I used to think writing was easy; all you had to do was write whatever was in your head. Words would form sentences that would fill paragraphs and, with enough, you’d have a full-length novel right in front of you.
Then, I tried writing. For context, I once managed to finish a 100,000 words novel, but it took me two years. Boy, did that surprise me.
Writing is hard.
And it takes a long time to do it right. With creating the story, characters and plot, you also need to edit (we don’t all have the luxury of professional editors). It’s a lot to consider and it’s enough to put anyone off.
Sometimes though, our imaginations just run dry, our fingers ache whenever we touch the keyboard and our ideas all but disappear. It can be as simple as losing inspiration or struggling to deal with the stresses of life; sometimes life just takes its toll and we need a little kick to get us started again.
So, if you need a few ways of getting back into writing, here are my top five books to help you feel creative again!
642 Tiny Things To Write About by The San Francisco Writers’ Grotto
This *little* book was bought as a present from my boss and it’s been amazing to get me writing lately. Filled with small writing exercises (such as writing tweets, short scenes and memories), each exercise takes less time than making a cuppa. Sure to get your creative juices flowing!
365 Ways to Get You Writing by Jane Cooper
This exercise book is filled with 365 different writing tasks. Take one a day for a year, if you’d like. Each comes with questions you should ask yourself to better improve your writing. Not just a fun activity, but something to help you grow as a creative writer.
The Creative Writing Student’s Handbook by Cathie Hartigan and Margaret James
I bought this for university and it helped me a lot. It’s not an exercise book per say, rather, it covers different aspects of creative writing. Looking at techniques of writing character, dialogue and all the other aspects that you need for a great story. Each section ends with an exercise for you to practise, too.
The Five-Minute Writer by Margaret Geraghty
As with the previous book, this book looks at different aspects of writing that you need to learn to create great stories. With each section, they give you exercises to practise with. Good to learn as you go and reflect on what you’ve learnt.
500 Words You Should Know by Caroline Taggart
This one’s a bit different than the others; it’s more of a dictionary of obscure and lesser-known words. I’ve found it fun to pick a word at random and create a small piece of writing using that word. It’s good practice for expanding your vocabulary and creating new ideas with new words.
All these books have helped me grow creatively and come up with fresh ideas. If you need new inspiration for your writing, why not take a look at one of these?
Let me know if you try any, and how they helped you, in the comments!