8 Tips for When Your Writing Seems Unoriginal

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

In the interest of distracting my inner editor this National Novel Writing Month, here are some tips on what to do when your writing seems unoriginal:

1. Play a creativity game with yourself. Perhaps these or the ones on this site.

2. Lock away your inner editor (possibly physically) by envisioning them as a real person/animal/thing and putting them in a dark quiet box.

3. Grab another medium of expression and put all the "unoriginal" thoughts into a visual, musical, or physical form. I would love to see an interpretive dance come out of this project.

4. Write long brilliant lists and entitle them all "Swirling Thoughts." As you know already, lists are my life.

5. Write it out, write it again, write all your ideas out in some form until the words melt into single letters that don't look like they should fit together. Also known as free-writing.

6. Seek out advice for writers, including this quote from Ira Glass. And this list. And perhaps this video, although it's not related to writing per se.

7. Listen to top 40 songs and imagine them as poems. Bleh!

8. Remember that you are forever learning how to write.

Bonus: Check out some more lessons and advice on creative ventures.