Writers' Treasure

Effective writing advice for aspiring writers

Creative Writing 101

Creative writing is any form of writing which is written with the creativity of mind: fiction writing, poetry writing, creative nonfiction writing and more. The purpose is to express something, whether it be feelings, thoughts, or emotions.

Rather than only giving information or inciting the reader to make an action beneficial to the writer, creative writing is written to entertain or educate someone, to spread awareness about something or someone, or to express one’s thoughts.

There are two kinds of creative writing: good and bad, effective and ineffective. Bad, ineffective creative writing cannot make any impression on the reader. It won’t achieve its purpose.

So whether you’re a novelist, a poet, a short-story writer, an essayist, a biographer or an aspiring beginner, you want to improve your craft. The question is: how?

When you write great fiction, poetry, or nonfiction, amazing things can happen. Readers can’t put it down. The work you wrote becomes a bestseller. It becomes famous. But you have to reach to that level… first .

The best way to increase your proficiency in creative writing is to write, write compulsively, but it doesn’t mean write whatever you want. There are certain things you should know first… it helps to start with the right foot.

To do exactly that, here we have a beginners’ guide from Writers’ Treasure on the subject:

  • An Introduction to Creative Writing
  • How to Get Started in Creative Writing in Just Three Steps
  • Creative Writing vs. Technical Writing
  • Fiction Writing 101: The Elements of Stories
  • Poetry Writing: Forms and Terms Galore
  • Creative Non-Fiction: What is it?
  • Tips and Tricks to Improve Your Creative Writing
  • Common Mistakes Made by Creative Writers

For novelists: do you want to write compelling opening chapters?

Are you an aspiring novelist? Will your novel see the light of day? For that, you will need to make the first chapter of your story as compelling as possible. Otherwise, readers won’t even pick up your novel. That chapter can be the make-or-break point that decides whether your novel is published or not. It’s because good editors know how you write from the first three pages… or sometimes even from the opening lines.

To solve this problem, I created a five-part tutorial on Writing Compelling Opening Chapters . It outlines why you need to write a compelling opening chapter, my personal favourite way of beginning it, what should be told and shown in it, general dos and don’ts, and what you need to do after having written it. Check it out for more.

Need more writing tips?

Sometimes you reach that stage when you outgrow the beginner stage of writing but feel that you’re not yet an expert. If I just described you, no worries– Writers’ Treasure’s writing tips are here. Whether you want to make your writing more readable, more irresistible, more professional, we’ve got you covered. So check out our writing tips , and be on your way to fast track your success.

I offer writing, editing and proofreading , as well as website creation services. I’ve been in this field for seven years, and I know the tools of the trade. I’ve seen the directions where the writing industry is going, the changes, the new platforms. Get your work done through me, and get fast and efficient service. Get a quote .

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Writers.com

Why learn creative writing? Truthfully, creative writing is one of the most misunderstood disciplines in the 21st century. When people think of a creative writing course, they often imagine a group of lofty, out-of-touch people who wear argyle sweater vests and have unproductive conversations about abstract concepts.

In reality, nothing could be further from the truth: the best writing classes remain engaged with the real world, and the skills gained in a creative writing course apply to nearly every facet of daily life.

If you’re wondering whether it’s worth picking up a course in fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, we have five reasons to learn creative writing. But first, let’s talk about what actually happens in a creative writing course.

The Basics of a Writing Workshop

Whether you’re enrolled in a poetry, fiction, or nonfiction writing class, you can expect the following writing process – at least in a quality writing course like the ones at Writers.com.

  • Weekly prompts and writing exercises to sharpen the precision and necessity of each word you use.
  • Constructive critiques from a community of writers who are each growing their writing skills alongside you.
  • A creative space to explore new ideas, experiment with language, and arrange words in new and exciting ways.
  • Focused writing instruction from a master of the craft.

The benefits of creative writing come from engaging with the course material, the writing prompts, and the other class members. These elements help you become a better writer, both in creative realms and in everyday life. How? No matter what form of writing, a creative writing class pushes you to connect ideas and create effective narratives using the best words – and that skill translates into real world success.

The Benefits of Creative Writing

1. why learn creative writing: improved self-expression.

Improving your writing skills leads to stronger communication. When you practice finding the right word in a story or poem, you engage the same parts of your brain that are active in everyday writing and speaking. A creative writing course subconsciously turns you into a more effective communicator.

The importance of precise language and self-advocacy translates well into both interpersonal relationships and working environments. Take it from this expert on how writing and self-advocacy results in career and leadership success.

2. Why Learn Creative Writing: Job Success

This brings us to our next point: great writing leads to job success. Of course, your boss probably isn’t expecting you to write emails in the form of a short story or a sonnet – though if they are expecting this, you have a pretty cool boss.

In reality, almost every job requires some sort of written work, whether that’s simple written communication or something more elaborate, like publishing data or marketing materials. In a creative writing class, you practice the style and grammar rules necessary for effective writing, both within the realms of literature and in career-related writing. Sharpening your writing and creativity skills might just land you your next promotion.

3. Why Learn Creative Writing: Improved Thinking Skills

Strong writing leads to strong thinking. No matter what type of writing you pursue, learning how to write is another form of learning how to think.

That might seem like a bold claim, so think about it this way. Without language, our thoughts wouldn’t have form. We might not need language to think “I’m hungry” or “I like cats,” but when it comes to more abstract concepts, language is key. How would you think about things like justice, revenge, or equality without the words to express them?

When you hone in on your ability to find choice, specific words, and when you work on the skills of effective storytelling and rhetoric , you improve your ability to think in general. Good writing yields great thinking!

4. Why Learn Creative Writing: Empathy

Reading and writing both rely on empathy, especially when it comes to being an effective workshop participant. When we read and write stories, we situate ourselves in the shoes of other people; when we read and write poetry, we let language navigate us through emotion.

The importance of creative writing relies on empathy. We practice empathy whenever we listen to another person’s life story, when someone tells us about their day, and when we sit down with a client or work partner. When we write, we practice the ability to listen as well as to speak, making us more effective communicators and more compassionate human beings.

5. Why Learn Creative Writing: It’s Fun!

In case you’re not convinced that a writing course is right for you, let’s clarify one more fact: creative writing is fun. Whether you’re in a fiction writing course, starting a memoir, crafting a poem, or writing for the silver screen, you’re creating new worlds and characters. In the sandbox of literature, you’re in control, and when you invest yourself into the craft of writing, something beautiful emerges.

The Importance of Creative Writing

Simply put, creative writing helps us preserve our humanity. What better medium to explore the human experience?

To learn creative writing, like any art form, requires compassion, contemplation, and curiosity. Writers preserve the world as they observe it in stories and poetry, and they imagine a better world by creating it in their works.

Through the decades, literature has explored society’s profound changes. Literary eons like the Naturalist movement and the Beat poets responded to the increase in Western Industrialization. Confessional poets like Virginia Woolf helped transform poetry into a medium for emotional exploration and excavation. And, genre movements like the cyberpunk writers of science fiction helped popularize the idea of an “information economy.”

Thus, the importance of creative writing lies in its ability to describe the world through an honest and unfiltered lens. Anyone who engages in creative writing, no matter the genre or style, helps us explore the human experience, share new ideas, and advocate for a better society. Whether you write your stories for yourself or share them with a wide audience, creative writing makes the world a better place.

Jobs for Creative Writers

Because creative writing isn’t a STEM discipline, many people don’t think that learning it will help their job prospects. Why learn creative writing if it doesn’t make any money?

In fact, nothing could be further from the truth. Creative writing skills are much sought after on resumes, since both creativity and the ability to write are soft skills in decline. Additionally, if you’re considering a career change—or ready to start one!—these are some popular jobs for creative writers.

  • Average Starting Salary: $51,000
  • Demand: High
  • Skills needed: creativity, grammar, timeliness

Copywriters help companies put their branding into words. A copywriter might write emails, blogs, website content, or ad copy that encompasses the company’s voice and purpose. Copywriting requires you to write in a mix of styles and forms, flexing your writing muscles in new and exciting ways.

Grant Writer

  • Average Starting Salary: $50,000
  • Skills needed: storytelling, research, argumentation

Nonprofits and research facilities rely on local and national grants to fund their projects. Grant writers help secure that funding, writing engaging grants that tell the organization’s story in an engaging, tailored, and convincing way. Creative writers will enjoy the opportunity to tell a meaningful story and create positive community change through this career.

Communications/Public Relations Specialist

  • Skills needed: creativity, communications, social media

A communications specialist helps drive a company’s image through various social channels. They may help create a positive narrative for their company through blogs, journalist outreach, social media, and other public-facing avenues. Much like copywriting, a PR specialist helps weave an effective story for a company.

  • Average Starting Salary: $55,000
  • Demand: Medium/High
  • Skills needed: creativity, storytelling, organization, self-reliance

The dream job for many writers is to write and sell books. Being a novelist is an admirable career choice—and also requires the most work. Not only do you have to write your stories, but you also have to market yourself in the literary industry and maintain a social presence so that publishers and readers actually read your work. It’s a tough business, but also incredibly rewarding!

Reasons to Learn Creative Writing: Finding a Writing Community

Finally, creative writing communities make the writing struggle worth it. The relationships you foster with other creative writers can last a lifetime, as no other group of people has the same appreciation for the written word. Creative writing communities create transformative experiences and encourage growth in your writing; if there’s one reason to study creative writing craft, it’s the friendships you make in the process.

You don’t need a class to start writing, but it’s never a waste of time to learn the tools of the trade. Creative writing requires the skills that can help you in everyday life, and a creative writing course can help.

At Writers.com, we believe that creative writing can transform both individual lives and the world at large. See the importance of creative writing for yourself: check out what makes our creative writing courses different , then take a look at our upcoming course calendar today.

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Sean Glatch

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Would like to apply for a course to write a novel.

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I’d be happy to help! Please email [email protected] with any questions, and we’ll find the right course for your writing.

[…] Sean. “Why Learn Creative Writing.” writers.com. June 7, 2020. https://writers.com/why-learn-creative-writing . Accessed November 7, […]

[…] And last of all it’s fun! I hope to live my life doing the things I love, with like-minded creative people who I love. I have many exciting things upcoming as I continue with the process of completing my first novel, Les Année Folles, such as publishing to my first magazine, journal, and working on the millions of short story ideas I have stored in my head. Stay tuned! References: Glatch, S. (2020, June 7). WHY LEARN CREATIVE WRITING? Retrieved from Writers.com: https://writers.com/why-learn-creative-writing […]

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  • Alicia Caples
  • Sep 20, 2023

5 Things to Know Before Applying for a Creative Writing Degree

Updated: Sep 20, 2023

Hello, my awkward novelist and shy GMs,

Did you know that creative writing was an option at university? I didn’t, not until I got my first prospectus. Which honestly changed my life. Without my course, I more than likely wouldn’t have had the courage to start this blog.

I really loved my time at university. It gave me a chance to adapt my writing from German to English, introducing me to various native techniques. I even developed a love for poetry.

Miracles truly never cease.

I loved my time there so much I’ve returned to work for my old university.

However, there are a couple of things I would have liked to have known about before applying for my course. And as it is the season of freshers fairs and the beginning and UCAS application, I shared them with you. Maybe they will change your mind on your creative writing degree or just give you a head up for what’s coming.

Without further a due, here are five things you should know before starting your creative writing degree.

The Workload A phrase I heard a lot throughout all of freshers’ week was: “I just wanted an easy degree.” Now I can see how people may think that it is an easy course. I mean, there are no exams to revise for, there is very little technical jargon that you need to memories. Everything you’re being marked on is your own creative work. Sounds relatively simple, doesn’t it? Well, until you find yourself on a flight back home, your laptop on your knee, editing your scrip that is due at 11:59 pm. Later, remembering you have to finish reading three books and have a 10 page poetry collection you still have to complete. Not to mention the building panic because you have an essay because of boxing day, which you haven’t even started yet. Just because you don’t have the same type of work that you would have in a more “traditional” subject, doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of work to be done. It just appears in a different way. I thought I’d be fine since everything they expected me to do, I did in my spare time, anyway. But the amount of reading alone was a struggle for me to get through every week, and that was before I even put a single word on a page. There is no such thing as an easy degree, and my classmates who wanted one found that out the hard way. If you really want to do this as a degree, you need to be dedicated to it.

Core Modules Core Modules, or essential modules for those of you who don’t know, are the classes in a course you have to take so you can pass each year of university. Meaning you don’t get a choice and must do them regardless of personal interest in the subject. So, along with the workload, you also have to stick to a subject you’re not interested in or struggle with. For me, that meant I had to study poetry for two years. Now, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. You might find out that you enjoyed something you weren’t fond of in the beginning. For example, I wasn’t exactly whooping with joy when I realised I had to take poetry, but I ended up enjoying learning to write it. (Write emphasis on writing. I still can’t analyse it to save my life.) But I also found out that writing stage plays was not my thing at all, and it showed a lot. Writing is a personal thing that it is. You can tell when someone wrote something they were not into at all. It’s something I keep trying to explain to my dad when he asks me why I don’t just write something different. If you don’t like what you are writing, it’s ten times harder and other people can tell. If you want to study Creative Writing at university, you need to figure out how you can spin an assignment in to something you want to write about.

Literary Fiction Something I wasn’t aware of going into my course was literary fiction. Or, more precisely, the emphasis most of my lecturers would have on literary fiction. What is literary fiction you may ask, if you are more like 18-year-old Alicia (I feel so ancient) and blissfully unaware of fiction snobbery. So let me explain. For me, literary fiction focuses on character-driven stories that explore social and political themes using unique storytelling techniques. Now this is my detention and how I understand it. I am not an expert and encourage you to investigate it yourselves. It’s a very interesting subject and has many definitions and understandings. It is a wonderful genre within itself and a great way to explore the world and explain/talk about things people in usual circumstances find difficult to. However, literary fiction being considered more “academic” means that this is going to be your primary focus of study. Meaning if you prefer writing genre fiction, you may feel a little left out and from my experience, you may find it difficult to apply to your writing. This is not me saying genre fiction is less complex, because it isn’t. There will be layers in any good story, metaphor, character coding, biases and discussions the author wants to have. They are both valid forms of art and as long as they inspire people to read, I believe they are equal. Personally, I prefer genre fiction over literary. It provides me with an escape and without it, I wouldn’t have wanted to become a writer. But when studying at university, literary fiction will take rank in most of your modules. It can also be the case that people will often talk down about genre fiction. I found these moments to be difficult to take, as it was the howl of reason I was there and it will be something you have to put up with during your studies.

Sharing your Work Imagen it you hand someone a couple of pages of your writing, you fell great about it. You’ve made a decent bit of progress. You feel like it’s flowing well and that it’s really getting there. So you watch them read it. And there’s this awkward silence, and you're not sure, but you think they’ve stopped smiling. Are they frowning? Could be. O no, they hate it. They do, don’t they? Of course they hate it. You wish you could snatch the pages back, but you can’t, so you make up excuses for the horrendous piece of work you handed them. “It’s not finished yet.” Or “It was just a silly idea.” That uncomfortable experience will become normal. When you start your course, mandatory even. You need to share your work with classmates, regardless of if what you have written is good or bad. Whether you feel like it’s ready to be read. Sharing your work is the only ways you are going to get better. Getting someone else’s opinion, to check if what your writing makes sense, that what you're trying to say is being understood or not. It’s also good for you to see other people’s work and provide the same. Leaning how to give constructive criticism helps you take it in return. You know you're not your not being personal. So why would your critic partner be? But if you aren’t ready to share your work or are happy to just write for yourself. Maybe you should wait before applying for that course.

Chosen Module Now here is the good stuff. Chosen modules, the ones you get to choose yourself completely up to you based on your interest and your plans. When I applied, I chose my university on these modules (And the availability of Ice Tea; I have a problem.) My suggestion is you read through what all the modules they are over, including joint modules with other courses. My friend did a course on adaptations in her second year with the English lit students. I chose “writing for narrative games”, which developed into three years of learning about a career in writing I didn’t even really consider. Gaining skills in technical writing and even a bit of coding for games. My suggestion is that you read through all the chosen module choices when looking into your courses. See what each university can offer, what they include and even what courses you can choose from in the following years, not just the first year. I did game writing for three years and had my subject choices for second and third year already picked out. I only changed my mind in one course because I developed a new interest in another subject over the last two years. It’s good to be prepared, and I found that knowing my options beforehand kept me motivated.

So here we have it five things you should know before applying to your creative writing course. I hope this helped you decide, or at the very least, prepare you for your creative writing degree.

But one last thing to keep in mind a sneaky 6th item on the list for those of you who could bother reading this howl thing is: You don’t need to go to uni to become a writer.

I did it because I needed to feel like I could. A way to let myself know I was good enough. But you might not need that and that’s fine. There is no right or wrong way to get to reach your goal. Just your way.

The Overly Anxious Writer

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WEEKLY WRITING PROMPTS

Join (probably?) the world's largest writing contest. Flex those creative muscles with weekly writing prompts.

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The elephant in the room, set your story in a world where conversation about one particular topic is banned — but there are ways to get around the rule..

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Write a story that includes the line, "Is nobody going to say it?".

LIVE – Dialogue

Place your characters in a tough situation, where nobody wants to acknowledge the reality of what's happening.

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Write a story about two people who aren't admitting their true feelings for one another, despite it being obvious to outsiders.

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Start your story with someone who has lost everything but finds solace in photography..

LIVE – Dramatic

Write a story where a photograph could change the course of history if it’s delivered to the right (or wrong!) person.

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Center your story around two strangers who bond over their shared love of photography.

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We'll send you 5 prompts each week. Respond with your short story and you could win $250!

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We made a writing app for you

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Creative Writing Prompts

When the idea to start a weekly newsletter with writing inspiration first came to us, we decided that we wanted to do more than provide people with topics to write about. We wanted to try and help authors form a regular writing habit and also give them a place to proudly display their work. So we started the weekly Creative Writing Prompts newsletter. Since then, Prompts has grown to a community of more than 450,000 authors, complete with its own literary magazine, Prompted .  

Here's how our contest works: every Friday, we send out a newsletter containing five creative writing prompts. Each week, the story ideas center around a different theme. Authors then have one week — until the following Friday — to submit a short story based on one of our prompts. A winner is picked each week to win $250 and is highlighted on our Reedsy Prompts page.

Interested in participating in our short story contest? Sign up here for more information! Or you can check out our full Terms of Use and our FAQ page .

Why we love creative writing prompts

If you've ever sat in front of a computer or notebook and felt the urge to start creating worlds, characters, and storylines — all the while finding yourself unable to do so — then you've met the author's age-old foe: writer's block. There's nothing more frustrating than finding the time but not the words to be creative. Enter our directory! If you're ready to kick writer's block to the curb and finally get started on your short story or novel, these unique story ideas might just be your ticket.

This list of 1800+ creative writing prompts has been created by the Reedsy team to help you develop a rock-solid writing routine. As all aspiring authors know, this is the #1 challenge — and solution! — for reaching your literary goals. Feel free to filter through different genres, which include...

Dramatic — If you want to make people laugh and cry within the same story, this might be your genre.

Funny — Whether satire or slapstick, this is an opportunity to write with your funny bone.

Romance — One of the most popular commercial genres out there. Check out these story ideas out if you love writing about love.

Fantasy — The beauty of this genre is that the possibilities are as endless as your imagination.

Dystopian – Explore the shadowy side of human nature and contemporary technology in dark speculative fiction.

Mystery — From whodunnits to cozy mysteries, it's time to bring out your inner detective.

Thriller and Suspense — There's nothing like a page-turner that elicits a gasp of surprise at the end.

High School — Encourage teens to let their imaginations run free.

Want to submit your own story ideas to help inspire fellow writers? Send them to us here.

After you find the perfect story idea

Finding inspiration is just one piece of the puzzle. Next, you need to refine your craft skills — and then display them to the world. We've worked hard to create resources that help you do just that! Check them out:

  • How to Write a Short Story That Gets Published — a free, ten-day course by Laura Mae Isaacman, a full-time editor who runs a book editing company in Brooklyn.
  • Best Literary Magazines of 2023 — a directory of 100+ reputable magazines that accept unsolicited submissions.
  • Writing Contests in 2023 — the finest contests of 2021 for fiction and non-fiction authors of short stories, poetry, essays, and more.

Beyond creative writing prompts: how to build a writing routine

While writing prompts are a great tactic to spark your creative sessions, a writer generally needs a couple more tools in their toolbelt when it comes to developing a rock-solid writing routine . To that end, here are a few more additional tips for incorporating your craft into your everyday life.

  • NNWT. Or, as book coach Kevin Johns calls it , “Non-Negotiable Writing Time.” This time should be scheduled into your routine, whether that’s once a day or once a week. Treat it as a serious commitment, and don’t schedule anything else during your NNWT unless it’s absolutely necessary.
  • Set word count goals. And make them realistic! Don’t start out with lofty goals you’re unlikely to achieve. Give some thought to how many words you think you can write a week, and start there. If you find you’re hitting your weekly or daily goals easily, keep upping the stakes as your craft time becomes more ingrained in your routine.
  • Talk to friends and family about the project you’re working on. Doing so means that those close to you are likely to check in about the status of your piece — which in turn keeps you more accountable.

Arm yourself against writer’s block. Writer’s block will inevitably come, no matter how much story ideas initially inspire you. So it’s best to be prepared with tips and tricks you can use to keep yourself on track before the block hits. You can find 20 solid tips here — including how to establish a relationship with your inner critic and apps that can help you defeat procrastination or lack of motivation.

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i need to write a creative writing

I was lucky enough to take my first creative writing class in high school, and I was instantly hooked. I went on to take classes in college, and then even after I graduated. So, if you're about to start your first creative writing class, I am so excited for you.

But, what is creative writing class, anyway? How does that even work? When I took my first class, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. Creative writing is not taught like your typical school subject, but it's not a complete blow-off elective either. And of course, every teacher does things in their own way.

I also didn't realize until I took one how amazingly valuable a creative writing class can be. I used to think that writing was purely a solo activity. You sat at your desk and put some words down on paper, and that was that. But the truth is that writing classes are great ways to build a community, learn some tricks of the trade, and produce new work. No matter how you're embarking on your creative writing journey, there are some things that you can expect to find in any creative writing class you take:

Other people are going to be reading your work.

Most creative writing classes are based on the roundtable system, in which your fellow students will read your work and provide commentary. Wait, don't freak out! It can be really daunting to share your work with others, especially for the first time, but you may come to love the roundtable. Most people will be super respectful of your efforts, and it's helpful to be able to test ideas out on different readers. Plus, sometimes the hardest part of being a writer is recognizing what is working, and you'll be amazed to learn which parts of your writing your peers love. Trust me, I always leave a round table feeling inspired and empowered.

You will have deadlines.

Deadlines can be both a blessing and a curse. For me, having a deadline helps me get the work done. But, I acknowledge, they can be stressful.

You will have to write new material.

I think some people expect that they can just coast through on writing they've already done, or that they can just work on one short story and submit revisions of it again and again. There may be some classes where that's okay, but even so, one of the most fulfilling parts of creative writing classes is challenging yourself to write something new, and to keep writing.

You will probably have reading assignments.

This was a huge surprise to me when I first started taking creative writing classes. One of the best ways to get better at writing is to read, and many creative writing teachers will give you reading assignments.

Creative writing class is a great place to step out of your comfort zone.

Try writing in a new genre! Try writing a screenplay or a poem or a novel! I like to think of creative writing class as the writer's version of a science lab, where you can experiment on anything you want and see how it turns out. You're going to be delightfully surprised by what you're able to do.

You might get prompts, and you might not.

Most of my creative writing teachers have been super lenient with writing assignments. In my experience, teachers have left the decision up to me, which can be both freeing and intimidating. So before you start class, it might be a good idea to the think about what you want to write. (But also remember, it's always okay to ask your teacher for help if you're stumped!)

On the flip side, sometimes teachers do throw in a prompt or two, and it's easy to feel boxed in. In that case, think of the prompt as a challenge, and try to stretch the box in whatever way you can. Don't put too much pressure on yourself to stick to the prompt exactly. Just try to have fun!

You don't need any previous writing experience.

There are going to be some people in your class who have been writing since they emerged from the womb, and some people who haven't written anything in their life. Wherever you're at is where you're supposed to be. (Though, of course, more advanced classes will have prerequisites.)

You will make some of your best friends in creative writing class.

Creative writing classes are amazing communities. The work of writing is usually a solitary an difficult one, so it feels amazing to connect with other people who are going through the same process. Plus, sharing your work will give you a super tight bond.

You're going to read some stuff you don't like, and that's okay.

You'll find a huge variety in the writers taking class with you. Every writer has different tastes, different styles, and different skill-levels. Not everything you read is going to be right for you as a reader, but that doesn't mean it's bad. Remember, even if it's not your usual cup of tea, have an open mind and be respectful. Concentrate on the craft of the piece and giving constructive criticism. And always find something positive to say.

Not everything you submit has to be perfect.

Of course, put your best foot forward and work hard on the pieces you submit to class. But you'll save yourself a lot of heartache if you keep in mind that each piece you submit is just a draft , not the final version. The point is to find things about it to improve! There's really no such thing as a "mistake."

You don't have to be a professional writer to get a lot out of creative writing class.

My high school creative writing teacher used to have us start and end each semester by filling out a self-evaluation. One of the questions was what our commitment-level was, ranging from "Hobby" to "Passion." You don't have to be at the passion level to enjoy a creative writing class. In my opinion, creative writing classes are great no matter your level of experience.

But you'll only get as much out of it as you put into it.

The point of creative writing class is not to get a good grade. Your own sense of fulfillment is contingent upon the time and care you put into your assignments, class discussion, and review of your peers' work.

Don't forget to have fun!

One of the classic traps is to take writing too seriously. Don't lose sight of how freakin' fun it is to be creative.

i need to write a creative writing

i need to write a creative writing

Five Things I Learned in Creative Writing Class

by Melissa Donovan | May 4, 2023 | Creative Writing | 32 comments

creative writing class

What can you learn in a creative writing class?

People often ask me whether I think a formal education is necessary to a successful writing career. A degree certainly helps, but no, it’s not necessary. There are master writers who did not finish high school and plenty never went to college.

I want to be clear: I fully support higher education. If you pull me aside and ask whether I think you should go to college, I’m going to say, “Yes, of course you should!” I encounter plenty of writers (and other professionals) who lack confidence because they feel they need that degree to back up their abilities. That’s just not so. If you want to write, you should write, regardless of whether you have a degree.

Keep in mind that while a degree is helpful (and you certainly learn a lot of valuable things in college), it’s neither a license to write nor a guarantee that you’ll be successful. It doesn’t even ensure that you’ll write well. Whether you pursue higher education or not, it’s important to study the craft of writing. You can read books, join a writing group, or take a creative writing class.

Lessons from Creative Writing Class

Today, I thought I’d share a few lessons I learned when I took a creative writing class in college. This might provide some insight if you’re currently weighing whether to go to college or whether to study creative writing in college. This is by no means an exhaustive list; I’m going to highlight the most valuable lessons I learned — things that stuck with me and altered my life as a writer for the better. You’ll note that all of these are things you can learn outside of a classroom setting, if necessary.

1. Oh, so that’s what you mean by freewriting.

The first few days of my creative writing class, we spent ten to twenty minutes freewriting as soon as class started. About two weeks later, the instructor asked if anyone wanted to read one of their freewrites out loud. A volunteer stood up and started reading, and I realized I had been doing it wrong all along.

My freewrites were nothing more than diary entries. I simply wrote about whatever was going on in my life. But my classmate had written a mesmerizing stream-of-consciousness piece that sounded like something out of a dream. It was poetic! Oh, I thought, that’s what we’re supposed to be doing .

I had actually thought it odd that we were writing journals in class. Now it made sense! In creative writing class, I learned to freewrite every day as part of my writing practice and as a tool to generate raw material for poetry and story ideas. It had a huge impact on my writing and marked a time when my work and my writing practices went through dramatic improvements.

2. Some people work out with weights; we do writing exercises.

Writing exercises are where my technical skills saw the most progress. When you write whatever you want, whenever you want, there are aspects of the craft that inevitably escape you. Writing exercises and assignments forced me to think more strategically about my writing from a technical standpoint. It wasn’t about getting my ideas onto the page; it was about setting out to achieve a specific mission with my writing.

Many writing exercises that we did in class imparted valuable writing concepts; these were the exercises I treasured most because they helped me see my writing from various angles. Writing exercises also gave me a host of creativity methods that I use to this day to keep writer’s block at bay.

Finally, all those exercises I did back in college ultimately inspired my own book of creative writing exercises ; although the inspiration came from poetry and fiction writing courses as well as the creative writing class that I took.

3. The writing community is a treasure.

When I was in high school and a teacher would announce a quiz or a writing assignment, the students would let out a collective sigh and begrudgingly get to work. In creative writing class, when the instructor said, “Let’s do a writing exercise,” everybody got excited. We couldn’t pull out our notebooks and pens fast enough!

Here’s the thing about a creative writing class: everyone in the room wants to be there. They chose to be there. So there’s a lot of enthusiasm and passion. For the first time in my life, I found myself surrounded by people with whom I shared a common interest.

More importantly, there’s plenty of support and camaraderie. Prior to taking this class, I had shown a few pieces of my writing to friends and family, who mostly just nodded and said that it was good or that I was talented. In class, I was surrounded by other writers who were eager and interested to read what I had written, and the best part was that they offered suggestions that would make my writing even better! I can’t stress enough how warm I’ve found writers to be over the years. It’s an honor to be part of such a supportive community.

4. Nothing can replace a mentor.

In college, instructors who taught writing classes were all published authors. As a student, I had direct access to writers who had gone through all the rigors of everything that happens in the writing process : drafting, revising, submitting, publishing, and marketing.

These instructors were also extremely well versed in literature and the craft of writing (as they should be — that’s their job, after all). And there is nothing — no book, video, or article — that beats direct access to an experienced professional.

5. Right place, right time.

Perhaps the best lesson I gleaned from creative writing class was that I was in the right place at the right time. This was a feeling that came from within, a certainty that I was doing exactly what I was meant to be doing. The semester that I took a creative writing class was packed with odd coincidences and epiphanies. I was often overwhelmed with feelings of serendipity, and I stopped questioning whether I had made the right choice in pursuing creative writing as my field of study.

Alternatives to a Creative Writing Class

As I mentioned, most of these lessons can be learned outside of a creative writing class. You can discover writing techniques and strategies from books, blogs, and magazines. You can find a community and a mentor online or in local writing groups. And you can experience a sense of certainty just about anywhere.

I definitely recommend taking a creative writing class if you can, and if you’re truly dedicated to writing and intend on going to college, then it only makes sense to study it formally. However, for writers who can’t or haven’t gone to college, I say this: find another route. A creative writing class or a creative writing degree will be helpful to building a writing career, but these things are not essential.

Ready Set Write a Guide to Creative Writing

32 Comments

Carrie

Hi Melissa, great post as always!

I just finished reading Natalie Goldberg’s ‘Writing Down the Bones’, in it she talks about writing practice. I also just purchased your book ‘101 Creative Writing Exercises’ and I’m loving it. But I’m still not quite getting freewriting either. I was wondering if you could tell me what I need to be doing to stop it sounding like a journal?

Melissa Donovan

It takes a bit of practice if you have a hard time thinking or writing in the abstract. Instead of starting with a general freewrite, you might try a guided freewrite and work with a word or image. Instead of writing a diary-style journal, you will write about the image (or word) you have chosen. Go for something a bit on the bizarre side or choose an abstract image. The trick is to relax and let strange, obscure words and phrases come to mind, and then write those down.

Here are some suggestions for words and images to use for a guided freewrite: space, clouds, deep sea. You can also search online for abstract art and keep an image in front of you while you write. Make sure you turn off your inner editor. Don’t think about what you’re writing; just let the words flow. Good luck!

Tia Bach

I love the idea of freewriting, but am so glad you defined it. I would have been journalling right along side you. But I write women’s fiction, so maybe that would have worked out for me in the end. My issue lately is a feeling of being uninspired. I think a creative writing class would definitely help with that.

My apprehension with taking more writing classes, in all honesty, is the subjectiveness of teachers. I have had wonderful writing experiences, but it never fails that you get that one teacher who doesn’t like your work, will never like your work. I don’t need that in my head.

My mother, also a writer, decided to get her English degree as an adult (I graduated college a semester before she did). She met up with a teacher that truly hated her writing. We have drastically different styles, so she asked me to help her. I ended up writing her papers and getting her an A.

Thanks for this post… you’ve inspired me to go write one of my own.

When I was attending community college, I had a teacher like that. Since I picked up on her bias early on, I was able to simply drop the class. She told me right to my face that she would grade me down if she didn’t agree with my opinion in a position paper. I almost reported her but decided to let it go and move on. It definitely helps to give yourself some leeway and check out your instructors before you sign on. I cannot support writing other people’s papers as that is a serious violation of every school policy. There are other ways to resolve issues with an instructor. Most schools will let you do a special withdrawal if there is a conflict like that.

Tim LaBarge

Great content, Melissa. I certainly agree that you don’t need an MFA or even an undergraduate writing degree in order to be considered “a writer.” Anyone can write provided they put the time and effort in the right place. Although a few writing classes along the way can be an enormous help.

One thing I learned through a fiction writing class was that peer edits are invaluable. So often when you ask someone to edit your work you get the “it’s good” or “you misspelled something on page 9” response. What I realized in this course was that most writers want to be criticized (constructively, of course). Writers are generally driven to continually improve their craft. Peer edits are a great way to do this, and as a result I no longer feel bad when critiquing someone else’s work. It only helps them.

Thanks for the post.

I couldn’t agree more. When I was in school, feedback was the single most valuable learning experience. Many writers struggle emotionally with critiques but I never did. I just got excited that people were invested enough to help me improve my work!

Kelvin Kao

Though I have not taken a creative writing class, I can relate to many of the elements on some level. Less than a year ago, I went from a small company, to solo freelancing, and after a few months joined a big company. It was nice having co-workers again. We are computer programmers and we write code. Now that I am working with other people, I get to see what they wrote and how they wrote certain things. (There wasn’t really an equivalence to freewriting, though!) When I was working by myself, I had a tendency to just do things a certain way. Now I get more experienced programmers as mentors and they would push me to look into certain ways of doing things that I wasn’t familiar with. So yeah. Many of the same elements.

I am thinking that it’s the structure, sense of community, and the immediacy of feedbacks that really help.

As much as I love being self-employed, I’m hugely grateful for over a decade of on-the-job experience working with other people. I’m pretty sure that without having been mentored by professionals in the business world, my self-employment would have been blind and amateurish. I do miss having coworkers though. Social media is wonderful, but it’s not a true replacement for that sense of community.

Ashley Prince

I love this post. As an English major, there are times when I just want to quit school and focus on writing. I feel like the constraints and expectations in college are limiting my creativity. I have not gotten enough pre-reqs out of the way in which to take a creative writing class, but I definitely will now.

The community is the best part.

I say don’t give up on college! In addition to all the things you’ll learn about writing, it will enrich you as a human being. Stick with it; you’ll be glad you did.

Sarah Allen

Fantastic list! And very true. Especially the community feel, that’s probably what I miss the most now that I’m done.

That’s definitely what I miss the most. Plus, I used to love being on campus (I went to two different schools with gorgeous campuses). I’ve thought about going back for my MFA. Maybe someday…

Bill Polm

Good one, Melissa. I like what you said re the writing exercises. Good reminder. It’s easy to get all caught up in pumping out blog posts and ebooks and trying to get through that novel rewrite and skip those exercises. And, yes, those critiques really help. I’m amazed at times at what I don’t see that needs more clarity in my writing.

Thanks, Bill. Yes, there’s so much we can do with exercises. I use them within larger projects. For example, I can apply various fiction writing exercises to a novel that I’m writing. I’ll generate material that won’t end up in the manuscript, but it’s good for the writing muscles!

Peter Minj

A friend of mine tells me that i am still not giving my all for writing and I should not delve into a career in writing till I reach that level.I believe I am trying whatever I can at the moment.I can only get better by writing more and with more time and effort I will grow more as a writer.But that statement of my friend creates lot of self-doubt in me whether I will make it as a writer.

Hi Peter. I don’t know your friend and am not familiar with your writing, so I can’t give you any specific feedback about how much work your writing needs, but you are correct: the more you write, the better it will get. Your writing will also improve if you read a lot. One tip I can offer is to proofread everything you write, including comments on blogs like this. Get a book or two on the craft of writing, and definitely get a second opinion (don’t limit the feedback on your writing to one person).

jesma archibald

A million thanks to you mellisa! you see as a child i loved books and writting but lost my way in life.Now i am quiety returning to what i loved.However its difficult.I began searching the internet for advice and i found your site.I am so elated!I feel that i am now being gently held by the hand to write and with a greater understanding of what i am supposed to do.I am in my fortieth year,but i know it’s never too late.This is one of the most instructive sites i’ve found.!

Thanks so much for your kind words. I’m always thrilled when people return to writing after so many years. What a wonderful reawakening that must be. I wish you the best of luck with your writing, Jesma.

Molly Kluever

Thanks for the suggestions! I’m in the eighth grade, but my English teachers have always said that I write at an advanced high school level. I love writing, I really do. I’ve read classic and modern literature to tweak my style, and also personally studied different techniques, like the ones you’ve provided here. Unfortunately, like I said, I’m an eighth grader, so I can’t go enroll at a university for writing classes. But I’m not challenged enough with my basic English curriculum. Do you have any suggestions for me to get better?

Hi Molly. The best suggestion I can give you is simply this: read and write. Read as much as you can, and read across different forms (essays, poetry, fiction) and genres (literary, speculative, etc.). Nothing will improve your writing like reading good books, and if you can absorb a lot of literature now, then when you get to college, you’ll be leagues ahead of your peers when you take writing workshops and classes.

Good luck to you!

samantha webber

Thankyou so much for writing this, I really want to start a writing career but don’t know where to start, this is really helpfull! Do you mind if I ask which university you went to as I’m just about to start my finall year doing A-levels and I’m looking around at uni’s and I want to make sure I go to the right on. Thanks again!!

I chose my school based on location. It was close to home and I didn’t have to move. If you do a search online, you’ll find which universities are known for their writing programs.

Marcy McKay

Great info, Melissa. Thanks. I especially liked your explanation about freewriting. That might mean different things to different people. You described it well.

Hi Marcy. Yes, freewriting has many variations, so it can definitely mean different things to different people. Thanks!

Mae Labiste

Thanks for the tips and telling us what it’s like to be in a Creative Writing class. I’m just wondering… I’m a new university student and I took a writing class in high school and thought it was a great experience. I love writing short stories and writing poetry. But now, I’m in university, I really want to take that course but I have terrible grammar and i dont know if anyone would take it

Every university is different, but in my experience, the creative writing instructors weren’t sticklers about grammar. Having said that, if you feel your grammar could be improved, why not work on it? It will not only improve your short stories and poems, it will also benefit you in communications and probably in your career as well. But I wouldn’t worry about it too much, especially in a creative class and as a new student. That’s why you’re there: to learn.

OMG

Great article. Thanks for the explanation of freewriting. I do this sometimes before I begin a big writing task — just didn’t realize I was freewriting!

And, I couldn’t agree more about writing exercises. My entire career is essentially based on executing high-level writing exercises for clients within a scope and a deadline. It’s like writing for your life — no better way to improve your skills!

My co-workers have wondered why I also write for online magazines or enter writing contests, especially if all I ever do is write. However, I believe it’s critical to challenge yourself and continue strengthening that creative muscle. My social writing circle is practically non-existent because I am the writing mentor for colleagues, and with such a demanding job, it’s difficult to find time to talk to others about writing or where to find writing courses.

This was a refreshing read that reminded me of the importance of making those connections again. Thank you.

Thanks. I love freewriting, and it’s a great way to warm up for a writing session.

Mark

Thanks for your post Melissa, it brought a lot of good insight to the forefront of my mind–especially about freewriting.

In middle and high school I was a gifted underachiever. Then I spent my late teens and twenties exposing myself to a substantial amount of literature, life lessons, fickle pathways at community college, partying, and jobs–so many jobs. When I finally made some headway with respect to credits, getting those much desired A’s, I finally felt ready to transfer to university and make a career with my eminent computer science degree. Except my life was tumultuous at best, and I was suddenly faced with a problem new to me–crippling insomnia.

These past five years I’ve had to humbly and patiently nurture myself to health. After a lot of introspection I came to accept that my academic path in life had been more to please other people rather than thriving in that which truly excites me–writing and teaching math (tutoring people for the GED helped me realize this).

I’m finally ready to start exercizing my writing skills again. My well of life experience and creativity make generating content simple. But I’m excited to re-familiarize myself with the fundamentals–to really put in the necessary work it takes to write naturally, with clarity and beautiful simplicity as you and others do.

I don’t know exactly where my writing will bring me after university, but I will have all the space and time I need to write while living off my land in my tiny home and tending to my vegetable garden. I appreciate you and the other commenters here for your effort and insight. I’m 32 and I feel as though I’m 18 again, with my whole life ahead of me–and without the essential naivety youth provides (or at least less of it!).

Hi Mark. Thanks for sharing your writing journey with us. One of the things I love about writing is that it’s always there for us, no matter how long we’ve been away. Welcome back to the craft.

V.M. Sang

I have learned much from blogs like this one, and other writers I’ve got to know on the internet. I did not do a creative writing course as I did Science with English Literature and Mathematics as subsidiaries. I am grateful for the writers of those blogs and the authors of the many books I’ve read. Also, I am in two online critique groups that I find helpful. I take your point about people who don’t like your writing. Recently,I posted a work on one group. One critiquer suggested I cut one paragraph of description as she said it added nothing. The next critique I read told me that the critiquer loved my descriptions! You can’t please everyone.

I have been in some settings with critique groups and absolutely loved it. Nothing improved my writing faster or more than workshopping and critiques. Yes, opinions will vary, but the feedback is still interesting and can be useful.

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Creative Writing for Kids: A Step-By-Step Guide to Writing a Story

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Creative writing can be a real positive force for children’s lives and development, but how does a child get started with creative writing? There are many ways, but it can often be helpful to have a structure to work from, so we’ve outlined some simple steps on how your child can write a story and enjoy themselves in the process! As they brainstorm, a lot of ideas will come to mind, so we recommend they take notes throughout the process.

What is creative writing?

Creative writing is an expressive form of writing that allows children to explore their thoughts, ideas, and emotions in an imaginative way. Unlike academic or factual writing , creative writing encourages children to use their imagination to invent characters , settings , and plots , fostering a love for storytelling and self-expression.

In creative writing, children have the freedom to write stories , poems , letters , and even scripts for their own movies. It's an opportunity for them to unleash their creativity, experiment with language, and develop their unique voice as writers. Through creative writing, children learn to think critically, problem-solve, and communicate effectively, all while having fun and exploring their creativity.

Encouraging creative writing at home or as part of homeschooling not only helps children develop their writing skills but also nurtures their imagination and confidence.

Getting started

Child writing.

Your child may not be quite ready to start, and that’s normal - writing can be challenging!

Instead of jumping straight in, ease your child into it with activities like free writing. This will allow them to explore any topic without pressure, acting as a way to boost your child’s imagination before they start writing stories .

If your child is a reluctant writer, you can try different methods that don’t actively require them to put pen to paper, but are linked to creativity and storytelling. These include drawing , picking out new children’s books from the local library, telling stories out loud, or dedicating time to read your child’s favorite books as a family. Generally, reading lays the foundation for your child to be able to create their own stories, improving their narrative writing skills by exposing them to different techniques, genres, and styles.

When all else fails, encourage your child to read more. The more that your child reads, the easier it will be for them to start writing.

Step 1: Character development

Creating a character is a great starting point for your child to write their own story.

This character can be whatever your child wants them to be. They can be a human, an animal, a mystical creature, or something completely made-up! Once they have a general idea of what they want this character to be, they can brainstorm different plot points, which will further inform the characters traits, behaviours, and role in the story.

Here are some questions your child should be able to answer about their character:

  • What is going on in this character’s life?
  • Do they have a problem that they need to fix?
  • Who are they interacting with in this story?
  • How do they feel about other characters, and about the issue at hand?

A story normally relies on one character to be the hero, and on another to be the villain. The villain is typically portrayed as a negative character who introduces a problem (the antagonist), and the hero is a positive character who solves the problems (the protagonist). Once your child creates their main character, they should establish their role within the story. Are they writing from the perspective of the hero, or would they prefer to give the villain of the story a voice?

From there, they can create side characters! These are typically parents, siblings, and friends of the main character, but can also be total strangers. If your child is stuck on how to build their first character, they can use writing prompts to make it a little easier. Try this prompt:

Prompt: Create a character that is half dog, and half elephant and call it a Doggophant! What does a Doggophant like to eat?

Step 2: Setting and genre

The next step in your child’s creative writing process is to choose where it takes place . They should also decide the genre of their story, as some settings won’t work for some specific genres (for example, a sunny beach wouldn’t pair well with a moody mystery).

This story’s setting could be a real location, such as London, Paris, or New York, or a fictional location, like an enchanted forest or an underwater kingdom.

A helpful way to start brainstorming is to ask your child about places they’ve been to, seen on TV, or read about in stories. This is a chance for them to imagine how their story would look like in different settings, and will help them decide on the genre they’d like to go for too.

Prompt (continued): Where does a Doggophant usually live? Is it a magical Night Zoo?

Step 3: Structure and plot

Child writing.

Before starting to plan the plot, your child should understand the basic structure of a story . All good stories have a beginning, a middle, and an end.

The beginning serves as a way to introduce characters, set the scene, and show the "calm before the storm”. This happens before a conflict is introduced.

The middle of a story is where most of the action takes place. This is where your child should introduce the main problem, and the main character’s journey of trying to solve it.

Finally, the ending or conclusion of the story is where, normally, the conflict is resolved. This can change depending on how your child wants to end their story!

Prompt (continued): Doggophants love when people visit the Night Zoo, but a new character named Lord Nulth is trying to steal all of the creativity in the Zoo! Does Lord Nulth sound like a nice person? Why would he want to steal creativity? How will Doggophant and other animals stop him?

Step 4: Begin Writing

Now that all the planning is done, let’s get writing!

As your child starts to write, they’ll probably make changes and come up with new story ideas— this is normal and an integral part of the creative process.

It’s important that you offer your support throughout this process, especially if your child is a reluctant writer. While giving them space to concentrate, you can check-in every once in a while, offering help if they encounter any hurdles. Your role mirrors that of a writing prompt, providing your child with initial ideas and nudging them to develop their story further. This collaborative approach ensures their story unfolds organically, making the blank page a canvas for unlimited story possibilities!

Step 5: Keep Going!

Child writing.

One of the best things about creative writing is that it enables children to express themselves and grow in confidence with every story they craft. It pushes children to believe in the phrase "I can", as they embark on different writing exercises without the fear of failing or being held by the “what if’s”. As your child starts their journey through the exciting world of writing, it’s important to guide them in the right direction. Encourage them to not overthink and just write whatever comes to mind at first.

To keep the momentum, you can even set different goals, like writing different descriptions, drawing their main character, or brainstorming different story endings before writing the full story. For reluctant writers, setting small, attainable targets can make the process less overwhelming and more exciting. Avoid setting strict word counts or time limits, as these can add pressure and take the fun out of the writing experience.

It’s important to remember that progress isn’t linear, and that every child is unique. If they need to, you can allow your child to build their story gradually, creating a more fluid project that enables them to work when inspiration strikes. Once they finish their first story, you’ll probably see a change in their attitude, and a new motivation to write a different piece.

Creative writing can be a rewarding experience for you and your child. Make sure you give them positive encouragement, and to soak in the experience of reading the story once it has been completed. They’ll have created something one-of-a-kind, and it will give you an exciting look into their imagination!

Step 6: Try Night Zookeeper

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Still having trouble getting your child motivated to write? You should try Night Zookeeper !

Our writing program for kids makes writing fantastically fun by turning different writing activities into games, keeping children engaged, entertained, and excited to learn!

We cover all styles of writing, and boost children’s writing skills using an array of different activities, including writing lessons, short story prompts, and challenges.

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365 Creative Writing Prompts

Here are 365 Creative Writing Prompts to help inspire you to write every single day! Use them for journaling, story starters, poetry, and more!

365 creative writing prompts

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If you want to become a better writer, the best thing you can do is practice writing every single day. Writing prompts are useful because we know sometimes it can be hard to think of what to write about!

To help you brainstorm, we put together this list of 365 creative writing prompts to give you something to write about daily.

Want to Download these prompts?  I am super excited to announce due to popular demand we now have an ad-free printable version of this list of writing prompts available for just $5. The  printable version  includes a PDF as a list AND print-ready prompt cards. {And all the design source files you could ever need to customize any way you would like!}

Here are 365 Creative Writing Prompts to Inspire:

Whether you write short stories, poems, or like to keep a journal – these will stretch your imagination and give you some ideas for topics to write about!

1. Outside the Window : What’s the weather outside your window doing right now? If that’s not inspiring, what’s the weather like somewhere you wish you could be?

2. The Unrequited love poem: How do you feel when you love someone who does not love you back?

3. The Vessel: Write about a ship or other vehicle that can take you somewhere different from where you are now.

4. Dancing: Who’s dancing and why are they tapping those toes?

5. Food: What’s for breakfast? Dinner? Lunch? Or maybe you could write a poem about that time you met a friend at a cafe.

6. Eye Contact: Write about two people seeing each other for the first time.

7. The Rocket-ship: Write about a rocket-ship on its way to the moon or a distant galaxy far, far, away.

rocket ship writing prompt

8. Dream-catcher : Write something inspired by a recent dream you had.

9. Animals: Choose an animal. Write about it!

10. Friendship: Write about being friends with someone.

11. Dragon : Envision a dragon. Do you battle him? Or is the dragon friendly? Use descriptive language.

12. Greeting : Write a story or poem that starts with the word “hello” or another greeting.

13. The Letter: Write a poem or story using words from a famous letter or inspired by a letter someone sent you.

14. The Found Poem : Read a book and circle some words on a page. Use those words to craft a poem. Alternatively, you can cut out words and phrases from magazines.

15. Eavesdropper : Create a poem, short story, or journal entry about a conversation you’ve overheard.

16. Addict: Everyone’s addicted to something in some shape or form. What are things you can’t go without?

17. Dictionary Definition : Open up a dictionary to a random word. Define what that word means to you.

dictionary success

18. Cleaning: Hey, even writers and creative artists have to do housework sometimes. Write about doing laundry, dishes, and other cleaning activities.

19. Great Minds: Write  about someone you admire and you thought to have had a beautiful mind.

20. Missed Connections: If you go to Craigslist, there is a “Missed Connections” section where you can find some interesting storylines to inspire your writing.

21. Foreclosure : Write a poem or short story about someone who has lost or is about to lose their home.

22. Smoke, Fog, and Haze: Write about not being able to see ahead of you.

23. Sugar: Write something so sweet, it makes your teeth hurt.

24. Numbers:  Write a poem or journal entry about numbers that have special meaning to you.

25. Dread: Write about doing something you don’t want to do.

26. Fear: What scares you a little? What do you feel when scared? How do you react?

27. Closed Doors: What’s behind the door? Why is it closed?

i need to write a creative writing

28. Shadow: Imagine you are someone’s shadow for a day.

29. Good Vibes: What makes you smile? What makes you happy?

30. Shopping:  Write about your shopping wishlist and how you like to spend money.

31. The Professor: Write about a teacher that has influenced you.

32. Rewrite : Take any poem or short story you enjoy. Rewrite it in your own words.

33. Jewelry: Write about a piece of jewelry. Who does it belong to?

34. Sounds : Sit outside for about an hour. Write down the sounds you hear.

35. War and Peace: Write about a recent conflict that you dealt with in your life.

36. Frame It: Write a poem or some phrases that would make for good wall art in your home.

37. Puzzle: Write about putting together the pieces of puzzles.

38. Fire-starters: Write about building a fire.

39. Coffee & Tea: Surely you drink one or the other or know someone who does- write about it!

40. Car Keys: Write about someone getting their driver’s license for the first time.

41. What You Don’t Know: Write about a secret you’ve kept from someone else or how you feel when you know someone is keeping a secret from you.

42. Warehouse : Write about being inside an old abandoned warehouse.

warehouse writing prompt

43. The Sound of Silence: Write about staying quiet when you feel like shouting.

44. Insult: Write about being insulted. How do you feel? Why do you think the other person insulted you?

45. Mirror, Mirror: What if you mirror started talking to you? What might the mirror say?

46. Dirty: Write a poem about getting covered in mud.

47. Light Switch : Write about coming out of the dark and seeing the light.

48. The Stars : Take inspiration from a night sky. Or, write about a time when “the stars aligned” in your horoscope.

writing prompt star idea

49. Joke Poem : What did the wall say to the other wall? Meet you at the corner! Write something inspired by a favorite joke.

50. Just Say No : Write about the power you felt when you told someone no.

51: Sunrise/Sunset : The sun comes up, the sun goes down. It goes round and round. Write something inspiring about the sunrise or sunset.

52. Memory Lane : What does Memory Lane look like? How do you get there?

53. Tear-Jerker : Watch a movie that makes you cry. Write about that scene in the movie.

54. Dear Diary: Write a poem or short story about a diary entry you’ve read or imagined.

55. Holding Hands : The first time you held someone’s hand.

56. Photograph : Write a story or journal entry influenced by a photograph you see online or in a magazine.

57. Alarm Clock: Write about waking up.

58. Darkness: Write a poem or journal entry inspired by what you can’t see.

59. Refreshed: Write a poem about a time you really felt refreshed and renewed. Maybe it was a dip into a pool on a hot summer day, a drink of lemonade, or other situation that helped you relax and start again.

60. Handle With Care : Write about a very fragile or delicate object.

61. Drama: Write about a time when you got stuck in between two parties fighting with each other.

62. Slip Up: Write about making mistakes.

63. Spice: Write about flavors and tastes or a favorite spice of yours.

64. Sing a New Song: Take a popular song off the radio and rewrite it as a poem in your own words.

65. Telephone: Write about a phone call you recently received.

66. Name: Write a poem or short story using your name in some way or form.

67. Dollhouse: Write a poem or short story from the viewpoint of someone living in a doll house.

68. Random Wikipedia Article : Go to Wikipedia and click on Random Article . Write about whatever the page you get.

69. Silly Sports: Write about an extreme or silly sport. If none inspire you, make up the rules for your own game.

70. Recipe : Write about a recipe for something abstract, such as a feeling.

71. Famous Artwork: Choose a famous painting and write about it.

72. Where That Place Used to Be : Think of a place you went to when you were younger but it now no longer there or is something else. Capture your feelings about this in your writing.

73. Last Person You Talked to: Write a quick little poem or story about the last person you spoke with.

74. Caught Red-Handed: Write about being caught doing something embarrassing.

75. Interview: Write a list of questions you have for someone you would like to interview, real or fictional.

76. Missing You: Write about someone you miss dearly.

77. Geography: Pick a state or country you’ve never visited. Write about why you would or would not like to visit that place.

geography writing prompt

78. Random Song: Turn on the radio, use the shuffle feature on your music collection or your favorite streaming music service. Write something inspired by the first song you hear.

79. Hero: Write a tribute to someone you regard as a hero.

80. Ode to Strangers: Go people watching and write an ode to a stranger you see on the street.

81. Advertisement: Advertisements are everywhere, aren’t they? Write using the slogan or line from an ad.

82. Book Inspired: Think of your favorite book. Now write a poem that sums up the entire story in 10 lines.

83. Magic : Imagine you have a touch of magic, and can make impossible things happen. What would you do?

84. Fanciest Pen: Get out your favorite pen, pencils, or even colored markers and write using them!

85. A Day in the Life: Write about your daily habits and routine.

86. Your Muse: Write about your muse – what do they look like? What does your muse do to inspire you?

87. Convenience Store : Write about an experience you’ve had at a gas station or convenience store.

88. Natural Wonders of the World: Choose one of the natural wonders of the world. Write about it.

89. Status Update: Write a poem using the words from your latest status update or a friend’s status update. If you don’t use sites like Facebook or Twitter, you can often search online for some funny ones to use as inspiration.

90. Green Thumb: Write about growing something.

91. Family Heirloom: Write about an object that’s been passed through the generations in your family.

92. Bug Catcher: Write about insects.

93. Potion: Write about a magic potion. What is it made of? What does it do? What is the antidote?

94. Swinging & Sliding: Write something inspired by a playground or treehouse.

95. Adjectives: Make a list of the first 5 adjectives that pop into your head. Use these 5 words in your story, poem, or journal entry.

96. Fairy Tales: Rewrite a fairy tale. Give it a new ending or make it modern or write as a poem.

97. Whispers: Write about someone who has to whisper a secret to someone else.

98. Smile: Write a poem about the things that make you smile.

99. Seasonal: Write about your favorite season.

100.  Normal: What does normal mean to you? Is it good or bad to be normal?

101. Recycle : Take something you’ve written in the past and rewrite it into a completely different piece.

102. Wardrobe: Write about a fashion model or what’s currently in your closet or drawers.

103. Secret Message : Write something with a secret message hidden in between the words. For example, you could make an acrostic poem using the last letters of the word or use secret code words in the poem.

104. Vacation: Write about a vacation you took.

105. Heat: Write about being overheated and sweltering.

106. Spellbinding: Write a magic spell.

107. Collection : Write about collecting something, such as salt shakers, sea shells, or stamps.

108. Taking Chances: Everyone takes a risk at some point in their life. Write about a time when you took a chance and what the result was.

109. Carnival: Write a poem or story or journal entry inspired by a carnival or street fair.

110. Country Mouse: Write about someone who grew up in the country visiting the city for the first time.

111: Questions: Write about questions you have for the universe. Optional: include an answer key.

112. Rushing: Write about moving quickly and doing things fast.

113. Staircase : Use a photo of a staircase or the stairs in your home or a building you love to inspire you.

114. Neighbors: Make up a story or poem about your next door neighbor.

115. Black and Blue: Write about a time you’ve been physically hurt.

116. All Saints: Choose a saint and create a poem about his or her life.

117. Beach Inspired: What’s not to write about the beach?

118. Shoes: What kind of shoes do you wear? Where do they lead your feet?

119. The Ex: Write a poem to someone who is estranged from you.

120. My Point of View: Write in the first person point of view.

121. Stray Animal: Think of the life of a stray cat or dog and write about that.

122. Stop and Stare : Create a poem or story about something you could watch forever.

123. Your Bed: Describe where you sleep each night.

124. Fireworks : Do they inspire you or do you not like the noise and commotion? Write about it.

125. Frozen: Write about a moment in your life you wish you could freeze and preserve.

126. Alone : Do you like to be alone or do you like having company?

127. Know-it-all: Write about something you are very knowledgeable about, for example a favorite hobby or passion of yours.

128. The Promise: Write about a promise you’ve made to someone. Did you keep that promise?

129. Commotion: Write about being overstimulated by a lot of chaos.

130. Read the News Today : Construct a poem or story using a news headline for your first line.

131. Macro: Write a description of an object close-up.

132. Transportation : Write about taking your favorite (or least-favorite) form of transportation.

133. Gadgets: If you could invent a gadget, what would it do? Are there any gadgets that make your life easier?

134: Bring on the Cheese: Write a tacky love poem that is so cheesy, it belongs on top of a pizza.

135. Ladders: Write a story or poem that uses ladders as a symbol.

136. Bizarre Holiday : There is a bizarre holiday for any date! Look up a holiday for today’s date and create a poem in greeting card fashion or write a short story about the holiday to celebrate.

137. Blog-o-sphere : Visit your favorite blog or your feedreader and craft a story, journal entry, or poem based on the latest blog post you read.

138. Mailbox: Create a poem, short story, or journal entry based on a recent item of mail you’ve received.

139. Sharing : Write about sharing something with someone else.

140. Cactus: Write from the viewpoint of a cactus. What’s it like to live in the desert or have a prickly personality?

141. It’s a Sign : Have you seen any interesting road signs lately?

142. Furniture: Write about a piece of furniture in your home.

143. Failure: Write about a time you failed at something. Did you try again or give up completely?

144. Mystical Creatures: Angels or other mystical creatures – use them as inspiration.

145. Flying: Write about having wings and what you would do.

146. Clear and Transparent: Write a poem about being able to see-through something.

147. Break the Silence : Record yourself speaking, then write down what you spoke and revise into a short story or poem.

148. Beat: Listen to music with a strong rhythm or listen to drum loops. Write something that goes along with the beat you feel and hear.

149. Color Palette: Search online for color palettes and be inspired to write by one you resonate with.

150. Magazine: Randomly flip to a page in a magazine and write using the first few words you see as an opening line.

151. The Grass is Greener : Write about switching the place with someone or going to where it seems the “grass is greener”.

152. Mind & Body: Write something that would motivate others to workout and exercise.

153. Shaping Up : Write something that makes a shape on the page…ie: a circle, a heart, a square, etc.

154. Twenty-One: Write about your 21st birthday.

155. Aromatherapy: Write about scents you just absolutely love.

156. Swish, Buzz, Pop : Create a poem that uses Onomatopoeia .

157. What Time is It? Write about the time of day it is right now. What are people doing? What do you usually do at this time each day?

158. Party Animal: Have you ever gone to a party you didn’t want to leave? Or do you hate parties? Write about it!

159: Miss Manners : Use the words “please” and “thank you” in your writing.

160. Cliche: Choose a common cliche, then write something that says the same thing but without using the catch phrase.

161. Eco-friendly : Write about going green or an environmental concern you have.

162. Missing You: Write about someone you miss.

163. Set it Free: Think of a time when you had to let someone or something go to be free…did they come back?

164: Left Out : Write about a time when you’ve felt left out or you’ve noticed someone else feeling as if they didn’t belong.

165. Suitcase: Write about packing for a trip or unpacking from when you arrive home.

i need to write a creative writing

166. Fantasy : Write about fairies, gnomes, elves, or other mythical creatures.

167. Give and Receive : Write about giving and receiving.

168. Baker’s Dozen: Imagine the scents and sights of a bakery and write.

169. Treehouse: Write about your own secret treehouse hideaway.

170.  Risk: Write about taking a gamble on something.

171. Acrostic : Choose a word and write an acrostic poem where every line starts with a letter from the word.

172. Crossword Puzzle: Open up the newspaper or find a crossword puzzle online and choose one of the clues to use as inspiration for your writing.

173. Silver Lining : Write about the good that happens in a bad situation.

174. Gloves: Write about a pair of gloves – what kind of gloves are they? Who wears them and why?

175. All that Glitters: Write about a shiny object.

176. Jealousy: Write with a theme of envy and jealousy.

Want to Download these prompts?  I am super excited to announce due to popular demand we now have an ad-free printable version of this list of writing prompts available for just $5. The  printable version  includes a PDF as a list AND print-ready prompt cards. {And all the design source files you could ever need to customize any way you would like!}

177. How Does Your Garden Grow? Write about a flower that grows in an unusual place.

178. Jury Duty : Write a short story or poem that takes place in a courtroom.

179. Gifts: Write about a gift you have given or received.

180. Running: Write about running away from someone or something.

181. Discovery: Think of something you’ve recently discovered and use it as inspiration.

182. Complain:  Write about your complaints about something.

183. Gratitude: Write a poem or journal entry that is all about things you are thankful for.

184. Chemistry: Choose an element and write a poem or story that uses that word in one of the lines.

185. Applause: Write about giving someone a standing ovation.

186. Old Endings Into New Beginnings:  Take an old poem, story, or journal entry of yours and use the last line and make it the first line of your writing today.

187. Longing: Write  about something you very much want to do.

188. I Am: Write a motivational poem or journal entry about positive traits that make you who you are.

189. Rainbow : What is at the end of a rainbow? Or, take a cue from Kermit the Frog, and ask yourself, why are there so many songs about rainbows?

end of the rainbow writing idea

190. Museum: Take some time to visit a nearby museum with your journal. Write about one of the pieces that speaks to you.

191. Cartoon: Think of your favorite cartoon or comic. Write a poem or story that takes place in that setting.

192. Copycat: Borrow a line from a famous public domain poem to craft your own.

193. From the Roof-tops:  Imagine you could stand on a rooftop and broadcast a message to everyone below – what would you say?

194. Time Travel: If there was a time period you could visit for a day, where would you go? Write about traveling back in time to that day.

195. Changing Places: Imagine living the day as someone else.

196. Neighborhood: Write about your favorite place in your neighborhood to visit and hang out at.

197. Pirates: Write about a pirate ship.

198. Interview : Write based on a recent interview you’ve read or seen on TV or heard on the radio.

199.  Hiding Spaces : Write about places you like to hide things at. What was a favorite hiding spot for you as a child playing hide-and-seek?

200. Extreme Makeover: Imagine how life might be different if you could change your hair color or clothing into something completely opposite from your current style.

201. Empathy: Write about your feelings of empathy or compassion for another person.

202. Opposites: Write a poem or story that ties in together two opposites.

203. Boredom: Write about being bored or make a list of different ways to entertain yourself.

204. Strength : Think of a time when you’ve been physically or emotionally strong and use that as inspiration.

205. Hunger: Write from the perspective of someone with no money to buy food.

206. Greed: Write about someone who always wants more – whether it be money, power, etc. etc.

207. Volcano: Write about an eruption of a volcano.

208. Video Inspiration : Go to Vimeo.com or YouTube.com and watch one of the videos featured on the homepage. Write something based on what you watch.

209. Sneeze: Write about things that make you sneeze.

210. Footsteps on the Moon:  Write about the possibility of life in outer-space.

211: Star-crossed: Write a short modern version of the story of Romeo and Juliet or think of real-life examples of lovers who are not allowed to be together to use as inspiration for your writing.

212. Font-tastic: Choose a unique font and type out a poem, story or journal entry using that font.

213. Schedule: Take a look at your calendar and use the schedule for inspiration in writing.

214. Grandparents: Write about a moment in your grandparent’s life.

215. Collage: Go through a magazine and cut out words that grab your attention. Use these words to construct a poem or as a story starter or inspiration for your journal.

216. Oh so Lonely: Write a poem about what you do when you are alone – do you feel lonely or do you enjoy your own company?

217. Waterfall: Think of a waterfall you’ve seen in person or spend some time browsing photos of waterfalls online. Write about the movement, flow, and energy.

218. First Kiss: Write about your first kiss.

219. So Ironic: Write about an ironic situation you’ve been in throughout your life.

220. Limerick: Write a limerick today.

221. Grocery Shopping: Write about an experience at the grocery store.

daily writing prompt ideas

222. Fashion : Go through a fashion magazine or browse fashion websites online and write about a style you love.

223. So Close: Write about coming close to reaching a goal.

224. Drinks on Me: Write a poem or short story that takes place at a bar.

225. Online Friends: Write an ode to someone online you’ve met and become friends with.

226. Admiration: Is there someone you admire? Write about those feelings.

227. Trash Day: Write from the perspective of a garbage collector.

228. Mailbox: Open your mailbox and write something inspired by one of the pieces of mail you received.

229. Fresh & Clean: Write about how you feel after you take a shower.

230. Energized: Write about how you feel when you’re either at a high or low energy level for the day.

231. Rhyme & No Reason: Make up a silly rhyming poem using made up words.

232. Tech Support: Use computers or a conversation with tech support you’ve had as inspiration.

233. Hotel: Write from the perspective of someone who works at a hotel or staying at a hotel.

234. Underwater: Write about sea creatures and under water life. What’s under the surface of the ocean? What adventures might be waiting?

underwater life picture

235. Breathing: Take a few minutes to do some deep breathing relaxation techniques. Once your mind is clear, just write the first few things that you think of.

236. Liar, Liar: Make up a poem or story of complete lies about yourself or someone else.

237. Obituaries: Look at the recent obituaries online or in the newspaper and imagine the life of someone and write about that person.

238. Pocket: Rummage through your pockets and write about what you keep or find in your pockets.

239. Cinquain: Write a cinquain poem, which consists of 5 lines that do not rhyme.

240. Alphabetical: Write a poem that has every letter of the alphabet in it.

241.  Comedy Club: Write something inspired by a comedian.

242. Cheater: Write about someone who is unfaithful.

243. Sestina: Give a try to writing a sestina poem.

244. Fight: Write about witnessing two people get in an argument with each other.

245. Social Network : Visit your favorite Social Networking website (ie: Facebook, Pinterest, Google, Twitter, etc.) and write a about a post you see there.

246. Peaceful: Write about something peaceful and serene.

247. In the Clouds: Go cloud watching for the day and write about what you imagine in the clouds.

248. At the Park: Take some time to sit on a park bench and write about the sights, scenes, and senses and emotions you experience.

249. Sonnet: Write a sonnet today.

250. Should, Would, And Could: Write a poem or story using the words should, would, and could.

251. How to: Write directions on how to do something.

252. Alliteration: Use alliteration in your poem or in a sentence in a story.

253. Poker Face: Write about playing a card game.

254. Timer: Set a timer for 5 minutes and just write. Don’t worry about it making sense or being perfect.

255. Dance: Write about a dancer or a time you remember dancing.

256. Write for a Cause: Write a poem or essay that raises awareness for a cause you support.

257. Magic : Write about a magician or magic trick.

258. Out of the Box: Imagine finding a box. Write about opening it and what’s inside.

259. Under the Influence: What is something has impacted you positively in your life?

260. Forgotten Toy : Write from the perspective a forgotten or lost toy.

261. Rocks and Gems: Write about a rock or gemstone meaning.

262. Remote Control: Imagine you can fast forward and rewind your life with a remote control.

263. Symbolism: Think of objects, animals, etc. that have symbolic meaning to you. Write about it.

264. Light at the End of the Tunnel: Write about a time when you saw hope when it seemed like a hopeless situation.

265. Smoke and Fire : “Where there’s smoke, there’s fire.” Use this saying as inspiration to write!

266. Railroad: Write about a train and its cargo or passengers.

i need to write a creative writing

267. Clipboard: Write about words you imagine on an office clipboard.

268. Shipwrecked: Write about being stranded somewhere – an island, a bus stop, etc.

269. Quotable: Use a popular quote from a speaker and use it as inspiration for your writing.

270. Mind   Map it Out: Create a mind map of words, phrases, and ideas that pop into your head or spend some time browsing the many mind maps online. Write a poem, story, or journal entry inspired by the mind map.

271. Patterns : Write about repeating patterns that occur in life.

272. Scrapbook : Write about finding a scrapbook and the memories it contains.

273. Cure: Write about finding a cure for an illness.

274. Email Subject Lines: Read your email today and look for subject lines that may be good starters for writing inspiration.

275. Wishful Thinking: Write about a wish you have.

276. Doodle : Spend some time today doodling for about 5-10 minutes. Write about the thoughts you had while doodling or create something inspired by your finished doodle.

277. Chalkboard: Imagine you are in a classroom. What does it say on the chalkboard?

278. Sticky: Imagine a situation that’s very sticky, maybe even covered in maple syrup, tape or glue. Write about it!

279. Flashlight : Imagine going somewhere very dark with only a flashlight to guide you.

280. A Far Away Place : Envision yourself traveling to a fictional place, what do you experience in your imaginary journey?

281. On the Farm : Write about being in a country or rural setting.

282. Promise to Yourself: Write about a promise you want to make to yourself and keep.

283. Brick Wall : Write a poem that is about a brick wall – whether literal or figurative.

284. Making a Choice: Write about a time when you had to make a difficult choice.

285.  Repeat: Write about a time when you’ve had to repeat yourself or a time when it felt like no one was listening.

286. Outcast : Write about someone who is not accepted by their peers. (for example, the Ugly Ducking)

287. Scary Monsters: Write about a scary (or not-so-scary) monster in your closet or under the bed.

288. Sacrifice: Write about something you’ve sacrificed doing to do something else or help another person.

289. Imperfection: Create a poem that highlights the beauty in being flawed.

290. Birthday Poem: Write a poem inspired by birthdays.

291. Title First : Make a list of potential poem or story titles and choose one to write from.

292. Job Interview : Write about going on a job interview.

293. Get Well : Write a poem that will help someone who is sick feel better quick!

294. Lost in the Crowd: Write about feeling lost in the crowd.

295. Apple a Day: Write about a health topic that interests you.

296. Cravings: Write about craving something.

297. Phobia: Research some common phobias, choose one, and write about it.

298. In the Moment: Write about living in the present moment.

299. Concrete : Write about walking down a sidewalk and what you see and experience.

300. Battle: Write about an epic battle, whether real, fictional or figurative.

301. This Old House : Write about an old house that is abandoned or being renovated.

302. Clutter: Is there a cluttered spot in your home? Go through some of that clutter today and write about what you find or the process of organizing.

303. Go Fly a Kite: Write about flying a kite.

304. On the TV: Flip to a random TV channel and write about the first thing that comes on – even if it is an infomercial!

305. Fruit: Write an ode to your favorite fruit.

306. Long Distance Love: Write about a couple that is separated by distance.

307. Glasses: Write about a pair of eyeglasses or someone wearing glasses.

308. Robotic : Write about a robot.

309. Cute as a Button: Write about something you think is just adorable.

310. Movie Conversation: Use a memorable conversation from a favorite movie to inspire your writing.

311. Easy-Peasy : Write  about doing something effortlessly.

312. Idiom: Choose from a list of idioms one that speaks to you and create a poem around that saying or phrase. (Ie: It is raining cats and dogs)

313. Playground: Whether it is the swings or the sandbox or the sliding boards, write about your memories of being on a playground.

314. Romance: Write about romantic things partners can do for each other.

315. Rock Star: Imagine you are a famous rock star. Write about the experience.

rock star life

316. Come to Life: Imagine ordinary objects have come to life. Write about what they do and say.

317. Airplane: Write about meeting someone on an airplane and a conversation you might have.

318. Health & Beauty: Take some time to peruse your medicine cabinet or the health and beauty aisles at a local store. Write a poem, short story, or journal entry inspired by a product label.

319. Determination: Write about not giving up.

320. Instrumental Inspiration: Listen to some instrumental music and write a poem that matches the mood, beat, and style of the music.

321. Wait Your Turn: Write about having to wait in line.

322. Personality Type : Do you know your personality type? (There are many free quizzes online) – write about what type of personality traits you have.

323. Decade: Choose a favorite decade and write about it. (IE: 1980’s or 1950’s for example)

324. I Believe: Write your personal credo of things you believe in.

325. Lost and Found: Write about a lost object.

326. Say it: Write a poem or story that uses dialogue between two people.

327. The Unsent Letter: Write about a letter that never made it to its recipient.

328. The Windows of the Soul: Write a poem about the story that is told through someone’s eyes.

329. Trial and Error: Write about something you learned the hard way.

330. Escape : Write about where you like to go to escape from it all.

331. What’s Cooking: Write something inspired a favorite food or recipe.

332. Records : Go through your file box and pull out old receipts or records…write something inspired by what you find!

333. Banking: Write about visiting the bank.

334. Sweet Talk: Write about trying to convince someone of something.

335. Serendipity: Write about something that happened by chance in a positive way.

336. Distractions: Write about how it feels when you can’t focus.

337. Corporation: Write about big business.

338. Word of the Day: Go to a dictionary website that has a word of the day and use it in a poem, story or journal entry you write.

339. Pick Me Up:  What do you do when you need a pick me up?

340. Unfinished: Write about a project you started but never completed.

341. Forgiveness: Write about a time when someone forgave you or you forgave someone.

342. Weakness: Write about your greatest weakness.

343. Starting: Write about starting a project.

344. Mechanical: Think of gears, moving parts, machines.

345. Random Act of Kindness : Write about a random act of kindness you’ve done for someone or someone has done for you, no matter how small or insignificant it may have seemed.

346. Underground: Imagine living in a home underground and use that as inspiration for writing.

347. Classic Rock: Pick a classic rock love ballad and rewrite it into a story or poem with a similar theme.

348. Night Owl : Write about staying up late at night.

349. Magnetic : Write about attraction to something or someone.

350. Teamwork: Write about working with a team towards a common goal.

351. Roller-coaster : Write about the ups and downs in life.

352. Motivational Poster: Look at some motivational posters online and write a poem or journal entry inspired by your favorite one.

353. Games: Write about the games people play – figuratively or literally.

chess game story starter

354. Turning Point: Write about a point in life where things turned for the better or worse.

355. Spellbound: Write about a witch’s spell.

356. Anniversary: Write about the anniversary of a special date.

357. Gamble:  Be inspired by a casino or lottery ticket.

358. Picnic: Write about going on a picnic.

359. Garage: Write about some random item you might find in a garage.

360. Review: Review your week, month, or year in a journal entry or poem format.

361. Detective: Write about a detective searching for clues or solving a mystery.

362. Camera: Take your camera for a walk and write based on one of the photographs you take.

363. Visiting : Write about visiting a family member or friend.

364. Trust: Write about putting trust in someone.

365. Congratulations : Did you write a poem, short story, or journal entry every day for a whole year? Write about what you’ve learned and celebrate your achievement!

We hope you enjoy these creative writing prompts! And of course, if you write anything using these prompts, we’d love to know about it! Tell us how you’ll use these everyday creative writing prompts in the comments section below!

And of course, if you’d like the printable ad-free version of these prompts to reference again and again or to use in your classroom, you can find them at our Etsy shop !

Chelle Stein wrote her first embarrassingly bad novel at the age of 14 and hasn't stopped writing since. As the founder of ThinkWritten, she enjoys encouraging writers and creatives of all types.

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193 comments.

I have been on a reading binge since being on vacation from school. By rereading Little House, Anne of Green Gables, and Little Women among others, one wonders about writing a book. I stumbled across this while looking up unit supplements for my kiddos, and thought, hey, write a page a day and see what happens! Thank you for this collection of prompts! I’ve linked back to this page several times so others can try their hand at writing. Thank you again!

The Flicker, The Teeth, and A Warehouse in the Dark (the warehouse prompt)

I am in a large abandoned warehouse with a flickering light The only light in the whole room. It flickered leaving me in temporal darkness It flickered again and as it was dark I swore I saw something glowing It looked like glowing teeth The lights return and I see nothing Flickers on Flickers off I see the teeth closer Flickers on I see nothing Flickers off The teeth so close Flickers on An empty warehouse Flickers off The glowing teeth are inchings away bright red blood drips from their tips Flickers on Panic rises in my chest but nothing is there Turns off The mouth of bloody teeth is before my eyes I wait for the light to flicker back on I wait in complete darkness I wait And wait And wait The teeth open wide I try to scream by the darkness swallows it A hear the crunch of my bones I see my blood pore down my chest But I wait in darkness for the pain I wait And wait And wait The mouth of teeth devours my lower half I wait for pain and death I wait And wait And wait The light flickers on I see no monster Only my morphed body And blood And blood And blood And so much blood The light flickers off The monster eats my arm Flickers on I wait for pain Flickers off I watch as the creature eats my limbs Flickers on I wait for death Flickers off Slowly the teeth eat my head All I see is dark I wait for it to flicker on Where is the warehouse light? Where is the only light in the room? Where is the flicker? Where am I? Where are the bloody teeth? I wait for the light to come back And wait And wait And wait And wait And wait And wait And wait in eternal darkness

WOW. Thank you!

This is such a helpful tool! I’ve learned a lot about my self through picking a random prompt and writing the first thing that comes to mind. I’d love to see a follow up list of possible! Definitely a recomended sight!

I agree. Very helpful.

I am new at the blogging game. You have provided some wonderful ideas for blog posts. Great ideas just to get used to writing every day. Thanks

This list is really impressive and useful for those of us who are looking for good topics to blog about. Thanks!

Thank you! That somes in handy

Very nice list. Thanks for compiling and posting it. It’s not only good for bloggers, but poets, as well.

yess im using it for my new years resolution, which is to write a poem daily!

Wow, thanks so much for all these wonderful prompts! They are lots of fun and very helpful. I love how you’ve provided 365 of them–A prompt for every day of the year! 🙂

Not if it’s a leap year…

Haha. Yea. This is great though all the same.. ;-;

Lol actually there’s 364 days in a year and 365 in a leap year so……yeah

are you fucking stupid

There are actually 366 days in a leap year so… yeah

I use this for my homeschooling-I love it! Thank you so much!! This is a wonderful list. So creative! 🙂 🙂

Thanks! I’m preparing for writing every day next year and this will come in really handy. It’s just 364 writing prompts though. 164 is missing. 😉

MiMschi is wrong 164 is there i looked

I think they meant that as a joke, 164 is called left out…

Good it is useful

no its not you nonce

You Don’t Love Me, Damn You

things left unsaid

and then some

anger strangles the baby

in its crib,

flowers wilt,

rivers dry up

harsh words clatter upon the day,

echo unfortunately

till silence smothers

in its embrace

you wish you could take it back

what’s done is done

never to be undone

though things move on

part of you remains

locked in the middle of protesting

one last thing,

mouth open,

no words emerging

why must you be misunderstood?

why must everything you say

no way of straightening things out

gestures halted mid-air

an accusatory finger

shoulders locked

in sardonic shrug

dishes smash on the floor

spray of fragments

frozen mid-air

slam the door

it doesn’t open

but in spite of yourself

you turn and look

one last time…..

(Greg Cameron, Poem, Surrey, B.C., Canada)

Love these. Thank you!

This is really amazingly deep. I love it so much. You have so much talent!!

Thanks SOOO much for the prompts but I have another suggestion!

A Recipe for disaster- write a recipe for a disastrous camping trip…

that one sounds awesome.

Haha. Reminds me of the old twin’s show.. what was it.. where the two girls switch places when they meet at camp?

Pretty sure I know what you’re talking about. The Parent Trap, right? Never seen the whole movie, but it seems funny.

and also #309, everyone should have thought of a hamster “write” away XD!

May I have permission to use this list at my next Ozarks Chapter of the American Christian Writers meeting. Thank you for consideration.

Hi Leah, please send some more info here: https://thinkwritten.com/contact

i am using it for my homeschooling and i love it

i am using it for my homeschooling

where is prompt 165?

sorry I meant 164, my mistake.

well kay, there is a 164 AND 165. So your head is clearly ????????????

What I like most about these is how you can combine them and get really weird ideas. For example, empathy from the rooftops: what if you shouted something positive in public every day – or if everyone did so? It might be fun to try, and then write a diary about it. Online time travel: if people could live virtually in incredibly well=constructed versions of different time periods, what would the effects be on today’s society? Could it change our language or customs?

It would be cool if we could have goggles that showed places during a certain time period. Like Seattle 1989. And you could buy special plugins, like specific people you want to hang out with, famous or non.

That one about online time travel is crazy brilliant!!! And highly thought-provoking.

It is amazing what creative writing could do to you. Daily prompts have proven to be very inspiring and overtime writers develop their own style of writing depending on how passionate they are about it. I would love to write about all 3, online, space, and time travel. cheers! and Don’t stop writing!

I belong to a writing club. We seem to have a lot of prompts to use. I love stories having to do with rain. Would you join me. I am jim

Wow! Inspiration right here.

May I use this list for a speech at my Ozarks Chapter of the American Christian Writers?

Love the inspiration

THANK YOU. THAT IS ALL I HAVE TO SAY IS THANK YOU.

What about a leap year? You’re missing one topic.

Wonderful! I love writing and these prompts are very helpful. Thank you very much! ♥

It’s been really useful in getting me to write again! Thank you very much!

I really love the list of writing ideas you have compiled here. I will be using it and others to get myself back into writing every single day if I can be away with it. Also, I have noticed a few problems with this list. One is a repeat topic. Those are numbers 76 and 162. And you skipped a number. And have only 364 days of writing. Still through! All these ideas are absolutely amazing and awesome ideas! I commend you for putting it all together in an easy to read format too. Thank you so very much.

I think we have the list all fixed now, but thanks for catching a couple of early mistakes!

Thank you for helping me edit Lora! I don’t always have a second pair of eyes + appreciated this to fix + update the post! I always say my readers are my best editors. 🙂

these days get brighter, mine gets darker, why does it has to be me , why not life.

Mirror, Mirror: What if you mirror started talking to you?

u r awesome man

Wonderful compilation of ideas! I will send your blog along to my many Creative Writing students. I’m enjoying reading your posts.

wow!! great tips! but how long did it take you to write that? its a lot of words!! lol great stuff though..

This is so cool! I love these prompts and will definitely recommend some to my teacher!!

The promise “I made a promise with my best friend, I said i’d never break, Our personalities really did blend, But then I lied awake, The people disappearing, Her gaze was always leering. I never thought she was serious, I always took it as a joke, But it really made me curious, When she was digging around that oak, My best friend is a serial killer, And i knew the truth, My life turned into a thriller, And eating at me took away my youth, I couldn’t take it any long living with this weight, To the police I went to tell my tale, Looking at me with eyes of hate, she smiled and said, without her I would fail. Now i sit in the prison cell, Waiting for my call My friend across the room smiling, my eyes begin to swell, My neck snapping on the, from my sides my hands fall

Although my writing style is dark, that’s the way I enjoy writing, and thank you for this list, even though I didn’t do one per day, scrolling through I was able to see keywords that formed ideas in my mind

I love this <3 It's amazing :))

These are really nice I absolutely love them.

This is very helpful and I’ve been finding a way to help improve my creative writing!!! Thank you very much!

You are such a life developer, who can virtually transform a life busy with unnecessary activities humans are posted to through internet. And who can restore the appetite of people to purchase pen and paper which have considered the last commodity in the market at the expense of that great vampire ‘social media’ that left both old and young paralyzed. Thanks to the proponent of this great idea.

These are great. The Closed door one gives me a great idea for a new story! Thank you so much!

man what the fuck is this shit! i was looking for short story writing prompts and I get stuck with shit like “write about the weather outside”. Damn this shit is disappointing.

Hi John, the weather might seem boring, but there are a lot of ways you can springboard from that – maybe you write a story about a character who despises the sunshine or melts if they get rained on or they live in a underground tunnel and the house gets flooded…You can also use it as an exercise in developing more descriptive writing that shows, not tells for the scenes in your story. Writing about the weather seems “easy and boring” but seriously challenge yourself to write about it in a way that makes it interesting – it is not so easy to avoid the cliches as you might think!

I LOVE IT SO MUCH i do not know why but my kids, they will just like come on this website every time it is time to have a little bit of video games! XD

The weather outside that day was dark.

It was a perfectly reasonable sort of darkness. The kind of darkness you might get if you wake up an hour before sunrise. But it was late in the morning.

He had to make sure of that. He checked his alarm clock, his microwave oven clock, and his cell phone.

The sun was supposed to be out. But the moonlit sky was starlit and clear.

And as he looked outside again, he saw that people were out, going about their business, as if none of this really mattered at all.

What was he missing here?

(There. Now you have a short story writing prompt..)

You know what “John” i think this website is great so fuck you.

yeah you tell him john

It depends on how you view it. That one topic for instance has given me a beautiful story telling. I am currently about to round up with it and trust me the feedback has been amazing.

That is great! I’m glad it helped inspire you!

Dude kids go on here so stop swearing “John”

Maybe you need to work on improving the quality of your writing. Your use of expletives is totally uncalled for. I see nothing wrong with “writing about the weather outside”. In fact, this is a great topic and can lead to awesome discussions.

Very useful indeed. Thank u

i think this is a good prompted

I think it’s awesome, I looked for inspiration, I found inspiration, thank you

well! i fall in love with all these ideas! i loved this page! thanks for sharing these amazing ideas!

Great stuff mat Keep up the good work

I LOVE THIS SO MUCH IT IS VERY HELPFUL BUT FOR A SUGGESTION YOU COULD DO DIARY STUFF MAYBE

When I read your comment, I thought you said “DAIRY,” not “DIARY.”

So… why not both? Write something based on a dairy farmer’s diary. Or… a dairy COW’S diary. Tell their stories, their private dreams. Or hidden shame…

That’s the way to think + use this list 🙂

Great idea!

Awesome list! Thank you!

Thanks so much! I’ve always been told I’m a great writer and should publish. I haven’t done a lot of leisure writing because I’m afraid I might realize I’m NOT a good writer. My therapist wants me to write more and these prompts are perfect!

This is fun i will keep doing this no matter what every year. I can’t stop writing either. Thanks for making this, it is very fun.

This helps so much! love these ideas

Can this website give me a write on the following topic. –

Imagine that the scientists could replace the human brains with computers or invent the computers with human feelings. What do you think would happen?Would the world become a better place to live in???

I’ve been looking for prompts to work through my creative art/collage journal for 2017…and love the ones you offer here….LOVE THEM! I like that they are more than just one word and give me something to think about before I start creating each day as a warm up to what is ahead.

I hope don’t mind, but I shared them on both Instagram and my FaceBook page in hopes to get my artist/creative friends to follow along with me in creating each day. I would like to include a link to your page in a near future blog post about my creative journal.

Thank you for posting and sharing you prompts…I’m excited to get started!

I’m on number 43 and I’ve already discovered a whole bunch about myself! These prompts are amazing and I can’t wait for the next 322 of them. I’ve recommended this to several of my friends. Totally worth several notebooks chock full of prompts and a years worth of writing 🙂

Very inspiring….

Hello! Is it alright if I add some of these to a little book I’m making for my Grandmother? She hasn’t opened a computer in her life but I know these prompts would do her a world of good. I believe in the importance of asking permission to use the creative property of another person 🙂 Cheers!

Hi Maxx, of course you may share with your grandmother – the only thing we would worry about is if you were to publish them for monetary gain. Enjoy! 🙂

This is really helpful. I’m glad I saw it first. ♥

OMG!! I’ve never been in this website before!!

Thank u so much this was so helpful. Idk how u came up with all thoughts prompts. It was very helpful. Thank u again.

For the first time in a long time it finally felt like I knew was going to happen next. I was gazing into her eyes and she was gazing back. I remember it like it was just yesterday, when she was still the one for me but never forgave me. I miss the sweet sound of her laughter and now all i hear are friends. I have tried to go back and apologize to her just to see if the answer will change but even I know that it will never change because I will never be enough for her. But if she ever decides that she wants me back she can have me because a life without love is one not worth living.

gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood

can u give me one using the prompt “normal”

Thanks for this!!!!! Will definitely help me in learning to tap into my creative writing genius 🙂

Thanks, this helped me a lot!

u have a typo!!!! 364

Thanks for pointing out, got it fixed 🙂 Sometimes my brain goes faster than the computer. 🙂

I wrote this, tell me what you think; prompt #4-dancing You see her tapping her toes, always listening to music. Although she doesn’t like the music, what she doesn’t know yet is it will be stuck in her head for the next year. She’s as graceful as a butterfly yet as strong as a fighter. Many only see a pretty face yet those close enough to the fire know the passion burning deep inside of her. At home she’s quiet, always in her room yet making loud noises through the floorboards. Her parents know what she’s up to but her little brothers don’t quite understand yet. All they know is that when she goes up there she’s listening to music and soon she will play it for the whole neighborhood to hear. They don’t know that she’s practicing, practicing for the most important day of the year. The one she’s been waiting for since she’s been a little girl. Tapping her toes at the table only stops when her parents beg her to rest. Even in her dreams she on stage, dancing like a swan. Yet deep down she’s scared of the failure that she will feel if this one day goes a bit to south. Tapping her toes to the beat of her music gives her a bit of pip in her pep when she walks down the halls. No one quite understands the stress she’s going through. Through her smile she’s worries, scared that one misstep might end it all for her. But she won’t let anyone see that she’s nervous. She’s used to getting bruises, she falls on the ground but always gets back up. Because she’s a dancer, the show must go on.

Brilliant. Loved it.

Amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m working on a site in Danish about writing and I would love to translate these awesome prompts into Danish and use it on the site. Would that be OK? I’ll credit with links of course!

Hi Camilla, you cannot copy + post these on your site, but feel free to link to the article – our site is compatible with Google translate 🙂

Hi Camilla, this list cannot be republished, even if translated into another language. However, if you would like to link to our website that would be great, your readers are able to translate it into any language if they use a web browser such as Google Chrome.

My goal is to write all of these prompts before 2018

This is amazing! I am writing for fun and this is a list of amazing prompts!

Ha, Ha . I see what you did , #164 was missing and now it say write about being left out .

Thanks a ton !!!

This link has been really helpful for my blog, loved the ideas.

Thanks for not publishing my email address

You are welcome! We never publish email addresses. If you’d like to learn more about how we collect and use information you may provide us with on this website, you can read more on our privacy policy page. Hope that helps! https://thinkwritten.com/privacy/

I have another suggestion, What about “The Secret Journey to the Unknown”. I reckon it’s awesome!

I was wondering if you could please send new ideas to me, much appreciated thanks.

I love all of these so much and i try to write referring to these at least once everyday thank you so much for these!

Trust, It is a beautiful thing. You give it to others, For them to protect. They can keep it forever, Or they can destroy it.

Wow what a treasure! Am glad I have found the right place to begging my writing journey.Thanks guys

Super awesome! Thanks so much for this collection of writing prompts!!

Today is the last day of the year 2017. I’m proud to say that I was able to complete this challenge. Thank you for the inspiring prompts! 🙂

That is awesome! We might just have to think of some new ones!!

how about one with sports like the NBA

I thought my life was over when I couldn’t access this for a couple weeks. These prompts are excellent. I write two page short stories on one every day. I hope you guys never take down this site but I’m printing these for insurance because it truly was devastating. I’m very emotionally attached to this list. Thank you so much for sharing.

Yes, we did have a small glitch in our hosting services for a few days! Fortunately, it was only temporary and unexpected! {Though I’m sure it did feel like 2 weeks!} Good to hear you are using the prompts!

Very nice article. Very useful one for improving writing skills

Thank you Sid! Glad it is useful for you!

Oh my god.. This is something a different, thought provoking and a yardstick to those who cultivated passion on writing, like me, beginners. Wishes for this website. I really wanted to try this 365 days of writing. Thanks in tons.

Glad you find it helpful! I hope it keeps you inspired to keep growing as a writer!

i love writing too! i am writing a book and this website inspired me too!

i have been writing lots of things and am getting A + on writing

thxs for your time with the web

i am making a epic book. it is because of this website. you really help. i will share a link of my book once i am done with it to your awesome cool really helpful website! thank you for your time

That is great to hear Christopher! Would love to see some of your work when you are ready to share! 🙂

WOOOOOOOOW BEST SITE!

I’m going to write few marvelous essays based on ideas in your impressive list. Thanks!

Just to tell some people that 165 or 164 is not missing because some people probably can’t see but just to let u know that 164 is a prompt called “Left Out”

Dang. The second idea about writing about what it feels like to love someone who doesn’t love you back, I wrote something like that BEFORE I found this website.

You can always try writing it again, maybe from the other person’s perspective this time? That is the beauty of the open-ended writing prompts – you can always interpret them in a way to push and challenge you as a writer!

Thank you for these prompts! I enjoyed looking through them and writing them! They gave me great ideas and inspired me so much.

This is my favorite website to find inspiration to write. I had run out of ideas and i had a huge writers block but this made it all go away. Here’s something i wrote:

He is a mess She is beautiful He has tears streaming down his face She glides across the room as if it were her kingdom And she’s The reigning queen He’s curled up in a ball In the corner of the room He looks at me I wonder what he thinks I can’t take my eyes off her The way she subtly smiles when she realizes Someone is looking She seems to be happy all the time But I can see through the smile It’s my first time noticing It’s not complete That was the first time I wanted to say hi But I thought Why would he look at me? The nerd with all the answers in her head All the books in her hands And Her sleeves full of hearts She looked at me From the corner of her eye She saw me looking The boy with the tear stains She saw me His tears were no longer streaming He had finally stood up Tall and handsome As he is Eyes Bluer than the blue jay that sat outside my bedroom window She had opened a book and started reading She hadn’t changed pages for a while Safe to assume She was distracted She looked up and Without knowing I was in front of her “Hi” Her brown eyes Stared in to my soul Erased the memory of why the tears Were streaming in the first place “Hi”

I love it Cynthia, thank you for sharing and glad that it inspired you to keep writing! 🙂

Thank you for so many amazing ideas! I love the sound of mirror, mirror!

Glad you found it inspiring Ar!

read the whole thing and didn’t find anything I’d enjoy writing 🙁

What kinds of things do you like to write? We have a whole collection of additional writing prompts lists here. Sometimes challenging yourself to write something you don’t like all in its own can be a good exercise for writing. Hope that helps!

These are ingenious!

I love these prompts! They’re inspiring! I’ve chosen to challenge myself by using one of these prompts every day of this 2019 year. I posted my writings for the first prompt on my Tumblr and Facebook pages with the prompt and a link back to this article- I hope that’s alright. If not, I can take it down, or I would love to discuss a way I could continue to do this. I hope more people can see and use these prompts because I have already found joy in using the first one.

Hi Elizabeth! Glad you are enjoying the prompts! You can definitely post what you write with these prompts as long as you do not copy the entire list or claim them as your own. Linking back to our website or this post will help others find the prompts so they too can use them for writing! If you have any questions feel free to contact us anytime using our contact form. Thanks!

Amazing original prompts Thank you so much!

Good list, but you’re not supposed to mistake it’s for its. Not on a website for writers, of all places!

I appreciate your comment, especially because after triple checking the article AND having a few grammar-police personality type friends do the same we could not find any typos. All of the instances of its and it’s are the correct usage.

However, one thing we did remember is that it is very easy for the person reading to accidentally misunderstand and not interpret it the way as the writer intended.

To clarify when we should use it’s vs. its:

We use it’s when we intend the meaning as the contraction. This is a shortened way of writing it is . We use its without an apostrophe when we use it as a possessive noun. Any instances you may note here are correct for their intended meaning.

Some examples:

Prompt #141 It’s a Sign : In this case we intend it to be interpreted as IT IS a Sign , where the usage is a contraction.

Prompt #7 The Rocket Ship : In this case we intend it to be interpreted as the possessive form.

I hope that helps clear up any possible confusion for you!

Thank you soooo much! That helped me a lot!

You’re welcome Keira! Glad you enjoyed our list of writing ideas!

It is so rich in bright and thought-provoking ideas. Thank you so much. Get inspired to have more, please

Thanks for this. I love to write things like this. Some of these though, weren’t as interesting as I wanted it to be, not saying that they aren’t interesting. I like the help you’ve added in, such as being led into a dark room with only a flashlight to help so it gets us started. Great job!

Thanks Maya, I’m glad you like the prompts. Sometimes the prompts that seem boring are the best ones to help you practice your skills as a writer to make them interesting topics. Some of the best writers can make the most mundane topics fun!

Nice….I don’t think I’ll ever lack something to write on … I so appreciate your ideas ..,they are great

Thank you, glad you enjoyed them!

Thank you for providing these writing prompts! They are great!

Thank You so much, these are amazing to start of with to get the creative juices flowing

Thank you very much

Sweet! Thank you so much! I plan to use some of these for some creative writing on CourageousChristianFather.com

I’m glad they inspired you Steve! I always love seeing what everyone writes with these prompts – I really enjoyed your post about the cookie ad jingle! 🙂

Thanks so much for this list. I needed something to kickstart my writing. This is exactly what I’ve been looking for! I just wrote #1. WooHoo!!

Thank you for your list. This is great!

I write feature articles for our church library’s monthly newsletter. Perusing this list has helped me come up with a couple dozen ideas to consider for future issues! Thanks much for putting this together – it is being used beyond the scope of what you intended, I think!

That’s wonderful Debbie! There are so many ways to apply these prompts to any sort of project – thank you for sharing how you are using them!

Thanks for your prompts, an idea I have for a prompt is write a story based on your favorite story for example I’m writing a fantasy book based on the game dungeons and dragons…

i guss its ok

cgv hbvkd vjvhsvhivhcickbcjh

Just needed to ask: I’d like to think these prompts are for free writing with no pauses? But, does one edit and polish the piece after that? I keep reading about writing every day…like brain dumping. But, there is never a mention of what one does with the piece after that??

This article has been written with sheer intelligence. Such 365 creative writing prompts has been written here. This article is worth marking as Good. I like how you have researched and presented these exact points so clearly.

Thank you for this list! You’ve inspired me to take up the challenge, though I haven’t written anything in years!

I have even created a blog to post my ideas, and keep myself accountable. I hope this is okay, I will credit, and provide a link back to this page on each post. https://thefishhavegotitright.blogspot.com/

I love it Ariadne, I’ll definitely come check out your site! Keep at it!

This is really Helpful thanks I love it😊

I never knew how much I had to write about. This should definitely keep me busy! Thank you so much for the list.

Hi! I saw a note saying this had been updated for 2020. I was curious if there are plans to update it for 2021. If so, when would the 2021-updated list become available?

Hi Gabrielle, I am not sure when we will next update this list, but feel free to check out some of our other writing prompts lists if you’ve exhausted this one! Writing Prompts for Kids {which is for grown-ups too!} and Poetry Writing Prompts are two great ones to check out. Hope that helps!

Loved this a lot! I would like to ask permission for using these prompts for my poetry and stories page on Instagram. Kindly let me know if I can use these and let my followers write on them too.

Hi, Piyusha, I’m just a user of the site like you, so I’m not “official”. But if you hit CTRL + F in your browser, that should open the “Find” dialog. Search on “Camilla”, and that will take you to a post and response concerning your request. Have a great and productive writing day. K. B. Tidwell

very informative thank you

I have always had problems finding something to write about. My problem is solved🥰 Thank you

I love this

Oh great. Good for everyone who enjoys picking the pen and writing something readable

Love these prompts. I am going to write a story about a group of people creating and building a city where homeless people can live, where everyone has access to as much money as they need because money is in endless supply. Where no one has too little or too much of anything.

I decided to write a poem about prompt 41, I have been writing poetry for 2 years now and haven’t had much inspiration so I appreciate these prompts!

“WHAT THEY DON’T KNOW”

They don’t know. They don’t know the dread I feel, The pain I feel, The crippling anxiety And the depression that I feel.

For I have worn this mask, Sealed to my face with wax, To make sure no one knows That I am suffering, Every Single Day.

Telling someone these feelings I feel, Well that would surely Be a relief, But if something goes wrong, If they send my thoughts Throughout everyone I know, And anyone I could know.

Well, if that happens, I’ll have to travel abroad. To a distant land, Start over.

And hope and make sure, No one finds out what Might be under this mask Sealed with wax. And that they won’t know how I feel.

Because I’d rather deal with being a Trainwreck, A teenage disaster, And keeping everything about me a secret, Then having everyone Look at me as if I’m not human For having problems just like them.

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How to Write a Creative Essay: Tips, Topics, and Techniques

What is a creative essay, if not the way to express yourself? Crafting such a paper is a task that allows you to communicate your opinion and tell a story. However, even using your imagination to a great extent doesn’t free you from following academic writing rules. Don’t even get us started about other components of papers. With tools like research paper title page generators available, it only proves to be a serious business.

Confused yet?

No need to be! Creativity can be worked into many different types of essays. You just have to know how to write a creative essay deftly, thus:

  • paying attention to your reader;
  • using an essay structure;
  • incorporating details and metaphors;
  • don’t be afraid to speak your mind!

Turn to our writers when in doubt or read the rest of the article for more recommendations.

🎨 Types of Creative Essays

🧩 creative essay format, 🖌️ how to write a creative essay, 📜 creative essay topics.

Where analysis ends, creativity begins!

You can include creative expression in an essay or paper you write. Yet, some pieces are designed specifically to allow you to be creative. You can choose a topic that will set your imagination free.

Here are a few types of creative essays you can embrace:

  • Narrative Essay :

The narrative essay is much like novel writing. This essay type can be used to discuss either real or imaginary events. The key in this type is that you have to show, not tell. For you to accomplish this, your essay will need a plot, many descriptive details, and well-written prose.

  • Admission Essay :

The admission essay is becoming increasingly popular. When it is well-written, it allows you to stand out among thousands of students who are vying for admission to a particular program. The admission essay is a way for you to talk about yourself and why you would make a great addition to a program. Essentially, you are advertising yourself to show that you are the best choice.

  • Personal Essay :

The personal essay is similar to the admission essay but less aggressive. This form of essay is used to talk about yourself and your experiences, trying to persuade the reader that a particular event or aspect of your personal life is significant in some way. Consider this form of creative writing essay a self-portrait that you paint with words.

  • Descriptive Essay :

You can choose any topic you wish for the descriptive essay. The key is that the central idea should be of interest to or affect the reader. Once you select one, describe it throughout your essay, stating why it is crucial to you.

  • Lyric Essay:

This is very much like the descriptive essay, except that it makes greater use of imagery and description.

  • Americanism Essay :

The Americanism essay is popular with scholarship committees. This is the “why I am proud to be an American” essay.

  • Reflection Essay:

The reflection essay offers you a way to provide feedback on an event or other topic with which you are not happy, or it bothers you in some way.

Victor Valley College and the University of Vermont offer some great advice on writing creative essays. Now let’s look at some techniques that will help you write creatively.

Creative essays usually follow the three-act story structure . It is a classic writing technique commonly used in storytelling, screenwriting, and drama. It divides a story into three parts: the setup , confrontation , and resolution . The three-act story structure allows for the effective development of characters and conflicts, which leads to more compelling writing.

Check out the creative essay format below.

The stage is set in this initial part of the story where the main characters, setting, and central conflict are introduced. Readers are given a glimpse into the story’s world and get to know the characters and their motivations. The setup establishes the foundation for the narrative, laying out the groundwork for the conflicts that will unfold.

Confrontation

Confrontation is where the story’s central conflict develops and the tension rises. Obstacles and complications that arise during that stage are meant to test the characters, pushing them to their limits. The confrontation is filled with rising action as the characters face increasingly difficult challenges.

The story reaches its climax, and the conflicts are brought to a head. The tension built up in the previous stage comes to its peak as the characters confront their challenges head-on. The resolution provides closure to the story, ties up loose ends, and resolves the central conflict.

The Oxford Royale Academy offers useful creative writing tips that can easily be applied to creative nonfiction.

The key is:

Creative writing is not solely about putting words on a page in a way that presents imaginative prose. You need to consider your writing in a certain way and structure it properly if you want to pull off an excellent creative essay.

Here are some tips and techniques for any creative nonfiction writing you do:

  • Consider the reader: As with any other form of writing, you must consider the reader above all else. You have to have a deep understanding of who your audience is so you can pique their interest and hold it throughout the paper.
  • Start it off right: You need to start your paper off with a bang! That means you have to have an opening to your essay or paper that will grab the attention of whoever reads it. This could be a bold phrase, the description of something that happened, or some profound or persuasive words. Your opening needs to scream, “Keep reading!”
  • Use the traditional creative structure: Traditionally, creative essays are divided into three acts: the setup, the confrontation, and the resolution. In the first one, you will introduce the leading players and the situation. The confrontation will allow you to shift into the main issue. The resolution is the climax, during which the issue is resolved.
  • Use metaphors: A metaphor is effective in any form of writing. In a creative essay writing, use an analogy to help provide the reader with a clear image. It should make them understand a concept you are explaining at a deeper level.
  • Provide details: Details are everything when writing creatively as they tug at the readers’ emotions. Without them, your essay can be stale and boring, providing only one fact. Detail spruces it up and makes it come alive in the readers’ minds.
  • Edit, edit, edit: Make sure to edit your work after you have written it. A writer rarely gets it right the first time.
  • Think out of the box: Finally, here it comes—the piece of advice that every successful assignment demands. Try to approach the issue from an unusual angle!

The Oxford Royale Academy also has some great information on general essay writing that is sure to help!

Now, let’s take a look at some creative writing topics you might be able to use.

The goal behind any writing assignment that calls for creativity is simple. You have to express your feelings and opinions on a particular topic so that it captivates the reader. These creative papers and essays are not dry and boring the way most of us imagine academic works.

But what should you write about? You need some creative essay ideas. Whether the topic is assigned or you choose it yourself, you’ll have to decide how to approach it. If you pick an issue yourself, the options might be overwhelming.

With that in mind:

Let’s start on a journey to find fun essay topics! You can:

  • Choose something you are interested in by making a list of issues or problems that matter to you.
  • Narrow down a broader issue.
  • Find inspiration from materials and records to which you have access or from your coursework.

There are plenty of topics for narrative essays and other creative writing essays on the Internet. Here are some great ideas for nonfiction writing topics to get your imagination moving:

Topic Suggestions
You and your Imagine what it would be like to introduce yourself to a new person.
Educational issues Offer your experience and that of your friends and instructors through the use of interviews.
Health concern Is there already a cure for AIDS?
Environment Choose an endangered species to discuss and present a narrative on how they are treated and how they can be helped.
Arts and Mass Media Discuss post- changes and forecast the future.
English language Explain how you feel about the English language, how it has changed, and how it continues to evolve.
Time Discuss , present, and future in a creative way.
  • Describing thoughts inspired by a picture.
  • Are art and nature vital parts of human life?
  • Creativity can change the world.
  • What is pride?
  • The desire to travel lives in every person.
  • My visit to Rio de Janeiro .
  • Is it a good idea to be a stay-at-home mother?
  • Various feelings about cheating .
  • Is early marriage a good or a bad thing?
  • The importance of the Era of Good Feelings for American history.
  • What will your future be in five years?
  • Family fitness night is a great way to unite a family.
  • Bachata as a music genre.
  • How do you understand love ?
  • The role of money issues in strong relationships.
  • What person can be a true friend?
  • The definition of jealousy .
  • Is creativity a panacea from depression?
  • Emotional intelligence is crucial for healthy relationships.
  • Postmodernist and experimental dance forms.
  • How I trained my dog at home.
  • Poetry as a way to express emotions .
  • What makes a strong marriage?
  • Photography as a professional art and creative hobby.
  • Problems in the neighborhood and how to deal them.
  • Why do Carolina dogs make great pets?
  • Feeling of joy and its value for people .
  • How emotional intelligence can help me to become a great leader.
  • The role of conservatism in preservation of traditional American culture.
  • What can a freelancer do to stay creative?
  • A memorable event from my past.
  • Peculiarities of friendship in the age of media.
  • Interconnection between emotions and memories.  
  • Is consumerism a part of American culture?
  • Different understanding of art.
  • What can do to save lakes and oceans wildlife?
  • Examples of the emotion of sadness in art.
  • The creative way to organize a workplace at home.
  • Emotions that paintings stir in people.
  • Why Dresden is a great place to travel.
  • How to fight the feeling of powerlessness .
  • Personal experience adopting a pet from Humane Society.
  • Is it possible for computers to have independent feeling?  

That’s it! When it comes to creative writing, you can do it! For more help on writing essays, check out this video.

If you still feel the task is too much to handle, you can turn to a custom writing service. Share the article with those who may need our advice and happy writing!

  • Essays: Creative Nonfiction
  • Overview of Creative Nonfiction: Purdue Online Writing Lab, College of Liberal Arts, Purdue University
  • A Complete Guide to Writing Creative Nonfiction: MasterClass
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it was fascinating….but still you need to add more..tackle more on the format of a creative essay

Custom Writing

Thank you for your detailed comment. Our team will take it into account.

I apprepriate this article and video. That’s worthy for all teachers and learners. This article and video are very useful and effective for all learners and teachers who wants to start creative writing .

Many, many creative writing topics! Thanks so much for giving yourself the trouble to share these topics! They are a real salvation for me!

Top 12 Creative Writer Skills to Put on Your Resume

In today's competitive job market, standing out as a creative writer involves showcasing a unique blend of skills on your resume that highlight your storytelling abilities and adaptability across various writing styles. This article delves into the top 12 skills you need to feature on your resume to capture the attention of potential employers and demonstrate your prowess in the art of creative writing.

Top 12 Creative Writer Skills to Put on Your Resume

Creative Writer Skills

  • Storytelling
  • Character Development
  • Worldbuilding
  • Microsoft Word
  • Google Docs
  • Adobe InDesign

1. Storytelling

Storytelling, in the context of a creative writer, is the art of conveying a narrative through the imaginative construction of events, characters, and settings, aimed at engaging the audience's emotions, intellect, and imagination.

Why It's Important

Storytelling is crucial for a Creative Writer as it enables the effective conveyance of ideas, emotions, and experiences, engaging the audience's imagination and fostering a deep connection between the writer and the reader.

How to Improve Storytelling Skills

Improving storytelling, especially for a creative writer, involves honing various skills and techniques. Here are concise tips with relevant resources for deep dives:

Read Widely : Exposure to different styles, genres, and authors can inspire and teach you new methods. Goodreads offers extensive book lists and recommendations.

Practice Writing Regularly : Like any skill, storytelling improves with practice. Websites like 750 Words encourage daily writing habits.

Learn Story Structure : Understanding classic story structures can help in crafting compelling narratives. This guide on The Write Practice offers insights into structuring stories effectively.

Develop Characters : Characters are the heart of any story. Learn to create multidimensional characters with this resource from Writers Digest.

Show, Don't Tell : This principle helps readers experience the story through actions, senses, and feelings rather than through the author's exposition. This article from AutoCrit explains it further.

Seek Feedback : Getting critiques from other writers or readers can highlight areas for improvement. Consider joining a community like Scribophile for feedback.

Edit Ruthlessly : Great stories often emerge in the editing phase. Learn editing tips from The Creative Penn .

Study Storytelling Techniques : Dive into storytelling techniques and how to apply them with courses from platforms like MasterClass or Coursera .

By incorporating these tips and utilizing the linked resources, you can significantly improve your storytelling skills as a creative writer.

How to Display Storytelling Skills on Your Resume

How to Display Storytelling Skills on Your Resume

Editing, for a creative writer, involves revising and refining a manuscript to enhance clarity, coherence, structure, and style, while correcting errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling to improve overall quality and readability.

Editing is crucial for a creative writer as it refines and polishes their work, ensuring clarity, coherence, and engagement, while also enhancing the narrative's impact and reader's experience.

How to Improve Editing Skills

To enhance your editing skills as a creative writer:

Read Widely : Exposure to various writing styles and genres can inspire and refine your editing skills. Goodreads offers a wide selection of books to explore.

Practice Self-Editing : Start by taking breaks between writing and editing to gain a fresh perspective. Tools like Grammarly can help catch basic errors before deeper edits.

Join Writing Groups : Feedback from peers can offer new insights. Websites like Scribophile facilitate critique-sharing with fellow writers.

Study Editing Guides : Books such as "The Elements of Style" by Strunk and White provide invaluable editing advice. Visit Project Gutenberg for free access to classic literature and references.

Attend Workshops and Courses : Platforms like Coursera and MasterClass offer courses taught by professionals to hone your editing skills.

Use Editing Software : Advanced software like ProWritingAid offers in-depth analysis that can improve your writing and editing over time.

Practice, Practice, Practice : Regular writing and editing are key to improvement. Set aside dedicated time for both activities each day.

By incorporating these strategies, you'll enhance your editing skills, contributing to your growth as a creative writer.

How to Display Editing Skills on Your Resume

How to Display Editing Skills on Your Resume

3. Scrivener

Scrivener is a versatile writing software designed for creative writers, offering tools for drafting, organizing, revising, and compiling long texts like novels, scripts, and research projects.

Scrivener is important for creative writers because it provides an all-in-one platform for organizing research, structuring ideas, and composing long texts in a flexible and user-friendly environment, thereby enhancing productivity and creativity.

How to Improve Scrivener Skills

To enhance Scrivener for Creative Writers, consider these concise tips:

  • Master the Basics : Start with Scrivener's interactive tutorial to grasp the fundamentals tailored to writing projects.
  • Customize Your Workspace : Tailor the interface to suit your writing style. Focus on Composition Mode for distraction-free writing and adjust the Editor to your liking. Learn more through this customization guide .
  • Utilize the Corkboard and Outliner : Plan and structure your narrative effectively using the Corkboard and Outliner tools for an overview of your project.
  • Leverage Project Targets : Set word counts and deadlines using Project Targets to keep on track. This guide on setting targets can help.
  • Compile Like a Pro : Master the Compile function for exporting your manuscript into various formats. This compilation guide offers insights.
  • Sync with External Editors : Use Scrivener in conjunction with external editors like ProWritingAid for advanced editing. Explore syncing options here .
  • Explore Scrivener’s Research Capabilities : Organize your research within the project for easy access. Tips on harnessing these features are found in this research management guide.

By following these steps and exploring the provided resources, Creative Writers can maximize their Scrivener experience, making the writing process more efficient and enjoyable.

How to Display Scrivener Skills on Your Resume

How to Display Scrivener Skills on Your Resume

4. Grammarly

Grammarly is a digital writing assistant that provides grammar checking, spell checking, and plagiarism detection services, helping creative writers enhance the clarity, coherence, and correctness of their work.

Grammarly is important for a creative writer as it enhances clarity, corrects grammar and spelling errors, and refines the overall readability of their work, ensuring their ideas are communicated effectively and professionally.

How to Improve Grammarly Skills

To improve Grammarly for a Creative Writer:

Customize Style Goals : Use Grammarly's goal-setting feature to tailor feedback to your genre or writing style, enhancing creativity and coherence (Grammarly Support).

Expand Vocabulary : Leverage the vocabulary enhancement feature to diversify language and avoid repetition, enriching narratives (Grammarly Blog).

Integrate with Writing Tools : Utilize Grammarly's integration with popular writing platforms like Google Docs and Scrivener for seamless editing and feedback (Grammarly Apps).

Learn from Insights : Analyze performance statistics provided by Grammarly to identify common errors and areas for improvement, refining your craft over time (Grammarly Insights).

Engage with the Grammarly Community : Share tips and seek advice from other writers in the Grammarly community, fostering creativity and learning new writing strategies (Grammarly Community).

How to Display Grammarly Skills on Your Resume

How to Display Grammarly Skills on Your Resume

5. Plotting

Plotting in creative writing refers to the process of planning and structuring the sequence of events that make up a story, including the setup, conflict, and resolution, to create a coherent and engaging narrative.

Plotting is crucial for a creative writer as it provides a roadmap for the story, ensuring coherent structure, pacing, and character development, which engages readers and delivers a satisfying narrative experience.

How to Improve Plotting Skills

Improving plotting as a creative writer involves developing a structured yet flexible approach to crafting your story's roadmap. Focus on these key strategies:

Outline Your Story : Start with a basic outline to organize your thoughts and plot structure. This can range from a simple bullet-point list of events to a detailed chapter-by-chapter breakdown. Well-Storied offers a comprehensive guide on different outlining techniques.

Understand Story Structure : Familiarize yourself with classic story structures like the Three-Act Structure, the Hero's Journey, or the Save the Cat! Beat Sheet. These frameworks provide a blueprint for pacing your narrative effectively. Reedsy breaks down these and other structures.

Develop Your Characters : Characters drive the plot. Ensure your characters have clear motivations, obstacles, and arcs. This depth makes the plot more engaging and believable. Writers Digest offers tips on character development.

Incorporate Conflict and Tension : Conflict is the heart of any plot. It can be internal (character vs. self), external (character vs. character, society, nature), or both. Tension keeps readers engaged. Now Novel discusses how to effectively write conflict and tension.

Use Subplots Wisely : Subplots can enrich your main plot, offering depth and complexity. Ensure they tie into the main storyline and contribute to character development or theme. MasterClass provides insights into creating effective subplots.

Revise and Refine : Plotting doesn’t end with the first draft. Revising allows you to spot plot holes, pacing issues, and areas where the conflict or tension may sag. Be open to restructuring your plot during this phase. The Creative Penn has tips on revising your plot.

Remember, plotting is a skill that improves with practice and study. Don't be afraid to experiment with different plotting techniques to find what works best for your storytelling style.

How to Display Plotting Skills on Your Resume

How to Display Plotting Skills on Your Resume

6. Character Development

Character development is the process by which a writer creates and evolves characters' personalities, backgrounds, and motivations throughout a story, making them more complex and relatable to the audience.

Character development is crucial for creative writers because it deepens the audience's emotional connection, drives the plot through characters' decisions and growth, and creates a more immersive and believable story world, enhancing overall engagement and investment in the narrative.

How to Improve Character Development Skills

Improving character development involves deepening your understanding of your characters' backgrounds, motivations, and changes throughout your story. Here's a concise guide to enhance your character development skills:

Create Detailed Backstories : Understand each character's history. What events shaped their beliefs and behaviors? This depth adds realism and relatability.

Define Clear Motivations : Know what drives your characters. Their goals and fears should influence their actions throughout the story.

Show Growth and Change : Allow your characters to evolve. Their experiences should impact their decisions and viewpoints, reflecting real human growth.

Use Dialogue Wisely : Dialogue can reveal a lot about a character. How they speak, what they say, and what they don't say can all add layers to their personality.

Explore Relationships : Characters don't exist in a vacuum. Their interactions with others can highlight different facets of their personality and trigger change.

For further reading and more detailed guides, consider the following resources:

Creating Characters on Writer's Digest offers tips on making memorable characters.

Character Development: How to Write Great Characters from Reedsy Blog provides a comprehensive overview of character development techniques.

The Art of Character Development on MasterClass features professional advice from established authors on crafting compelling characters.

These resources will give you a deeper insight into the nuances of character development, helping you to create more engaging and believable characters in your writing.

How to Display Character Development Skills on Your Resume

How to Display Character Development Skills on Your Resume

7. Worldbuilding

Worldbuilding is the process of constructing an imaginary universe with coherent qualities such as history, geography, ecology, and culture, providing the setting and context for stories within that universe.

Worldbuilding is crucial for a creative writer because it establishes a coherent and immersive universe, enriching storytelling by providing a believable and engaging backdrop for characters and plots, enhancing reader experience and emotional investment.

How to Improve Worldbuilding Skills

Improving worldbuilding, especially for a creative writer, involves enriching the details and consistency of the universe your story inhabits. Here's a concise guide:

Start Broad, Then Narrow Down : Begin with the large-scale aspects of your world (geography, history, politics) before focusing on the smaller, everyday details that affect your characters' lives. This approach ensures coherence and depth. World Anvil offers tools for organizing these aspects.

Culture and Society : Dive into the cultures, religions, social norms, and languages of your world. These elements should influence your characters' behaviors and the plot. The Seventh Sanctum provides generators for inspiration.

Economy and Technology : Determine the level of technology and the state of the economy. How do these factors impact the daily lives of your characters and the plot? Springhole has resources for generating ideas.

Consistency is Key : Ensure the rules of your world (magic system, technology, culture) are consistent. Inconsistencies can break immersion. Evernote is a great tool for keeping track of all these details.

Engage the Senses : Make your world feel real by describing not just what is seen, but also what is smelled, heard, tasted, and touched.

Feedback Loop : Share your world with others and be open to feedback. Insights from readers can highlight areas that need more depth or clarity. Online forums like Reddit’s r/worldbuilding are great for this.

Remember, worldbuilding is a marathon, not a sprint. Taking time to layer in details will make your universe more immersive and believable.

How to Display Worldbuilding Skills on Your Resume

How to Display Worldbuilding Skills on Your Resume

8. Microsoft Word

Microsoft Word is a word processing software used for creating, editing, and formatting written documents, offering tools and features tailored to enhance creative writing and storytelling.

For a creative writer, Microsoft Word is crucial as it offers versatile tools for editing, formatting, and organizing text, enabling efficient drafting, revising, and finalizing of creative works.

How to Improve Microsoft Word Skills

To enhance Microsoft Word for a Creative Writer, consider the following concise recommendations:

Utilize Add-ins : Leverage ProWritingAid or Grammarly for advanced grammar, style, and vocabulary suggestions directly within Word.

Explore Templates : Explore and customize Word's range of creative writing templates for different genres to streamline your writing process.

Master Shortcuts and Features : Familiarize yourself with Word's keyboard shortcuts and utilize features like "Focus Mode" to enhance productivity and minimize distractions.

Use the Navigation Pane for Structure : Utilize the Navigation Pane to easily organize and navigate through your document, making it easier to structure your story.

Integrate Cloud Services : Save and access your documents from anywhere by integrating with OneDrive or Dropbox . This facilitates easy backups and sharing with editors or beta readers.

By employing these strategies, you can significantly enhance your creative writing process within Microsoft Word.

How to Display Microsoft Word Skills on Your Resume

How to Display Microsoft Word Skills on Your Resume

9. Google Docs

Google Docs is a cloud-based word processing application that enables creative writers to create, edit, and share documents online in real-time, facilitating collaboration and accessibility from anywhere.

Google Docs is important for a Creative Writer because it offers real-time collaboration, easy access from any device, and automatic saving, enhancing efficiency and flexibility in the writing process.

How to Improve Google Docs Skills

Improving Google Docs for a creative writer involves enhancing its functionality for drafting, revising, and sharing written work. Here are concise tips with relevant resources:

Use Add-ons : Enhance your writing with tools for mind mapping, grammar checking, and more. Explore add-ons like ProWritingAid for in-depth editing assistance.

Voice Typing : Boost productivity by dictating your story. Activate this feature under Tools > Voice typing. Learn more about voice typing.

Version History : Track changes and revert to previous versions easily. Access this via File > Version history. Understand version history.

Use Outline Tool : Organize your document with headings for easy navigation. Find this under View > Show document outline. Outline tool details.

Research Tool : Quickly look up references without leaving Docs. Access through Tools > Explore. Explore feature.

Collaborate in Real-Time : Share your document with editors or co-authors for live feedback. Click Share on the top right. Sharing and collaboration guide.

Keyboard Shortcuts : Speed up your writing and editing process. View shortcuts.

Customize Styles : Tailor heading and text styles for consistent formatting. Learn about custom styles.

By incorporating these features, creative writers can streamline their process, from research to writing to revision, directly within Google Docs.

How to Display Google Docs Skills on Your Resume

How to Display Google Docs Skills on Your Resume

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is the practice of optimizing web content to increase visibility and ranking in search engine results, helping a creative writer's work reach a wider audience online.

SEO is crucial for a Creative Writer as it enhances visibility online, attracting more readers to their work, and increasing opportunities for engagement and monetization.

How to Improve SEO Skills

To improve SEO for a Creative Writer, focus on these key strategies:

  • Keyword Research : Identify relevant, high-search-volume keywords related to your content ( Google Keyword Planner ).
  • Quality Content : Write engaging, original content that provides value to your readers, incorporating your keywords naturally.
  • On-Page SEO : Optimize your content's title, meta descriptions, and headers with target keywords ( Moz On-Page SEO ).
  • User Experience (UX) : Ensure your website is mobile-friendly, fast-loading, and easy to navigate ( Google PageSpeed Insights ).
  • Backlinks : Gain backlinks from reputable sites within your niche to enhance your site's authority ( Ahrefs Guide ).
  • Social Media : Share your content on social media platforms to drive traffic and engagement (Buffer Social Media Guide).
  • Analytics : Use tools like Google Analytics to monitor traffic, refine your SEO strategies, and understand your audience better.

By consistently applying these strategies, you can improve your website's SEO, attract more readers, and increase your visibility online as a Creative Writer.

How to Display SEO Skills on Your Resume

How to Display SEO Skills on Your Resume

11. WordPress

WordPress is a versatile content management system (CMS) that enables creative writers to easily publish, manage, and organize a wide variety of content on a website, without needing advanced technical knowledge.

WordPress is important for a Creative Writer because it offers an easy-to-use platform to publish, manage, and share their work globally, facilitating a direct connection with their audience and enabling them to establish their personal brand online.

How to Improve WordPress Skills

To enhance WordPress for a Creative Writer, focus on these key areas:

Choose a Responsive Theme : Select a theme that adapts to different devices and screen sizes, ensuring your content looks great everywhere. WordPress Themes Directory is a good place to start.

Install Essential Plugins :

  • Yoast SEO : Improves your site's SEO, helping your content reach a wider audience. Yoast SEO .
  • Akismet : Protects your blog from spam. Akismet .
  • Jetpack : Offers design, marketing, and security features in one. Jetpack .

Optimize for Speed : Use a caching plugin like WP Super Cache and optimize images with Smush to improve site loading times.

Regularly Update Content : Keep your site fresh and engaging by regularly updating your blog with new, relevant content.

Use External Links : Enhance the credibility of your content by linking to reputable sources. Ensure all external links open in a new tab to keep readers on your site.

Engage with Your Readers : Encourage comments and feedback. Use plugins like Disqus to manage comments more effectively.

Backup Regularly : Protect your content with regular backups using a plugin like UpdraftPlus.

Secure Your Website : Implement security measures with plugins like Wordfence to protect against threats.

By focusing on these areas, Creative Writers can significantly improve their WordPress site, making it more user-friendly, secure, and optimized for search engines and readers.

How to Display WordPress Skills on Your Resume

How to Display WordPress Skills on Your Resume

12. Adobe InDesign

Adobe InDesign is a professional desktop publishing software used primarily for creating and designing layouts for print and digital media. For a Creative Writer, it's a powerful tool to design and format books, magazines, brochures, and eBooks, allowing for precise control over typography, image placement, and page layout.

Adobe InDesign is important for a Creative Writer because it provides advanced tools for creating professional layouts for books, magazines, and digital publications, enabling effective storytelling through visually engaging content.

How to Improve Adobe InDesign Skills

To enhance Adobe InDesign for a Creative Writer, consider the following concise steps:

Learn the Basics : Start with Adobe's official tutorials to understand the core functionality and tools available in InDesign.

Use Templates : Leverage InDesign templates to save time on formatting and focus more on content.

Master Text Formatting : Dive deep into text formatting options to improve readability and visual appeal. Adobe’s guide on formatting text is crucial.

Incorporate Graphics : Learn to import and adjust graphics within your documents for more engaging content.

Utilize GREP for Advanced Search : Use GREP expressions to find and replace text patterns efficiently. This GREP resource is invaluable.

Explore Scripts : Automate repetitive tasks with scripts. The InDesignSecrets’ scripting resources can be a great starting point.

Stay Updated : Keep your software updated and explore new features with each release, as outlined in Adobe’s What’s New page.

By focusing on these areas, a Creative Writer can significantly improve their efficiency and creativity within Adobe InDesign.

How to Display Adobe InDesign Skills on Your Resume

How to Display Adobe InDesign Skills on Your Resume

Related Career Skills

  • Creative Project Manager
  • Creative Director
  • Creative Consultant
  • Creative Designer
  • Creative Strategist
  • Creative Producer

Lynne Reeves Griffin R.N., M.Ed.

Writing Creatively to Make Sense of the Times We Live In

Journalist katrin schumann talks about why she writes fiction..

Updated July 12, 2024 | Reviewed by Davia Sills

  • Studies show that the act of all kinds of writing hones our reflective abilities.
  • Creative writing stretches our imagination, increases emotional resilience, and alleviates stress.
  • Writers of nonfiction examine complex issues that are relevant to our times.
  • Novelists examine the issues using characters as a vehicle for empathy.

Studies show that the act of writing hones our reflective abilities, stretches our imagination , increases emotional resilience , and alleviates stress . In my conversation with journalist-turned-novelist Katrin Schumann, we discuss how creative writing, in particular, is a worthy pursuit to understand the issues of our time. Schumann is the author of the nonfiction books Mothers Need Time Outs Too and The Secret Life of Middle Children, as well as the novels The Forgotten Hours and This Terrible Beauty .

You’re a trained journalist and the author of nonfiction books. Why, in the last few years, have you focused on writing fiction?

Writing nonfiction has been a way for me to examine complex issues that are relevant to our times, including psychological ones, but I’ve found that in recent years, I’ve been drawn to fiction because it allows me to get closer to the subject. In exploring thorny issues like loyalty and trust or co-dependency , I’m able to do more of a deep dive in fiction. The form allows me to sit with the complexities, to live in the gray areas with my characters.

I can’t always do this with nonfiction, where I’m approaching the topic from a specific angle, seeking solutions. In fiction, I have space to explore nuances that fascinate and confuse me and try to make sense of the inevitable contradictions. It’s messier and more delicate than nonfiction. For me, this feels more true to the human experience.

All writing involves deep reflection. Do you find the act of writing fiction to be a different kind of therapy?

Yes. Spending years creating characters and situations that grapple with serious, real-world problems lets me explore my own difficult experiences. For instance, I’d been wrestling with the aftermath of dealing with a narcissist when I started writing my first novel. By fictionalizing those challenges, I was able to find the courage to linger in the dark areas, examining them from all angles in order to find where the light might get in.

I discovered greater empathy and resilience in myself while also being able to acknowledge the trauma I’d been through. It’s using my imagination, combined with researching some very real and current psychological challenges, that ultimately feels most powerful to me and an effective way to reach readers.

How does fictionalizing the story give you more latitude or depth in exploring topics? You write about things like self-reliance and depression, and I’m wondering why not just write articles about it.

I write to figure out my own issues and to learn, but also to share. For me, fiction writing makes me work harder and go deeper. I’m trying to change people’s minds and hearts in subtler ways. I’m reflecting on experiences I’ve had, wrestling with what they mean, and how we can all learn from them and come out the better for it.

Yet, I don’t want to be prescriptive; I want people to draw their own conclusions. I research deeply about whatever topic I’m tackling.

To write my last novel, I studied the history of neuropsychology, dissecting studies on substance abuse . I conducted interviews. For all my books, I gather and study facts and figures, but with novels, I take that a step further. I put those facts and figures into play with my imagined characters to explore what happens. I imbue the impersonal with empathy and allow readers to try to figure out how they feel about how the characters contend with the issue. This approach leads me to meaningful personal discoveries while also taking the reader along on the emotional journey.

How do you decide whether to approach a topic in a nonfiction book or in a novel?

The more I’m personally involved with the topic, the more I want to explore it in fictional form. Ironically, for fiction, I feel like I should have an even better understanding of some of these psychological challenges than if I were covering them through straight nonfiction reportage. I first have to understand the topic and its history so my story is not only realistic but feels authentic.

I want readers to trust me, which means I have to be thorough. It’s my aim to take them on a ride that’s compelling as well as informative. And I love learning something new when I’m immersed in researching and writing fiction.

If writing fiction is about wrestling with your own demons, why not simply journal?

i need to write a creative writing

Journaling is, without question, a beneficial reflective activity. Yet what differentiates this kind of work from journaling about our problems or writing blog posts is that novelists are committing more time and energy to the deep dive on a specific topic. My last novel took almost three years to write, and during that time, I was reading everything I could get my hands on about the topic in order to distill it so that readers might find it relevant to their own lives.

At that stage, it’s not really about me anymore; it’s about the human condition. And in the end, that’s what readers relate to, I think. It’s what makes them call their friends and say, “I just finished this great book. You’ve got to read it.”

More about Katrin Schumann 's work

Lynne Reeves Griffin R.N., M.Ed.

Lynne Griffin, R.N., M.Ed. , researches family life and is a novelist.

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How to Become a Creative Writing Teacher (And Enjoy It)

Creative writing is an art that offers students the opportunity to explore their creativity and improve their writing skills. Teaching this discipline requires not only expertise in writing but also the ability to inspire and guide aspiring writers on their journey to becoming better wordsmiths. Whether you’re looking to make extra money on the side or considering a full-time career, this guide will walk you through the steps of becoming a creative writing teacher, including dissertation data analysis help and resources for aspiring educators.

Become a Creative Writing Teacher: The Basics

5 tips for becoming a creative writing teacher.

Teaching others how to write it’s very fulfilling and allows you to share your unique perspective with your students. But there are several requirements you will need to meet to do it properly. Keep reading to see what they are:

1. Get a Degree in English or Creative Writing

While not required, having a relevant degree can give you an edge when applying for teaching positions. Formal education on the subject gives you the foundation in literature and composition that will be helpful when teaching how to write. People who wish to become creative writing teachers often attend college for additional writing training before sharing their expertise with others. This equips them to use various teaching approaches, whether it be through a traditional academic setting, an online course, a summer camp workshop, etc.

2. Consider Getting a Teaching Certification

3. start your own writing group or workshop.

This is a great way to get experience leading other writers. You’ll gain some insights into what it takes to be an effective teacher and learn how to communicate with your students . The most wonderful thing about starting a creative writing group is that you can build it exactly what you want it to be. It could be a workshop-style group where you read each other’s work. You can form a group where you meet up together and write, or just talk about writing or each other’s personal experiences in honing their craft. There are no rules. You can contact your writing sessions in a local café, or if that’s not possible, you can host the whole thing on a Facebook group.

4. Volunteer to Teach Creative Writing in Local Schools

Many educational institutions have after-school programs or summer camps that are always looking for volunteers. This is a great way to get your foot in the door and see if teaching is right for you. Most schools collaborate with volunteers who are or want to learn how to become creative writing teachers. You can teach how to edit and publish creative writing.

5. Be Patient and Persistent

Getting a job as a creative writing teacher can be competitive. Don’t get discouraged if you don’t land your dream position right away. Keep applying and refining your resume , and eventually, you’ll find the perfect fit! To become a creative writing teacher, consider getting a degree or teaching certification in English or creative writing. You can also start your writing group or workshop, or volunteer to teach creative writing in local schools. These will give you the training and experience you need to get closer to your goal.

Teaching Writing With True Excellence

We all know the importance of teaching writing. After all, as the saying goes, “If you can’t write well, you can’t think well.” And in today’s world, with so much emphasis on effective communication and clear thinking skills, it’s more important than ever to make sure our students are receiving a top-notch education on learning how to write. So what does true excellence in teaching writing look like? Here are five key concepts to consider:

1. High Expectations

As teachers, we need to have high expectations for our students’ writing abilities. This doesn’t mean that we should be unrealistic or overly critical. Rather, it means that we should expect them to produce quality work that meets or exceeds our standards. By setting the bar high from the beginning, we’ll give them a goal to strive for and help them develop their skills more quickly.

2. Quality Feedback

3. focus on the process, 4. setting an example.

Another important aspect of teaching writing is modeling good behavior for our students. If we want them to produce quality work, then we need to show them how it’s done. We can do this by sharing our writings with them (with permission, of course), or by demonstrating proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation usage in our daily communications with them. Another great idea is to encourage them to read as much as possible and introduce them to the classics so they can fully grasp what a great piece of literary art looks like.

5. Encouragement

Testing your students through writing tasks.

As a creative writing teacher, it’s essential to test your students’ skills and knowledge regularly. One way to do this is through writing tasks. By setting regular writing assignments, you can gauge your student’s progress and identify areas that need improvement.

Here are some tips for making the most of the writing tasks in your classroom :

In short, get your students engaged in their learning by setting regular writing tasks. By making the tasks relevant and providing clear instructions, you’ll help them produce their best work. Don’t forget to provide feedback so they can understand where they need to improve. Many writing teachers are worried about the influence of artificial intelligence on the writing process. That’s why you need to explain that using AI bots for writing will teach them how to write, as it’s a form of “creative plagiarism.”

FAQ About How to Become a Creative Writing Teacher:

1. how do i start teaching creative writing.

There is no single answer to this question since there are many ways to become a creative writing teacher. The best way to teach creative writing will depend on your qualifications, experience, and goals. For example, if you have a degree in English or Creative Writing , you may teach at the college level. Alternatively, if you have significant experience as a writer but no formal education in the field, you may teach creative writing courses at community colleges or adult education centers. There are also online programs that allow people with no teaching experience to lead classes on specific topics related to creative writing. This could be an option for someone looking for flexibility and wanting to share their expertise with others without committing to traditional employment. No matter what route someone takes to become a creative writing teacher, they must possess excellent communication skills, patience, and creativity so they can encourage students to reach their fullest potential.

2. Can you teach writing when only have a creative writing degree?

3. what degree do you need to teach creative writing in college, 4. how much does a creative writer make.

According to Zip Recruiter, the average yearly salary for creative writing teachers is $53, 608.00. But the range goes to as low as $46,000 a year for beginners, and up to over $100,000 a year for those who are in the biz for several years.

If you’re passionate about writing and want to share your love of literature with others, becoming a creative writing teacher may be the perfect career for you. By imparting your knowledge and expertise to students, you can help them develop their skills and find their voice as writers. Are you interested in becoming a freelance writer, working remotely, or improving your productivity and side hustle? I offer coaching and consulting services to help you achieve your goals. Visit my website or contact me today to learn more about how I can help you reach your full potential. Next up, you may want to explore a guide on how to become a columnist .

Rafal Reyzer

Hey there, welcome to my blog! I'm a full-time entrepreneur building two companies, a digital marketer, and a content creator with 10+ years of experience. I started RafalReyzer.com to provide you with great tools and strategies you can use to become a proficient digital marketer and achieve freedom through online creativity. My site is a one-stop shop for digital marketers, and content enthusiasts who want to be independent, earn more money, and create beautiful things. Explore my journey here , and don't miss out on my AI Marketing Mastery online course.

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16 Steps To Writing A Great Article [with examples]

i need to write a creative writing

Staring at a blinking cursor on a blank page can be daunting. You want to write a great article but don’t know where or how to begin. 

Even if you have a great idea, if you can’t get it out of your head and put pen to paper or onto a Word doc, then you can’t share it with anybody. 

Writing a great article is a little like solving a 100 piece jigsaw puzzle.

There’s lots of smaller pieces that, when put together, create an entertaining read. Your tone of voice, writing style, and ability to lean into stories and anecdotes are a few must-have components of a great article.

But don’t worry. You won’t have to stare at that blinking cursor for much longer.

Continue reading to discover how to write an article.

What you will learn

  • Writing articles from start to finish
  • Why to choose a subject you are knowledgeable in
  • Where to publish your finished article
  • How to structure your article and write introductions
  • The importance of a first draft

1. Choose a subject

You can’t bake a cake without ingredients, just like you can’t write a good article without a topic to write about. 

Ideally, your article will be on a topic in which you are a subject-level expert or, at the very least, very knowledgeable.

This ensures you provide quality informative content for the readers. Moreover, you should also explain why you are an expert on the topic in your article.

Anyone can write an article on the colonization of Mars—but if you’re an astronaut at NASA, people are more likely to listen.

To showcase your expertise, you should add your credentials to your byline. This helps showcase a quality article.

For example, I’m no astronaut.

Have I seen Interstellar a handful of times? Yes.

But that doesn’t make me qualified to talk about when we’ll settle on Mars. Instead, I write about SEO because that’s what I have experience in.

Add your credentials to your author byline to build trust. Stick to specific instances and situations where you have engaged with the topic!

i need to write a creative writing

2. Select your publishing platform 

Before article writing, research potential platforms before writing and choose one that aligns with your topic and audience. 

You wouldn’t post your article on the colonization of Mars on a racing forum. 

It’s a good idea to research the types of articles published on each platform to decide which platform best aligns with your article.

For example, publishing an article or social media posts on LinkedIn and an article on Medium has two different audiences.

You need to do your research!

Once you’ve decided on a platform, analyze the tone and language used in the platform's articles.

Take note of the writing style, readability and reading level, and the platform’s audience and sophistication level.

Your article writing format will differ depending on your audience and desired publication.

Copy an article from your chosen platform into the Hemmingway Editor . This crafty tool will show you the article’s readability.

If the article is written well, aim for a similar reading score. However, a poor readability score does not always mean the article is constructed poorly—it could mean it uses more complicated jargon and technical terms.

For example, if we paste this NASA article into the Hemingway editor, it shows grade 15. 

i need to write a creative writing

Let’s compare this to an article published on Medium about the French Formula One racing driver, Esteban Ocon.

i need to write a creative writing

The Medium article gets a readability score of 6. It adopts less technical jargon and is a much lighter read.

Study similar articles 

You might find it useful to read and study similar articles on the same topic before writing your own article. This will help you create a structure that is logical and easy to follow.

You can find similar articles by searching your topic on Google.

Stick to the top search results for the best articles—you don’t want to accidentally inherit bad writing practices from other articles.

3. Brainstorm ideas

Brainstorming techniques, such as mind mapping or free writing, are great ways to come up with ideas. It’s a part of the writing process!

You can use this technique to help generate title ideas, the angle of your article, and the structure, i.e., what you will talk about and in what order.

You can use tools such as MindNode or Mind Meister to brainstorm. If you’re feeling extra creative, putting pen to paper can help—I like to use A3 to visualize how the article will look.

A brainstorm is a little like emptying a jigsaw puzzle and rearranging the pieces so they fit together. 

When brainstorming:

  • Eliminate repetitive, uninteresting, or unnecessary points
  • Review your list and cross out ideas that add no value or are redundant
  • Expand on points that stand out as particularly interesting or important

You can also use your brainstorming session to develop detailed sub-points or sub-headers for your main talking points—more on this below.

4. Structure your points logically 

Your article should flow naturally—the points and sub-heads should read in a logical order. 

Create an outline that maps out the flow of your article from start to finish. You can do this in your brainstorming session or on a blank Google Doc.

You don’t have to stick to the order once it’s down on paper, but this exercise will help you visualize how your article will piece together. 

It also makes sure your article is not mismatched—looking somewhat like a Mr Potato Head from Toy Story with his parts on wrong. 

An excellent example of an article that structures its points logically is this guide on how to become a cybersecurity analyst by BrainStation . 

i need to write a creative writing

Here's the outline of the article.

  • H1: How to Become a Cybersecurity Analyst
  • H2: 1. Learn Cybersecurity Fundamentals
  • H3: Cybersecurity Fundamentals
  • H2: 2. Practice Cybersecurity Technical Skills
  • H2: 3. Earn a Cybersecurity Certificate
  • H2: 4. Research the Cybersecurity Industry
  • H2: 5. Apply to Cybersecurity Jobs
  • H3: Cybersecurity Roles
  • H2: What is a Cybersecurity Analyst?
  • H2: Why Is Cybersecurity Important?
  • H2: Cybersecurity Benefits
  • H2: Is Cybersecurity a Growing Field?
  • H2: What Is a Cybersecurity Analyst?
  • H3: Cybersecurity Roles and Responsibilities
  • H2: How Do I Become a Cybersecurity Analyst With No Experience?

As you can see, the outline makes great use of headings to explain how to become a Cybersecurity Analyst, breaking down each step in more detail.

Their content marketing strategy is to create in-depth guides that flow from one stage to the next.

To weave your ideas together, use transitional phrases —this will also improve the flow of your writing.

Example transnational phases include:

  • Furthermore
  • By comparison
  • For example
  • In conclusion 

Furthermore, replace phrases such as “however” with “but” and “therefore” with “so.”

If there’s a $1 alternative to a $2 word, use it.

This increases the readability of your article without it sounding too formal—unless you want it to be formal, of course! 

5. Begin with a strong introduction

The average human attention span is 8.25 seconds.

We live in a distracted world of constant notifications, TikToks, and Instagram reels. If your article fails to grab their attention immediately, there’s a good chance they’re going to click off your article to continue doom scrolling.

To combat this, show the reader they’re in the right place by starting with a strong introduction and a relevant eye catching image. You’ll also need an excellent hook. 

How to write a good hook 

The hook is how you grab the reader’s attention. Your first couple of lines should reel your target audience in, capturing their attention to continue reading.

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But how do you do it?

To write a great hook, consider using: 

  • a proven copywriting formula
  • a strong, impactful statement 
  • a compelling quote or question
  • an anecdote or metaphor to draw readers in

6. Address your reader

Use simple and direct language that is easy to understand. This makes your writing more relatable and engaging because you’re talking directly to your target audience.

Take it a step further by mentioning the reader’s pain points in your article.

For example, if your article is about how to write an article—just like the post you’re reading now—pain points may include:

  • Not knowing how to come up with an idea for the article
  • Not knowing where or how to publish the article 
  • Unsure how to adjust language and tone for your target audience
  • Not knowing what SEO is or how to optimize it for your article

Address these pain points to keep readers engaged—you’re answering their concerns and objections.

To find these pain points, you can use the aforementioned brainstorming technique. You can also use forum websites and online communities such as Reddit or Quora. 

For example, find a relevant subreddit and then use a custom Google search using phrases and modifiers such as, “how to” and “what.”

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This trick will help you find relevant pain points.

Add relevant questions and pain points to a brainstorm and refer back to these writing a rough draft.

It’s a good idea to mention the primary pain point in the introduction of your article. This tells the reader they are in the right place. 

7. Use writing formulas 

Writing formulas are a writer’s best friend. When used correctly, they help improve your messaging—you can talk directly to the reader and their problems.

Use proven copywriting formulas to help craft your introduction and other parts of your article.

Examples of proven copywriting formulas include: 

  • PAS (problem, agitate, solution)
  • AIDA (attention, interest, desire, and action) 
  • SCQA (situation, complication, question, answer)

I find myself using the PAS formula the most in my work.

I use it when writing LinkedIn posts to hook the reader by relaying a specific problem to my audience.

i need to write a creative writing

Furthermore, I often find myself using it to write an article introduction, showing the reader they are in the right place.

Adopting writing formulas can also help you get articles out faster on days you're not feeling creative.

The problem agitate solution is one of the more popular copywriting formulas. It’s easy to use and is very effective. 

  • First, identify the problem your audience is having and make sure it is a problem that really affects them.
  • Next, agitate the problem by highlighting pain points and consequences to make the the issue feel urgent and pressing.
  • Finally, provide your solution and show how it successfully solves the problem.

Using PAS in your writing can get people to connect with you and buy from you. For the PAS formula to be the most effective, it’s important to do your research.

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If you don’t know what your audience’s pain points are, then you’ll struggle to talk to them directly. So do your research! 

Attention, interest, desire, action—AIDA for short.

  • First, start by grabbing the reader’s attention, whether a striking headline or controversial first sentence. 
  • Second, capture their interest by revealing more information—unique benefits and features, for example. 
  • Third, create a desire to continue reading; how will reading the article improve their life or solve their problem. 

And finally, encourage the reader to take action, in this example, you want them to continue reading your article. 

Although not as popular as the above two formulas, the situation, complication, question, and answer copywriting formula is great for creating clear messaging. 

  • Begin by describing the reader’s current situation.
  • Second, introduce the complication that makes their situation worse.
  • Third, pose a question about their situation—what would happen if the situation was resolved?
  • And finally, provide your answer, whether a call to action or to continue reading your article.

8. Lean into stories and anecdotes 

People love to hear from other people. It’s human nature.

We love stories.

Lean into personal stories and anecdotes to make your article more interesting and relatable. It also makes for engaging articles.

Paint a picture for the reader—when and where did the event take place, what was the weather like, how did you feel?

Use descriptive language and help the reader step into your shoes, experiencing the story for the first time as if they were there.

A great example of this is an article titled, “Surfing the American Dream.”

The article's introduction dives into the specifics, from how the author held their board to the temperature and the abysmal surfing conditions. 

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And while you might not be able to use personal stories and anecdotes for all articles, use them where possible.

Again, people love hearing from other people. So make the most of it and share your personal experiences—this is where writing on a topic you’re familiar with comes in useful.

9. Pick an angle

There’s an old quote from the American General, Douglas MacArthur, that says, “Rules are meant to be broken.”

And while he wasn’t talking about writing, breaking the odd rule or two can help improve your writing.

Typically, most writers read existing content on the same topic and adopt the same or a very similar writing angle.

By changing the angle, you can offer a fresh perspective and a unique take that differs from the common viewpoint.

Take a look at this article by The Atlantic. The title and hook take a new spin on the tennis player, adding a personal perspective that goes against the common viewpoint.

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If you want to grab the reader’s attention—and you do—find ways to add a new spin to your article.

Use personal stories and anecdotes, as previously discussed, and go against the common viewpoint.

10. Write a first draft 

Writing a rough draft is arguably the most difficult part of writing an article. Use this first draft to write a non-polished article—flesh out the structure with detailed sections and expand on each main point with supporting explanations.

Develop each idea fully before moving on to the next to ensure clarity and depth.

John Swartzwelder, known for his comedy writing on the Simpsons, summarizes this perfectly in an interview in The New Yorker .

i need to write a creative writing

Although Swartzwelder is talking about scriptwriting, a lot of the same rules apply.

You can use an AI writing tool like Surfer to generate a first draft for you.

Enter your main topic and select a preferred tone of voice, and Surfer AI will create an outline for you that you can edit.

You will have a first draft ready in about 20 minutes that you can then continue to improve on.

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Focus on getting your ideas down without worrying too much about perfection. It’s called a first draft for a reason—make the most of it!

11. Adjust language and tone 

There is no one perfect writing language or tone. Your choice of language and tone of your article depends on your audience.

Going back to our NASA example—the language and tone are very different to say, an article on how to ride a bike.

The audience is completely different—one is likely a space enthusiast, while the other is looking for simple instructions to most likely teach a kid to ride a bike.

If you adopt a more informal approach, i.e., you’re not writing about space or an academic piece, a good piece of advice is to write as if you were having a conversation with the reader.

Quality content doesn't have to be formal.

Use casual and informal language and avoid overly complex words when easier to read alternatives are available. 

To nail the language and tone of your article, visualize your reader.

  • How old are they?
  • What do they look like?
  • What hobbies and interests do they have?
  • What pain points do they experience?

Give them an identity to take it a step further.

Throughout your article, sprinkle in idiomatic expressions—that’s sayings such as “bite the bullet” or “feeling under the weather.”

They don’t take on the literal meaning of the phrase, but help make your article more lively. You can also use colloquial language and phrases—such as “hit the road” or “that was a piece of cake.”

If your article is more factual than personal, you can adopt a more neutral tone by showcasing facts and figures and avoiding personal opinions and arguments.

Instead, provide all the information for the reader to form their own opinions and judgements.

The below example is an article of current events on Tesla from Emerging Tech Brew—it’s factual and neutral throughout.

i need to write a creative writing

12. Take a break before editing 

Do as Swartzwelder says and take a break between your first draft and editing.

This is one of the most overlooked approaches when it comes to writing. All too often, people want to write and edit in one sitting. 

Although leaving your first draft for a day—or at the very least a few hours—helps you gain a fresh perspective.

When ready, return to the article. You’ll find it much easier to spot mistakes and identify any unclear or weak sections that require improvement. 

Personally, I like to read my first and final draft on my iPad in a different room from where I write. The change in screen and setting help me find mistakes easily.

I take notes and highlight text I want to change before doing a final deep dive edit.

Edits I often make include making my main argument clearer and consistent throughout, using fewer words to get my point across, and adding bullet points to break down a particular topic or key points.

Keeping paragraphs short is also key to keeping the reader engaged.

13. Revisit your first version 

Your first draft and your finished article are very different. Your first draft is an opportunity to get down your ideas.

Nothing more!

Once that’s complete, revisit your draft and start rewriting. Editing is what differentiates a professional writer from a casual one.

It’s much easier to rewrite your first draft than it is to write and edit at the same time.

Once you accept this, your writing will likely improve, and you’ll be better and faster at it. 

So, when revisiting your draft, what should you look for? What should you improve? 

Transform mediocre sentences 

Edit and rewrite mediocre sentences into engaging and descriptive prose. 

Improve readability 

Rewriting your draft is an excellent opportunity to improve the overall readability of your article.

Replace $2 words with $1 alternatives.

Furthermore, use varied sentence structure and vivid language to make your article easy to read and engaging. 

If your article is more academic, use high-level vocabulary or relevant vernacular where needed.

Show; don’t tell 

When article writing, add descriptive details to engage the reader—show, don't tell. Use sensory details and emotive language to help the reader experience your story first-hand.

Use images to support your writing, especially if you're creating a how to article or walkthrough guide.

An example of telling:

“It was hot outside.” 

An example of showing:

“When he stepped outside, beads of sweat trickled down his face. The heat hit his face like the final knockdown blow of a ten-round fight.”  

Moreover, if you are writing a more academic or formal piece, you can show by adding visuals, charts, screenshots, and relevant examples. 

Use the rule of three 

The great Julius Caesar may have said, "I came, I saw, I conquered," but he also employed the persuasive language technique known as the rule of three.

Grouping three items together is more memorable and persuasive than one or two ideas.

Use the rule of three to engage the reader. 

Always support your claims 

Always perform research and include supporting evidence from reliable sources where necessary. This adds credibility to your article.

This way, if a reader wants to dig deeper, they can check the studies.

Furthermore, you might choose to conduct interviews and add expert quotes from trusted sources, too.

Professional writers and journalists do this often to add further trust and credibility when article writing.

It's a little extra effort but it’s very worthwhile.

Use vivid imagery 

Vivid imagery that uses short paragraphs is an excellent way to capture your audience’s attention, helping them stay engaged throughout the entire article.

For an illustrative example of vivid imagery, check out the text below from an article on Pompeii for Hyperallergic .

i need to write a creative writing

The writing creates a clear picture of the events, and helps the target audience understand how the events unfolded. 

14. Come up with a compelling title 

Similar to writing a first draft, I always write a draft title.

You likely wouldn’t marry the first person you dated, either.

Generate a few draft titles ideas and choose your favorite one.

To write a compelling title:

  • Use intriguing language or play on ones to make the title stand out
  • Consider using rhetorical questions, references, or alliteration
  • Make the title memorable and engaging, prompting curiosity 

It’s very important that your title accurately reflects your article.

Yes, exaggerating your title may get more people’s attention at first, but if you don’t follow through, you’ll quickly lose their trust.

Avoid misleading titles that do not represent the article’s main points. 

Here’s an example of a compelling title that follows the above advice.

i need to write a creative writing

The article offers unique insights, and while it looks like hyperbole at first glance, it’s not. 

15. Optimize for SEO

SEO, or search engine optimization, is a way to help your article reach a wider audience.

Everyday, we search queries on search engines using keywords. Keywords are what people will use to find your article.

So you need to use the right phrases to help people find your article in the search engine results page.

‍ Surfer can help you here, showing you suggested keywords and phrases for your article.

i need to write a creative writing

Knowing which keywords to include can save you time in research that you can put to other content marketing efforts.

Once you have a primary keyword(s), you want to include them in 4 main places in your article:

  • Your meta title 
  • In paragraph tags (naturally throughout your article)

For example, this article from Investopedia on how to trade stocks uses their main keyword in all of the above recommended places.

i need to write a creative writing

This helps the article show up in search engines for relevant keywords.

16. Ask for feedback

Receiving feedback on your article is a great way to not only improve that article, but also your overall writing.

If you’re lucky enough to work with an editor, they will often highlight and comment on your document with suggested changes.

You may even have a style guide to refer to. But if you don’t have an editor, you can ask a friend, family member, or colleague to read your article.

They can help catch errors, spelling mistakes and grammatical errors and ensure your article’s content makes sense.

You can also submit your article to a writing group or someone proficient in the topic for valuable feedback.

When sending your article off for review, it can be helpful to send the submission guidelines—if you have any—to receive better and more accurate revisions. 

Key takeaways 

  • Write an article on a topic you are knowledgeable about
  • Publish on a relevant platform for the best engagement 
  • Study similar articles before you start writing to grasp tone of voice and writing style
  • Use brainstorming to plan your article structure 
  • Structure your points logically and use transitional phrases to weave ideas together
  • Capture attention with a solid introduction 
  • Use proven copywriting formulas for effective article writing
  • Address your reader by highlighting pain points and using second-person
  • Use stories and anecdotes to make your writing more relatable 
  • Write a messy first draft and rewrite as needed
  • Ensure your article covers your chosen topic adequately
  • Use simple language and less complex words when possible to improve readability
  • Take a break before editing to spot mistakes
  • Come up with a compelling title 
  • Optimize for search engines to increase the reach of your article
  • Ask for feedback before publishing 

https://surferseo.com/blog/how-to-write-an-article/

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Choose a plan that fits your needs and try Surfer out for yourself. Click below to sign up!

Screenshot of Surfer SEO Content Editor interface, displaying the 'Essential Content Marketing Metrics' article with a content score of 82/100. The editor highlights sections like 'Key Takeaways' and offers SEO suggestions for terms such as 'content marketing metrics

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Create Your Own Story Online

Create your own story online using our ultimate story creator. Our story creator comes with built-in story starters, artwork and more to inspire writers of all abilities!

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Useful Resources

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Ultimate Story Generator

Generate thousands of unique stories using our ultimate story generator. Just enter some words about your story, and press the 'Generate Story' button. You can create a unique story within minutes to share with your friends. Writing stories has never been so easy! Try out our story generator and step-by-step story maker tool now!

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Daily Writing Challenges

Our daily writing challenges aim to inspire and encourage young writers to write daily. Each day the challenges will update to show a new inspirational prompt for you to write about. We have special seasonal writing challenges, as well as regular challenges, such as the word challenge, book title challenge, poetry challenge and more!

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Use Story Starters to Inspire You

Story starters are a brilliant way to fix blank page syndrome (or writer's block). Did you know that 67% of authors say the most challenging part of writing is starting their story? We have thousands of story starters to get you writing in no time! And that's not all, if you're still stuck for inspiration we even have a ton of artwork to inspire you.

Generate Funny Story Ideas

With thousands of story combinations to keep you writing stories every day. Our simple-to-use story idea generator comes with tons of fun and wacky prompts to inspire you. Whether you're into pirates or princesses we got writing prompts to suit every child out there.

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Imagine Forest offers a seamless and user-friendly experience with the convenience of no registration required. We believe in breaking down barriers and making creative resources accessible to all. We provide a hassle-free environment for users to dive into the world of storytelling, writing challenges, and more.

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Imagine Forest is proud to declare itself a safe space for kids. With no registration required to use tools, we ensure that no personal information is collected, providing a secure and privacy-conscious environment. Our resources are carefully curated to be age-appropriate, for younger to older children, fostering a positive and creative atmosphere.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is Imagine forest free?

Yes. Imagine Forest is 100% free. There are no additional costs or subscription fees. All features you see on the site are fully available for free.

How do you use Imagine forest?

To use Imagine Forest simply explore the site or click the 'Create a Story' button at the top of this page to access the story creator. Once inside the story creator, you can select the type of story you want to write and continue following the on-screen instructions. At the end, you can download a PDF of your book. You can also explore the rest of the site to find some interesting activities and writing resources to help you become a better story writer.

How do I register for Imagine Forest?

No registration is required. All resources from the story creator to the writing challenges and blog content are openly available to all site visitors. This also means that we don’t store any personal information, allowing users to explore Imagine Forest without the need for a formal registration process. The platform is designed to prioritize user privacy and accessibility, ensuring that creative individuals of all ages can freely engage with the diverse range of writing resources.

Is Imagine Forest safe for kids?

Yes of course. The absence of a registration requirement means that no personal information is collected, providing an added layer of privacy and security. Additionally, the content and activities on Imagine Forest are tailored to be child-friendly, fostering a positive and creative environment. The platform aims to inspire and nurture the imagination of young writers in a safe and age-appropriate manner. As with any online platform, it's advisable for parents to monitor their children's online activities and ensure that they are engaging with content suitable for their age group.

Can I view a list of Writing Prompts?

Yes. Imagine Forest has a huge list of writing prompts and story starters. You can view this collection of writing prompts on our blog, in the writing prompts category .

Is it possible to remove the ads?

Sorry, there is no option to remove ads yet. Ads help keep Imagine Forest running and providing free access to its creative resources for all users. While it may be inconvenient for some to see ads, they play a crucial role in sustaining the platform and ensuring that it remains freely accessible to a wide audience. Imagine Forest relies on revenue generated from advertisements to cover the costs of maintaining the website, developing new features, and expanding its offerings. By allowing ads, the platform can continue to provide a wealth of writing tools, challenges, and other resources without requiring users to pay for access. In the future, we may offer users a paid subscription option which allows them to remove ads from the site.

Is it possible to upload my own images?

At this moment in time, no it is not possible to upload your own images in the story creator tool. We may bring this feature in the future. The purpose of Imagine Forest is to guide you on how to write a good story. It is an educational tool for helping beginners write stories and poems. We do however provide a huge built-in library of photos, and illustrations to use. You can also request more specific images by contacting our team .

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More From Forbes

How to make money writing – 6 ideas.

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Learn how to get paid to write for beginners and much more.

Strategies For Earning Money By Writing

Ghost writing, copywriting, technical writing, social media writing, magazine and newspaper writing, frequently asked questions (faqs).

Do you have a way with words? You could turn your prowess with pronouns, verbs and adjectives into a lucrative side hustle when you learn how to make money by writing. Many large and small websites hire freelance writers to produce their content, offering you a platform to share your insights and an opportunity to make some extra dough. Even those who have never written anything besides personal social media posts or journal entries can find a place to sell their writing. This list provides a step-by-step guide to how to earn money by writing and will answer all your questions, whether you’re a beginning or veteran scribe.

You can make money by writing in many different ways, including blogging, ghost writing, penning reviews and working for small businesses. You have a greater chance of being published by pursuing several options simultaneously instead of prioritizing one. It’s like baiting multiple fishhooks. The more you cast, the better your odds of pulling something in.

You will make the most money by working for bigger sites and businesses, and you can do nearly all of it remotely. Ghostwriting pays better than blogging because businesses want more polished, focused writing. Blogging, however, may take less time and allow you the chance to complete more assignments. Journalism gives you greater opportunities for creativity in your work, and social media writing appeals to those who like pithy, funny writing. Copywriting and technical writing can be drier, but they also provide higher payment and steadier work than other writing. Here is a breakdown of the main ways to make money while writing.

Blogging means publishing content online written especially for that publication. Individuals, businesses, journalists, influencers, homemakers and many more publish blogs, which are often but not always written in first person. Anyone can write their own blog and publish it through a self-publishing platform, such as Medium, Blogger or WordPress.

The time and effort required for blogging depends on what you write about. For instance, if you run in your spare time and decide to start a running blog, you may be able to write several short blogs about running a race in under an hour. But if you want to explore the ethical implications of artificial intelligence using reliable sources, it could take hours to finish one post. The better the writing and sourcing, the better a post will perform, so making the extra effort to be informed and publishing grammatically correct copy is always worth it.

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You don’t need experience to become a blogger. Anyone can do it, though it may take a while for you to settle into a style and voice that becomes popular. You need readers to make money on a blog. People make money on blogs in several ways:

  • Advertising : You can sign on with a blogging ad network or sell your own ads to local businesses to make money.
  • Sponsorship : You can write about a sponsor’s products in return for money, though you must disclose that you received compensation for your post.
  • Syndication : You can sign on with syndication networks to distribute your blog on larger networks that will pay for your work.

How much can you make from blogging? The answer varies according to how often you publish, what type of payment method you use, and the popularity of your work. Some top bloggers make six figures per year. Sponsorships with big companies like Walmart that pay people to hawk their goods can be lucrative, paying thousands of dollars. But most bloggers make a few hundred dollars per month, enough to pay off a car or credit card bill but not enough to live on.

Blogging, ghost writing, copywriting, technical writing, social media writing and newspaper and ... [+] magazine writing are six of the most lucrative ways to earn money writing.

Ghost writing is the most lucrative type of writing. Ghost writers channel the voice of a third party, writing as though they were that person or business and presenting their ideas in first person. Businesses and thought leaders use ghost writers to take their thoughts and ideas and present them in a prettier package.

Ghost writing can take many forms. You might produce communications for a company CEO or create a book about an important event for a historical society. Every job is a little different. Ghost writing usually requires several years of writing experience, though if you are a subject matter expert on something—for example, if you are a nurse asked to write articles for a nursing degree program—then you may be able to get a job without writing experience. Time spent on an assignment will vary, but it takes longer than blogging. Ghost writing demands high-level clarity, grammar and readability.

You can make money by earning an hourly or per-project rate from the client. Most ghost writing gigs pay well, from $50 per hour and more. Some ghost writers pull in six figures per year, though those have extensive experience. To get started, search LinkedIn for the words “freelance writer” or “writer.” Or think about companies you would like to work with and send an email to the hiring manager introducing yourself and spelling out your expertise. You can also sign on with agencies that hire out ghost writers to businesses. Again, send your resume and a letter of introduction (LOI) to the agency hiring manager or search job ads online.

Copywriting is similar to ghostwriting, but sometimes you will receive a byline and the writing is not always presented in first person. Copywriting includes copy on businesses’ websites, material for pamphlets, mission statements, advertising, newsletters and more. People with copywriting skills are persuasive and clear writers good at conveying information and encouraging sales.

You can start with simple copywriting jobs and work your way up to higher-paying ones. Experience is required for bigger companies, but small businesses around your town might hire an inexperienced writer. You can begin by approaching them and offering to, for instance, rewrite their website or start a monthly newsletter. As you gain knowledge and confidence, you can reach out online to larger places. Follow freelance job boards to find new opportunities, interact with companies on LinkedIn to get your name out there, and send LOIs to hiring managers wherever you want to work.

You can get a little creative to find jobs, too. Find newsletters for companies you love or share expertise with. Send them an LOI outlining your subject matter background and what you could contribute. Copywriting work requires precision and often background research, and it takes longer than many other types of writing. You can make a good living as, like with ghost writing, clients tend to pay on the higher end of the payscale for copywriters, often $40 per hour and more. The best copywriters can make more than $150,000 per year.

Technical writing refers to communicating information about niche topics, such as medicine, engineering, manufacturing or construction. It can also encompass things like the directions to put something together or operate an electronic device. The aim is to create digestible, informative content while eliminating jargon.

Technical writing requires a great deal of writing experience, but it can be lucrative. Few people have the skills to boil down information and serve it back up in the right format. It can take hours to finish even a short writing assignment because you need to get every word right and leave out extraneous ones. But most jobs are paid per hour ($60 and up for experienced writers), so the time and effort pay off.

A lot of technical writing jobs are full time. But you can find part-time opportunities using job sites such as LinkedIn, Indeed, Monster and more. Taking courses in technical writing could be a worthy investment, as that background will open up new opportunities and give you valuable experience.

Technical writing, a great way to earn money by writing, may involve simplifying jargon and ... [+] complexities for a lay audience.

Social media writing is a relatively new way to make money. Many businesses hire people to write captions on Instagram , video descriptions on YouTube , thought leadership posts on LinkedIn and much more. This is an excellent entry point for writers with little formal experience.

Social media writing pays more modestly than other types of business writing, anywhere from $15-$35 per hour. However, it takes less effort. You can often bang out lots of posts in an hour, and very little knowledge or experience is needed, beyond knowing the character limits for different social platforms. You can find jobs by looking at writing job sites or reaching out directly to businesses with LOIs. Try small businesses in your hometown first to get some examples for your resume before targeting more prominent places.

Magazine and newspaper writing is one of the more specialized forms of writing to make money. But if you have some training and are more interested in writing as a means of changing the world and informing people, it is a worthy pursuit. You can start by publishing pieces in hometown newspapers or niche magazines.

You won’t break the bank with journalism writing. Even some bigger papers and publications pay less than $1,000 per story, and you would need to string together a lot of assignments to make a living. But to make extra spending money and perhaps affect change, you can’t beat journalism. You will need to learn the publication’s style guide and adhere to it for pieces you submit. Editors make assignments, which you can get by pitching (sending a cold email) to the editor explaining your story idea and why you are the right person to write it.

Time and effort vary depending on the scope of the story. Many can be quite involved. Editors often prefer to work with people who have experience, so build up your resume with pitches to smaller publications first.

Bottom Line

Writing can be a fun way to make extra money, or you can even turn it into a high-paying career with the right experience. Whether you pen blogs, website copy or social media posts, you can find an outlet that’s “write” for you.

How Much Do Writers Make?

Writers can make a decent salary depending on their experience level and who they write for. How much writers make may depend on on where they work, how many clicks their work generates, and how long the job took. 

The salary range for a writer, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics , is a median of $73,690 per year, or $35.43 per hour. Income rises with higher experience levels. 

What Websites Pay You To Write?

You can find hundreds of websites that pay for writing. A few of the most popular include: 

The Penny Hoarder

Bustle  

Transitions Abroad

Vibrant Life

Scary Mommy

Paying websites look for writing they think will draw readers. Using search engine optimization (SEO) techniques, such as incorporating keywords that people search for, can generate higher traffic, so be sure to mention any SEO knowledge when you apply, as that will help your chances. The more views you generate, the more money the website makes. Create a portfolio of your past work that you can share when you apply for jobs that shows your best efforts. 

How Can You Get Paid To Write Reviews?

You can get paid to write reviews across a number of platforms for products ranging from books to vacuum cleaners. Some of the most popular include Get Reviewed , Kirkus , UserTesting and Amazon Vine , though note that you get paid in products for that site. 

To become a reviewer, you may need no experience at all for many sites. They value trustworthiness and honest feedback. Some hire people they find through online reviews they have already posted. Other sites require more extensive background in writing reviews. For instance, if you want to work for DotDash, one of the largest editorial operations on the web that runs lots of reviews across its sites, you will need writing experience for a major website and product expertise. 

How Can You Get Paid To Write Letters?

You can write letters and get paid by watching for these jobs on freelance sites such as Upwork , Contently , compose.ly and Fiverr , which serve as clearinghouses to hire writers for businesses. A business may need one letter or a series. You can gain repeat work if you do a good job. 

You may have seen TikTok and YouTube videos about writing handwritten notes for businesses and earning $5 per letter. This is a scam that has been debunked by multiple websites. You won’t find companies paying you a lot of money to write handwritten letters. They want polished, professional copy for communications with clients and customers, and you must have experience doing this type of work. It falls under copywriting and can pay $40 per hour or more. 

How Can You Get Paid To Write As A Beginner?

How can you get paid to write for beginners? Breaking in with little experience can be difficult. Some aspiring writers choose to take volunteer gigs to build their portfolio, but you can probably find low-paying work that will do the same for you. 

Search job boards such as Indeed, ZipRecruiter, Monster and LinkedIn. You can also start a blog of your own with no experience, though it will take time to monetize it using the strategies outlined above. You could also submit poetry or prose to literary magazines, which usually pay an honorarium, or submit finished essays to magazines or newspapers. As you gain experience, you can approach higher-paying markets. 

Toni Fitzgerald

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Starting a successful freelance writing business

Starting a successful freelance writing business

Amy Wilder Community Manager

Jul 10, 2024

If you’re an aspiring writer who enjoys writing blogs, social media posts, and articles, you might be ready to start a freelance writing career. Working as a freelance writer can be enjoyable and flexible, allowing you to make a steady income in your own time. 

In this article, you’ll learn how to get started as a freelance writer, develop your writing skills, and land freelance writing jobs. With hard work and persistence, you can start freelancing and build a successful freelance writing business.

Evaluating if a freelance writing career is right for you

A freelance writing career offers a rewarding life for the right person, but it’s not for everyone. To determine if freelance writing is the right path for you, consider these 4 key questions. 

  • Do you thrive with flexibility and independence?

As a freelance writer, you can set your own schedule and work from anywhere. However, the instability may not suit everyone. Consider if you prefer a predictable work schedule and environment.

  • Are you self-motivated to find work?

Freelance writers have to constantly search for new clients and projects to maintain a steady workload. It requires motivation and persistence to build a freelance writing business. If you prefer having work assigned to you, a freelance career may be frustrating.

  • Do you have solid writing skills?

While you can develop writing skills over time, you need a solid foundation to start. Consider the types of writing you excel in, and prepare samples to share with potential clients. If you’re just beginning, you may need to start part-time while improving your craft.

  • Can you handle the business administration? 

As a freelance writer, you run your own business. That includes creating a website, setting rates, drafting contracts, invoicing clients, and managing finances. Make sure you’re comfortable with the entrepreneurial responsibilities required, or find resources to help guide you.

Building your skills and portfolio to start freelance writing

If you want to launch a freelance writing career, you need to build up your skills and portfolio. Here are the best ways to strengthen your capabilities and prepare for a successful freelance writing business. 

Develop in-demand writing skills

Hone your writing skills by practicing different forms of writing. Focus on the types of writing you want to do, like blog posts or ebooks, practice your craft, and get feedback from other writers. You should be fluent in AP style for news writing or CMS style for online content. Learn how to write for different audiences and in different tones by studying the work of good writers in your niche. 

Write sample pieces to gain experience 

The key to landing freelance writing jobs is having strong samples to show potential clients. Start building your portfolio by writing for your own blog or website, and produce content on topics you want to write about professionally. You can also pitch to websites and blogs to contribute guest posts for free to build your byline.

Use online resources

Take advantage of the many free resources for freelance writers, like taking online courses on freelance writing to strengthen your skills.. Follow influencers and join communities on social media to connect with other writers and learn from them, then use job boards like Upwork, Fiverr, and Freelancer to find entry-level freelance writing jobs to gain experience. 

Finding freelance writing jobs and clients

As a freelance writer, finding work to build up your client base is essential to starting your freelance writing career. Here are X tactics for getting your first writing projects. 

Research content marketers and writing businesses

Look for content marketers, marketing agencies, and other writing businesses that hire freelance writers. Search online for terms like “content marketing agency,” “hire freelance writers,” or “freelance writing jobs, ” then explore their websites to see if they publish blog posts, hire for guest posts, or mention working with freelance writers. If so, contact them expressing your interest in freelance writing work, together with writing samples.

Build your portfolio

Your portfolio of writing samples is your best advertisement. Start building your portfolio by publishing blog posts on your own blog, writing guest posts for other blogs in your niche, or doing small freelance writing jobs to get published clips. Focus on the types of writing you want to do more of, such as blog posts, white papers, or email newsletters. The more you publish, the more you can prove your skills to potential clients.

Tap into job boards

Websites like Upwork, Freelancer, and Remote.co are popular places for companies to post freelance writing jobs. Set up a profile highlighting your experience, skills, and portfolio, and apply to jobs you’re a good match for. Work to build up your reviews and ratings over time. While job boards are very competitive, they remain an important source for finding new freelance writing clients.

Tips for running a successful freelance writing business

When you first started as a freelance writer, you likely took any writing jobs you could find to build up your experience. Now that you have a few writing clients and some published work under your belt, it’s time to start raising your rates, pitching to higher-paying clients, and strategically growing a successful freelance writing business. 

Continue honing your writing skills

The more you write, the better and faster you’ll get, so never stop learning and pushing yourself to become a better writer. Work on crafting tight, compelling samples in the types of writing you want to focus on, like blog posts, white papers, or email newsletters. 

Build your online presence

As a freelance writer, your online presence is essential for finding new work. Start a website to showcase your writing samples, share a little about your background and experience, and establish your freelancing writing business as a recognizable brand. Build a following on social media platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook by engaging with potential clients, posting updates about your latest work, and promoting your services.

Go full-time

You might begin your freelance writing business as a side-hustle, but once you’ve gained a steady stream of clients you can make the switch to full time. The key is finding a balance of repeat clients, like content marketers or writing businesses, and one-off jobs from the job boards. Make sure to keep networking and optimizing your website to rank higher in search engines, to attract new loyal clients. 

Diversify your services

As your freelance writing career progresses, try diversifying the types of writing you offer. For example, you may start offering copywriting, ebooks, newsletters, or email marketing in addition to blog posts and articles. The more services you can provide, the more potential clients will want to hire you. You’ll also have a more stable income since you won’t be reliant on any one type of work.

Nurture a varied client base

Don’t rely on one or two big clients for the bulk of your work, because if you lose one, it could be financially devastating. Work to build up a roster of several clients in different industries. Continuously prospect for new potential clients and don’t be afraid to pitch them your services. That way, if one client’s needs change, you have other work to fall back on. It makes your business more stable and sustainable in the long run. 

Your freelance writing career is waiting for you

The path to becoming a freelance writer is challenging but rewarding. While it can take time to build up a steady stream of work, following these steps will help you gain momentum in your freelance writing career and establish yourself as a knowledgeable and skillful writer. With commitment and perseverance, you can build a thriving freelance writing business.

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