Break free - 5 ways to unleash a creative writer in yourself
Writers rarely have the privilege to express their own opinions, write about things the way they see it, and earn money for it. If things were so – everyone would probably be a writer – say what you want in the way you want and get money for it.
Still, we don’t have that luxury. Quite often it’s the other way around – writers are told what to write. If you work as a part of a content team of a company – watch out to not hurt the image and comply with the tone of the brand.
If you are someone’s PR-manager, things get even rougher. You need your client to be presented in his best lights.
Working in editorials, you are still not released from different kinds of limitations, rules, and guidelines. There’s a style to follow, and eventually, your words lose shape and meaning try to fit in the narrative.
Having that said, if I want to work as a writer, I have to comply with those standards, otherwise, my work will be neither published nor paid for. Does it mean writers have to silently hate their writing and choke on words they are not allowed to say? Not necessarily.
We’ve decided to put a list of little tips that allow you to keep the spark in your writing and enjoy your work even with strict editorial policies.
Start a personal blog
I write at work, you can say. Meanwhile, I have family and I want to spend time with people I love. When am I supposed to start a blog? Honestly, it doesn’t take much to write a short post on Facebook or Medium. When we were doing the daily newsletter, a lot of posts were born in traffic, while waiting in lines, and so on.
Make it a habit to have an opinion on everything that happens around you. Then go to the web and make your opinion an informed one. You can write a blog post simply to write the way you want to – choosing topics, style, and so on.
Here’s the list of resources I recommend for blogging:
- Medium (actually, we’ve written a post about Medium a while ago, check it out).
- Your Facebook feed.
If you don’t feel like there’s enough time to write a blog post on your own, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t write anything not work-related. Personally, when I don’t feel a desire to write a blog post, I can go and comment what someone else is written.
Why is this a good idea for a writer?
- Exposure. If you comment on your friend’s post, all his friends will see your comment. It’s a good way to get some fans for your writing.
- You don’t need to write a lot. Comments are traditionally short. Yet, you can use a paragraph to write the way you want to (conversationally, witty, with no barriers or editorial policies).
If you are a regular reader of the blog, you have seen our recent post about Quora and the ways it can improve your writing. While the platform is very helpful to boost your writing, it’s also very fun to use.
A lot of people use Quora for procrastination. Among all the resources out there, it’s probably the most underestimated one. Frankly, I don’t get the lack of attention for Quora. The answers you post can get 20-30k views pretty easily while on other platforms, you have to work hard for that kind of exposure.
Also, you can establish yourself an expert in some field. People who follow you will know that you are into what you do and can follow you when you start a blog, a newsletter, or any other initiative.
Write fan fiction
Okay, that might sound wrong. Still, tell me, who among us doesn’t indulge with one or two TV shows per year? And more often than not we disagree with writers and think of the ways we’d develop this or that storyline.
Fan fiction gives you a chance to take the narrative and the settings and change it to your liking. Instead of creating an entirely new story (which is too complicated), you can add new details and your own vision to the existing plot.
Fan fiction was the way I got into writing myself. And that was fun. Also, there are very dedicated communities who will give feedback on your writing and help you improve it.
Take a fake name
We might not even feel it, name puts immense responsibilities on our shoulders. All the phrases like “It’s my name on this post, I have to not screw it up” or “What if I write a bad thing and no one will hire me thanks to the failure?”.
To that I say, if you want to experiment with different styles, writing tones, and topics, think of doing it under a pseudonym. Sure, you won’t be benefiting much from the exposure but other than that, it can be a fun experience.
Also, writing under a fake name, unlike using your real one, won’t create any work-related problems like “Why does our in-house writer disagree with this and that? Delete the post please”. For a while, being too unconfident in my writing, I did work with the fake name. Later, when I knew my writing had improved, using a fake name was no longer needed.
Do you feel any pressure while writing for a company or an editorial? Share your thoughts in comments. Also, we are back with regular blogs. Keep in touch.