Creative Writing Tips - How to Bring the Joy Back

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Recently, I received an email from someone who said he had writer's block. When he tried to write, he felt self-conscious and would freeze up.

He blamed feedback he'd previously received on his writing, which he couldn't get out of his head.

I thought I'd share the advice I gave him on how to get past this particular block and bring the joy back to his writing.

1) Read lots of novels, stories, or poems that inspire and excite you, that remind you of why you want to write.

2) For the next few months, write with the idea of not showing your work to anyone. During this time, write regularly (5 days a week if possible), but only for yourself. And try to write in a way that’s fun, that keeps you entertained while you’re doing it.

3) During this time, avoid rereading your work while you’re writing. Set your goals in terms of your attitude (staying focused and interested) and writing consistently, instead of worrying about the product.

The irony is that when you stop worrying about making your writing good, it's likely to get better! You're able to go deeper into your imagination, to get lost in the world of your story or poem.

The more fun you have writing something, the more fun it's likely to be for your reader.

And if your writing isn't as good as you'd like, that's okay. You can always go back later and improve it.

Finally, a reminder about feedback. I've said this before, but it bears repeating: any feedback you get is just one person's opinion. This is true even of professional feedback; for example, from a teacher or an editor, and it's the reason why many successful books were rejected by multiple publishing houses before they were finally accepted.

You don't need anyone's permission to be a writer. If writing's something you want to do, then write.

Just as in a marriage, it might take some effort to keep the passion alive, day after day, but it will be worth it.

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