Have Fun with These Creative Writing Activities

creative writing activities

Take a break with these 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 get burnt out in the middle of a long project and need to step away so we can gain perspective and recharge our creativity. Sometimes we need to rejuvenate between projects. When a major project is finished, we need to find our next big idea.

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 getting any real writing done.

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. Take photos to capture what you’ve seen. 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 your creative writing projects.
Writing Exercises
Writing exercises keep your skills sharp and your creativity flowing even when inspiration is fleeting. They are excellent for keeping up your writing practice between projects.
Character Journal
Fiction writers need to get inside their characters’ heads. A great way to do this is to keep a journal as one of your characters. You’ll learn to understand the character on a deeper level, and you’ll find the character’s voice. 
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 for characters, titles for books, and headlines for blog posts.
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 and do a little people watching. Record your observations and brainstorm ways you can use observation to influence and empower your writing.

Get Busy!

What are some of your favorite creative writing activities? Share your thoughts and experiences by leaving a comment, and keep writing!

Adventures in Writing The Complete Collection

About Melissa Donovan
Melissa Donovan is a website designer and copywriter. She writes fiction and poetry and is the founder and editor of Writing Forward, a blog packed with creative writing tips and ideas.


14 Responses to “Have Fun with These Creative Writing Activities”

  1. Ann says:

    Thank you for all these wonderful ideas. After a very long hiatus from the writing world (mostly because of health) I am feeling a bit rusty. Using some of these ideas will certainly prime the pump! I really enjoy your blog and appreciate the basics of grammar, etc. I find that I have slipped into some old habits just in my everyday writing and your tips help me get back on track.

    • Thanks, Ann. I’m always touched by comments like yours. It keeps me going when people let me know this blog is helpful or inspiring. So thank you for taking the time. Best of luck and keep writing!

  2. Kristy @PampersandPinot says:

    The character journal is a great idea!!!

    • The problem with the character journal is that it could be time consuming, but I love it as a way to get to know a character, and more specifically, to get inside a character’s head.

  3. Yvonne Root says:


    All of these ideas are wonderful. I’m especially attracted to the last two suggestions. Both of those activities are fun for me and certainly bound to be helpful concerning my writing skills.

    When I must wait in the car (with a sleeping grandchild, for instance) I’m only happy if I can see folks as they come and go.

    We play word games on a regular basis and have found it strengthens the writing skills of even those of us who do not call ourselves wordsmiths.

    Keep up the excellent work.

    • Thanks so much for your kind words, Yvonnne. I’m looking forward to the day when the little ones in my family (niece and nephew) are old enough to play word and letter games.

  4. Margaret says:

    Hi Melissa,
    Thanks for these wonderful ideas. I ‘m taking a couple of days off from writing my memoir, and will try them out.’Writing as one of my characters’ and ‘sitting in some heavily populated place for observations’ are intriguing.


  5. Debra Stang says:

    These are great ideas for taking a break without giving up writing entirely. In the past, I’ve been guilty of allowing a “short break” to become weeks or even months away from the keyboard, especially if I’m burned out after finishing a long project.

  6. Amber Dane says:

    Love the character journal idea! To keep my vocab going I choose pages out of the dictionary/thesaurus to keep my brain working. It also does wonders for my muse. 🙂 Thanks for sharing this list.

    • I write a lot of scenes and backstory for my characters, which are never included in the book. Exploring the characters outside of the narrative has proven to be very helpful in better understanding them.

  7. Hi, Melissa!

    Well, I’ve been absent for quite a long while. But I have been busy. A spec piece submitted to my local daily newspaper landed me a column. (Who couldda guessed?) I also write theater reviews for them; write what you know has never been more true.

    Consequently, I find that my creative writing has slowed quite a bit. The sequel to my debut needs, maybe, two more chapters yet there it sits, though a production company asked for it. Even reading the preceding few chapters doesn’t help me get into the character’s heads in order to finish the thing.

    Got any ideas?

    • Congrats on landing a column, Paul. That’s awesome. I’m not sure why you’ve been unable to finish your sequel, so I can’t offer any specific suggestions, but you can start by fguring out why you’re not finishing it (no time, lost interest, etc.), and then you can probably rectify the problem.