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Three creative writing tools that will help you come up with ideas

Three creative writing tools that will help you come up with ideas

Over the next few posts I’m going to be sharing three writing tools that I love – that work brilliantly for anyone writing creatively – that can also work for you if you want ideas for your blog. What’s more they are easy to learn and don’t require any special equipment, because they follow the motto I’ve been living by since I was a kid: ‘Do what you can where you are with what you have.’

What most people don’t realise is that this motto isn’t a humdrum sort of philosophy, it’s really powerful. It’s all about starting with the one thing you’ve always got with you, no matter where you go. Can you guess what it is?

Here’s tool number one

The first tool is freewriting. If you want the low down on freewriting, check out Peter Elbow’s book Writing with Power. The section on this tool is only 3 pages long but it packs a punch. Here’s what you do. Set a timer for one minute. Put your fingers on the keyboard, or grab your notebook and pen and keep writing.

The only rule is don’t stop writing. You don’t have to make sense, spell correctly, or use grammar and punctuation. You can even write ‘why, why, why’ over and over again’! Simply keep writing until the timer goes off.

Next time try 5 minutes, then 10, then 15. Remember, all you have to do is keep writing. Crucially, don’t stop and wait for inspiration, instead, keep your hand moving across the page, or your fingers moving across the keyboard.

Why use freewriting?

Some people use freewriting as a writing warm up and it is good for that, but the main reason to use it is this. After you’ve kept going for a while, you get past the internal censor who tells you your writing is ‘silly’ or ‘pointless’. We all have one by the way. The message will be different but even Booker Prize winning novelists have this censor. Dorothea Brande calls it ‘the judge in oneself’ and Natalie Goldberg calls it ‘the editor.’ Because freewriting helps us get round the internal censor, freewriting also gets us over fear of the blank page.

The second reason freewriting works is that getting round this internal censor enables us to get interesting ideas down on the page. Try it: after you’ve been freewriting for 15 minutes, leave the results alone for a while, then come back and take a look. Circle or copy and paste anything you like the look of, and let me know in the comments if you start to come up with good stuff as a result.

Here’s the next post in this series.

More soon. Until then, happy writing,

Louise xx

P.S. If you’re a blogger and want more on coming up with ideas for your blog, go here.

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