Ideas for Creative Writing Projects and Practices
Do you ever feel like you’re in a writing slump?
You can’t find a project worth committing to or you have so many ideas, you can’t choose just one. You fill your notebooks and journals but you can’t find a sense of purpose in what you’re doing. Maybe you spend a lot of time thinking about writing but can’t find the time to actually write.
Sometimes, the best plan is to make a plan. Instead of writing in circles or fretting about your projects (or lack thereof), stop and think about what you want to achieve or explore with your writing. Make a list of ideas for creative writing projects that you can sink your teeth into, then choose one, and see it through to the end. You’ll come out of it with a sense of accomplishment and purpose.
Ideas for Creative Writing
Whether you’re stuck in a slump or caught up in a cacophony of projects that are vying for your attention, reviewing your options is the single best way to get refocused. You might decide that you need a big, long-term project that will keep you busy for months or you might choose something short and simple that you can finish quickly. You might realize that you don’t need a project at all — what you need are better writing habits and practices so you can stick with your craft.
Below is a list of ideas for creative writing projects and practices. This list is meant to inspire you to think about your personal goals as a writer so that you can make solid decisions about what to focus on in the near future.
- Make a chapbook, a little thematic collection of essays, stories, or poems (or all of these). Print copies and bring them to readings or your local, indie bookstore — or make a PDF and sell or give it away online.
- Start a blog. Give yourself a public space in which to write, put your voice out there, and stick to a regular writing schedule.
- Set aside 20 minutes every day for writing. Write whatever you want during those twenty minutes, just make sure you do it every day.
- Write for change. Find something you’re passionate about and affect change through writing (a blog is great for this).
- Participate in NaNoWriMo. It happens every November, and you can spend the months before NaNo plotting, outlining, and sketching characters.
- Read for an hour every night before bed. Reading will inspire you and it will make you a better writer.
- Keep a journal. All it takes is ten or fifteen minutes a day. Jot down your thoughts and ideas. Or use your journal as a space to practice clear, compelling writing.
- Complete writing exercises that inspire and challenge you.
- Go to an open mic. Attend as a listener or bring your work and share it with the audience.
- Read everything you’ve ever written. Go through all your files and notebooks. You’ll see that your writing has improved over time and you may also find some old projects that are worth dusting off and revisiting.
- Submit something. If you’ve accumulated a lot of writing over the years, there’s a good chance you have a few publishable pieces. Why keep them hidden away?
- Write about writing. Why do you write? What do you love about writing? What are your goals? The very act of writing a personal statement will shed light on an otherwise murky path.
- Join a writing group or find a writing partner. Groups and partners have a lot to offer: they help you stay focused, they can offer feedback and criticism to help you improve your work, and they can be your support system.
- Join a book club. If you don’t read much, your writing will suffer. If you haven’t read much, a book club will introduce you to great literature and provide a space in which you can explore writing from the reader’s perspective.
- Take a creative writing class or workshop. You’ll get to do exercises, assignments, and engage with other writers. Surround yourself with peers and mentors and get feedback on your work.
- Reimagine your favorite story. Take an old legend or fairy tale and give it a modern twist. Start with an outline, and if your concept works, develop it into a short story, novel, or screenplay.
- Get personal. Write a polished personal essay about an experience you’ve had that you think it worth sharing. If the project intrigues you, let it expand into a memoir.
- Try something new. If you always write fiction, try to write a song lyric. If you’re stuck on poetry, try writing a personal essay. Change genres: if you’re a romance writer, give science fiction a spin.
What are some of your favorite ideas for creative writing projects and practices? If you have any ideas to add to this list, please share them in the comments. And keep writing!