Creative Writing Activities
Every once in a while, we writers need a break from our regular writing routines. Whether we spend our work week crafting copy for clients or dedicate late-night hours pounding out chapter and verse, we occasionally need respite from the monotony.
We need to rejuvenate between projects. We get burnt out in the middle of a long project and need to step away so we can gain perspective and recharge our creativity. When a major project is finished, we need to find our next big idea. We are looking for inspiration.
But we also want to keep writing. A short vacation from writing practice starts with good intentions but ends with wondering how months or years slipped by without any real writing.
One great way to continue writing while taking a break from our work is by engaging in creative writing activities. These are activities that remind us that writing is fun, meaningful, and invigorating, and they keep our writing skills sharp.
Creative Writing Activities
These creative writing activities provide respite from your daily writing routine. Try one or try them all. Use them when you need a break from your regular work or when you’re between projects.
- Poetry Walk
- Grab your notebook and put on your walking shoes. Take a stroll and make notes about what you see: city life and wildlife. Pause during your walk (stop at a park bench) and compose a poem or wait until you return home. A poetry walk is a great way to collect ideas and images for poetry.
- Writing Exercises
- Writing exercises keep your skill sharp and your creativity flowing even when inspiration is fleeting.
- Character Journal
- Fiction writers need to get inside their characters’ heads. A great way to do this is to keep a journal as your character. It’s a great way to understand a character and find his or her voice.
- Re-imagine the Classics
- The greatest stories in history are revised and retold over and over again. Choose a classic legend or fairy tale and re-imagine it. Write an outline or draft the whole story!
- Photo Prompts
- Head over to Flickr or use Google image search to look for interesting photos that you can use to prompt a random creative writing session.
- Sell Yourself
- Take a break from your creative work and get down to business. Work on a query letter, a book proposal, or content for your author’s website.
- What-if List
- The best writing ideas come from asking what-if questions. Make a big list of what-if questions that you can use later for writing inspiration.
- Name Game
- You’ve got characters, story ideas, a novel in the works, and a blog. Conduct a brainstorming session to come with names and titles.
- Tool Time
- Do you consistently write in your notebook with your favorite pen or is all your writing done on a computer? Try mixing it up and using a variety of writing instruments: pencils, crayons, markers, different colored pens. Write on note cards, stickies, and cardboard.
- Idea Box
- Take a break from writing and make an idea box. This is a place where you can stash writing ideas, exercises, and prompts for later use. It can be as simple as a cardboard shipping box or you can decorate a fancier vessel for your treasure. Use notecards to record your ideas and prompts and then toss them in the box. Use them whenever the mood strikes!
- Observation Station
- Get out of your own head. Grab your notebook or journal and head to a heavily populated area. Park yourself on a bench or in a comfy café booth and do a little people watching. Record your observations and brainstorm ways you can use observation to influence and empower your writing.
- Vocabulary Building
- A writer without words is working without tools! Dedicate some time to expanding your vocabulary. Play some word games (crossword puzzles, for example), sign up for a word-of-the-day program, or flip through the dictionary. Start a language journal, a place where you can keep track of newly learned words.
Do you ever take a break from the seriousness of writing to engage in creativity exercises? What are some of your favorite creative writing activities?