Wait, what? How to be a writer without writing? That doesn’t make sense. Can you explain?
Sure. What I mean is being a writer without writing a novel, or a book, currently. How can you be productive even if you don’t have the real time or ideas to write a book at the time? What can you do to improve your writing even if you don’t have a current project?
1. Keep A Writer’s Journal
Keeping a writer’s journal is very important. It’s not much different than a regular journal, except you do a whole lot more. You can write about your life, but be creative! Write it from the perspective of an onlooker, write it in the form of a poem, or write it as if it took place on another planet. It’s how you tell your day’s story that makes the difference.
Also, all your ideas that you get go into your writer’s journal. Anything you write in the following activities, or anything at all, should go in here. You want to have a record of every bit of creativity you’ve got. It’s your new brain.
Later, go back and read what you’ve written. Maybe some of those pieces of genius will fit into a novel your writing.
2. Create Random Characters
In your writer’s journal, describe new characters. Create new ones, strange ones, recreate old ones, mix and match temperaments or limbs of others, and turn them into an army that will take over your next book. Some of the characters may be wimpy or lame, but every once in a while you will hit a creative jackpot.
If you want, you can use K&K’s Character Questionnaire to help you make your characters. But don’t forget to think outside the box.
When you hit upon a story idea and begin writing your novel, look back at these character ideas. I’m sure some will fit into your book.
There may not be a better way to practice description than poetry. Sure, you don’t have to be good at it. But practice, practice, practice, and soon you’ll be writing whole novels that rhyme.
When you write poetry, write about whatever you want. I mean it. Even some random things, like carpets, or dumbbells, or pens. Bring out their inner meaning, see what they symbolize, and describe every facet of it. Put all your work in your writer’s journal.
4. Study the Craft
Study writing? How do you do that? Well, the first way is reading. Read read read. Stay away from bad authors and stick to the good ones. Look into what made you enjoy the book so much.
Also, read about writing. Buy a non-fiction book for once. Spend a penny and earn a lifetime of knowledge. Free stuff on blogs like this are good, but will only get you so far. People charge for books on writing because they’re better than the free stuff.
Practice the techniques you learn in your Writer’s Journal.
5. Watch and Listen
Go out into the world and have some fun. But watch and listen. Study conversations, mannerisms, people, places. Learn from reality and make your writing relatatble and real. Take notes in your writer’s journal of what you see and hear, and smell and feel, and taste and sense with that sixth sense every writer has.
6. Talk to Other Writers
Do you have friends? If you answered yes, your one the right track so far. Next, to you have friends who like to write too?
If you answered yes, great! Talk about writing with them! Share ideas, say “What if” together, and maybe write short stories with them! Get inspired! Together you guys can create a world, or a character, or a new faction in Chicago.
If you answered no, try to find some. Go one the computer and check out some forums, and dig for writer’s near you.
And that’s it. 6 easy steps. I hope you enjoyed this lesson, and I’ll see you all next time.
Hosanna in the highest.