RML Hobbies: Writing

Chances are decent that if you read this blog, you also read (and/or listen to) books. Have you ever tried to write one, though?

Writing can be incredibly therapeutic, allowing you to explore your own thoughts and ideas from the safety of your own computer, phone, or notebook. The more you write, the better you get at expressing ideas and communicating with others, especially if you have others read and offer feedback for your work. Even if you’re just writing down your own fantasies, thoughts, or dreams for yourself, though, it can feel nice to escape to the page.

With that in mind, here are some ways to get started.

Figure out HOW you want to write:

Not everyone’s comfortable with a keyboard, but the beauty of writing is that you don’t have to be. Joyce Carol Oates, Toni Morrison, and Neil Gaiman are all famous for handwriting their first drafts. Some, like Gaiman, used fancy moleskin journals, but others, like Morrison, used simple legal pads. The materials used to write don’t have to be fancy to create good writing.

Then there are those who use word processors. It’s pretty much become standard to type your writing on the computer of your choice and every computer nowadays comes with at least one app that’ll allow you to do so. If you don’t like what your computer offers, there are plenty of free apps, from Evernote to Google Docs to Open Office, that can help.

But maybe you don’t have time to sit down at a computer or notebook. Or, maybe you’re the sort of person who uses their phone for literally everything. Well, you can use your phone to write things too. Evernote, Google Docs, and plenty of other apps besides can make space for your to write from the comfort of your own phone. Heck, in Japan there’s a whole movement based around Cell Phone Novels, so don’t let the naysayers stop you–you can totally write awesome stuff using just your phone.

Figure out WHAT you want to write:

The most intimidating thing about writing is getting started. There is no limit to what you can do. That in mind, here are some ideas to get you started:

Not all journals are this pretty. If you want to incorporate pretty into a journal, though, that can be fun too!

Journal:
If you have no idea what to do, start simple and write about yourself. Write what you did for the day. Write about your earliest memory. Write down your history. Write your dreams. Write to your imaginary therapist. Just put pen to paper and go.

What happens next? You decide!

Pick a Fun-looking Writing Prompt:
The internet is FULL of ideas to get you started writing something new. These are great for getting you going and can push you outside of your creative comfort zone. Check out the links below to browse through free writing prompts.

WrittenWordMediaSelf-Pub SchoolSquibler

Continue your favorite story:
Are you desperately awaiting the next book in a series? Maybe your favorite TV show got canceled and you miss it? Then write what you think happens next. Maybe take your favorite characters on a new adventure or explore what would happen if one of them never joined the story in the first place. Borrowing characters from other worlds is not lazy or bad writing–it’s just as valid a way of writing as any other.

Go forth and WRITE:

There’s really nothing that can make your writing better than actual practice. The more you write, the better you’ll get. You can share with friends or keep it to yourself. Want input without revealing your deepest thoughts to people who know you? Consider posting it online for people to comment on via FictionPress, Wattpad, WritersCafe, or any of the other online writing communities.

Bonus:

Seek out what famous authors had to say about learning to write and try out some of their advice.

Ray BradburyStephen KingLouise PennyAlice WalkerLouise Erdrich – and many more

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