cast out with your pen, and then you let the ideas swim to you… but they won’t come if you don’t start fishing for them!

How to Freewrite

For five minutes, write non-stop: don’t lift your fingers from the keyboard or your pen from the page. Just keep writing. Don’t stop to ponder or make corrections or look up a word’s meaning in the dictionary. Just keep writing.

While you are freewriting, forget the rules of formal English. Because you are writing only for yourself at this point, you don’t have to worry about sentence structures, spelling or punctuation, organization or clear connections.

Freewriting can be used as a prewriting activity to tell your mind to start concentrating or as a brainstorming activity to put all your thoughts in perspective.

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What is Creative Writing

Anything creative is an art form and is subjective; hence a straight forward definition is difficult.

We can say, every creative and imaginative thought, idea, feeling and narrative expressed in the written word is creative writing.

What is not creative writing?

This is easily explained than what is creative writing. Written content that simply conveys information cannot be called creative writing.

Have you read the terms and conditions or the privacy policy of websites? That white colored booklet that accompanied your latest camera? T.V? Washing machine? You of course remember your boring history text book! These books at a glance tell you they are definitely not creative writing material.

What is creative writing?

By the above logic, all works of fiction be it a short story, memoir, novel, or a kid’s picture book are works of creative writing.

Poetry is creative writing in verse. So are playwriting, screenwriting, drama etc forms of creative writing.

Creative writing requires the writer to travel uncharted territory in the realms of fantasy creating alternative worlds, strange characters, giving life to inanimate things and emotions.

Shades of Grey

Often the obvious is easy to define. Likewise it will be hard to pin down works in journalism, essays, memoirs and biographies as strictly non creative or creative.

A piece of news may not be considered creative writing but a feature or editorial has a big element in creativity.

A biography written with such a personal touch that it takes right into the life of the character must have a lot of creative zeal.

When nonfiction transcends the boundaries of style, excellent research and approach and when it is written with a personal approach instead of merely factual, it becomes creative.