If you've been given a creative assignment, but you feel that you're woefully under qualified for the job, never fear. There are helpful and proven methods to boost your confidence and imagination, even if you've never written creatively before.
One of the biggest fallacies about creative writing is that it somehow just "happens." While it's true that some authors have a more natural tendency toward penning imaginative works, many other writers use mind-stimulating exercises to get their words flowing.
When you're feeling a little short on innovation, try one of these five techniques to take your writing into the realm of ingenuity:
1. Mentally Prepare to be Creative
If you're worried about paying the bills, making the dinner, picking up the kids, or any other everyday task or event, it's going to be tough for you to suddenly spout creative material. After all, how can you focus on being inventive or clever when practicality is forcefully knocking on the door?
Accordingly, you need to prepare yourself to write creatively and that may mean setting aside a specific amount of time to simply put your thoughts onto paper and think of nothing else (i.e., the boring world of being an adult.) At first, it could take serious amounts of discipline to change from a practical to an artistic mindset, but with a little practice, you'll be able to free your brain from the mundane.
2. Do Something Creative… Besides Writing
Often, creativity can bubble to the surface while you're doing something imaginative. Therefore, it's wise to stimulate your thought process by engaging in a creative activity. Try playing a game for 30 minutes with a child, painting a picture (for your eyes only), or even strolling through your local park. Activities of this type are likely to get you closer in touch with the innovative part of your mind, which will help you write creatively later.
3. Get Some Help
Many people who aren't naturally creative can learn techniques to become quite imaginative by simply requesting help from creative friends or family members. For instance, if you find yourself lacking in the area of imagination, why not discuss your desire to become more imaginative with those closest to you? No doubt they'll be happy to help you get in touch with your "wilder" side by encouraging you to do something out of your "comfort zone" (such as taking a noncredit course at your local university or even bungee jumping) or offering to help you brainstorm your writing ideas.
4. Listen to Music
There's something about music that can open up a new world; that's no doubt why it's so successfully used by directors to add tension, depth, or humour to cinematic and television offerings.
The next time you have a creative project on your agenda, pop in a tape or CD and allow the melodies to transport you out of your current situation. By using the lilting tunes in this manner, you'll be able to release the creativity that is trapped inside your head.
5. Join a Writing Club
Finally, if you're really stuck, there are many local and virtual (aka, web-based) writing clubs out there who would be more than happy to have you as a member. By becoming a part of these (usually-free-of-charge) organisations, you can "up" your writing acumen and learn how other authors have tapped into their creative sides. And who knows? You may just find that you're actually much more creative than you ever thought!
Remember - creativity can be honed or activated. Even if you're convinced you have only a slight creative ability today, tomorrow could find you in a whole new situation.