You don’t have to be Agatha Christie or Stephen King to write a great story. All you need is some time and creativity. Nowadays the fun part of writing can easily go missing, because people are used to writing formal texts daily in their studies and working life. However, creative writing represents everything, where the purpose is to express emotions, thoughts and feelings.

How to get started

Sometimes the start is the hardest part. Being creative can be easier said than done. But don’t let a blank paper tame you. Find a way that you feel the most comfortable. Start writing with small exercises, search information or just follow the stream of your thoughts. Internet and literature are good sources that are full of exercises and material for beginner writers.

You don’t have to be Agatha Christie or Stephen King to write a great story

Be compassionate to yourself. Remember not to set your expectations too high in the beginning. This doesn’t mean you have to slow down your burst of inspiration. Just don’t be disappointed if your first novel doesn’t turn out as good as you hoped. Allow yourself to make mistakes and learn. After practise, you will eventually be able to see your progress and achieve the results you reached for.

Gather inspiration

Keep your eyes and ears open wherever you go. Explore the things around you: maybe you’ll hear some interesting dialogue, or see something unusual that inspires you. Try carrying a notebook with you, and write down even the little details you notice during the day. Later on, you will be able to think deeper on those inspiring things and quotes, and refine them into a fantastic story.

Start small

Don’t begin by planning a bestseller thriller trilogy or a gigantic fantasy-series. Instead, try to start with a short story or a poem. You don’t have to plan on every little detail of your storyline, or choose all of your main characters personality traits before you start writing. It is your power to change and edit the story whenever you want.

Pick the right time and place

Pay attention to your working environment. Find a place where you can concentrate on doing your own creative things. Boring workplace won’t help you with your ideas and too noisy and crowded place can distract you. Try to find out the time of day while you’re most creative. Do you come up with the best ideas in the early morning, since your brain is still fresh from a sleep? Or are you more likely a night person whose creativity often boosts at late nights? Only way to find out is to experiment.

Improve your text

If you are holding the very first draft of your story in your hands, congratulations! Just remember, almost nothing comes out perfectly at the first time. Be ready to edit your text. Do not leave those good stories laying on your drawer, or abandon the draft somewhere in the eternity of your computer files. Take a short break and then return back to your story with a fresh mind and new eyes. Another good way of editing your text is to let your friends or family read it. Getting feedback from a bystander can really help you to put your story in a new sight.

Don’t leave those good stories laying on your drawer, or abandon the draft somewhere in the eternity of your computer files

Have fun!

Sometimes writers can end up feeling like their story has only gotten into a dead end. If it seems like you’ve lost the common thread of your story, or you are completely fed up with your boring characters, it’s time to take a break. Start an entirely new project, which is purely for fun. Try writing a poem or a 80-word mini novel. The rewarding feeling that you’ll get from completing even a tiny piece can help you freshen your thoughts with the larger project.

To share your passion for creative writing, there is a super fun and challenging way of doing it. National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) is a challenge that takes place every year on November. Hundreds of thousands of passionate writers will attempt something extraordinary: They write a 50 000-word novel just in 30 days. The only rules are: you cannot start writing until 00:01 am on November 1st. And you need to finish the novel before 11.59 pm on November 30th. Set your imagination free, and start writing!

NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo makes you a real author. After the coffee-fueled, adrenaline-full writing rush, you will be able to hold your own book in your hands. Some writers even publish their NaNoWriMo novels each year, but it is totally voluntary. Just design a beautiful cover for your novel and get yourself a few printed copies, which you can place on your bookshelf and proudly say I MADE THIS.

NaNoWriMo is a month-long creative adventure. It provides the community and the encouragement to help everyone to express their stories, achieve their creative goals and build new worlds – on and off the page. NaNoWriMo is a state of mind. Everyone can succeed, as long as there’s enough willpower!

Illustrations & Photos by Milla Korkeamäki