“Write like a child?” you complain. “Are you out of your mind? The stories I wrote as a kid are utter trash!”
I’m not talking about grammar or sentence structure or (goodness knows) thin plots that riddled our infantile writings.
I’m talking about the wonder. The ability to lose yourself in a fictional world.
Set yourself free.
And learn how to write like a child.
10. Write for the sake of creation. Not for an audience. Pretend that you are writing this book only for yourself, and you’ll be free to write whatever you wish.
You are the only one with access to this secret world.
9. Talk to your imaginary friends. Writing a confrontational scene? Carry out the argument…out loud. Allow yourself to feel your characters’ anger and betrayal. Don’t be afraid to pick sides.
8. Next, become your imaginary friends.When is the last time you’ve pretended to be your character? Walk around the store or mall or park, and simply let yourself feel. Don’t ask yourself what your character would do, what she would buy, what she would avoid. Feel it. Gravitate to the aisles she would peruse. Ask for samples of the food she likes. Allow yourself to believe she exists.
Warning: Once begun, it’s hard to shut off…and it’s also one of the best ways to really get to know a character.
7. Allow yourself to procrastinate. Sometimes, word count isn’t what matters— you need time to gather ideas, process, create. Find a spot to curl up with a notebook, or take a walk, whatever process ignites your creativity. Then close your eyes, and let the story in your head begin to play.
6. Hold your secret world close to your heart. I know, I know, it’s hard not to start blurting out story facts when we’re excited about our stories. But every time you share an idea or scene, you lose a portion of the excitement…and as a result, begin to feel a distance from the story, or, worse, doubt.
Trust me—there will be time to share the story later. 😉
5. Sneak books into bed at night. And I don’t just mean for the clandestine feeling of I-hope-no-one-catches-me (that can be addicting too). For me, reading before I fall asleep ensures creative dreams that night. Which in turn usually leads to more stories. Win-win, right?
4. Feeling stressed? Stop being a rational adult, and instead disappear into your secret world. Transform your fears into fictional situations, then set your characters free to conquer them.
You never know what new plot twist you’ll create.
3. Remember when Mom used to turn off the TV and send you outside? Turns out Mom was right. Cutting back on the screen time not only forces you to use your imagination, but it also gives you more time to write.
Dare to turn off the TV. After all, you are a creator, not a consumer.
2. On a similar note, limit your time on social media. (“Mom! You’re taking away my phone too?”) You know how it goes– your laptop is open and ready…and then you decide to check Facebook. You re-emerge an hour later, bored, stressed, and with all creativity drained. Really? Is this how you want to spend your writing time? Instead, play Mom and hide your phone.
You’ll be amazed how much you’ll accomplish without the distraction.
1. Never lose your sense of wonder. Cultivate your imagination. Allow your inner child to run free in the worlds of your creation.
Then transcribe that magic into pen and ink.