Throughout the month of August we’ve been sharing tools, inspiration and techniques that we’ve learnt when it comes to writing, creativity, getting published and everything in between!
We recently asked the Milligram community for their journalling, work and creative writing tips. We were inundated with a great mix of ideas so we’d like to share some of these with you to hopefully inspire and motivate you! We’d love to hear from you if you have your own tips to share, so please add your own tips in the comments section below.
32 Creative Writing Tips
1) To write more effectively, don’t overthink it. Get in a comfortable space and let it flow.
2) One piece of advice I often give young writers in my field: Really observe and pay attention, and really know your material. The most beautiful style and the most clever literary tricks are worth nothing if you don’t actually have anything meaningful or useful to say.
3) As a teacher, encouraging teenagers to read and write can be one of the biggest challenges! I think one of the most important things is to help them feel less intimidated by pen and paper, by showing them the value of handwriting and reassuring them they are allowed to make mistakes even when it is scribbled down in ink! (Read why you should take the time to improve your handwriting on this blog.)
4) Tips to writing more? Invest in good pen and paper. I get inspired to write more, not because my writing tools are “expensive” (to some extent other people may perceive my purchase as impractical; some people are like “$50 for just a PEN?!!!”) but because there is a very noticeable difference in the whole writing experience when using good grade writing tools. My writing supplies and tools are not just a collection, they are a form of self-investment. I invest in myself.
5) I love writing for pleasure, which of course automatically improves your writing the more you do it. I love to look back on my writing and see how I’ve grown over time. I think writing is the best form of art that never goes out of style. I have instilled a love for writing in my children by simply having them watch me write over the years. Plus, it’s the best form of relaxation!
6) I love creating lists and planning what I need to do. Writing it down makes it that much more solid – you can’t so easily quit or change your mind.
7) I love adding doodles to my writing. I find that a few moments of doodling helps me organise my thoughts and gain clarity.
8) Write for pleasure on your travels. It’s a fantastic way of reliving the holiday. These days are so much more exciting to read about than a regular workday…! Who doesn’t want to be on holidays?
9) Write a to-do list every day.
10) I write to work out a kink in my brain or a problem. I write to vent. It gives me a chance to be alone with my thoughts and recharge my sense of peace. I write in my journal and I keep a bullet journal to control loose ends. Good paper and a good pen are my best way to nudge a regular writing date. (Read an article on bullet journalling on this blog.)
11) Journaling is something I do Every. Single. Day. I use separate books for work, life, quotes, and lists. I love searching Insta for writing prompts to get me thinking and looking inward.
12) I’ve found that if I add little drawings and illustrations (I love to draw) that embellish/enhance/replace my text, I’m much more motivated to keep up with it regular writing. The end result looks so pretty.
13) The trick is to ALWAYS carry a pen and notebook. Be ready to steal back 20-minutes of your day whenever you can and use a habit trigger to keep on track with your daily writing habit. For me it’s my morning coffee. If there’s something you have to do every day, use that as the writing prompt.
14) The first thing I do everyday is to write a heading at the top of the page – TODAY – and then I have the book at my elbow, on my desk so when the moment arrives, I am ready to start. I think that I am too OCD to allow the heading to sit without any more words to keep it company.
15) I try to write everything down when I wake up in the middle of night. Things that I have done and things that I want to do. Things that I blessing and things that I regret. Hope I always remember everything when I got old.
16) I write for work, and for pleasure. But my work is quite a few kinds of work. I have a notebook for poetry, each of my clients, opera and musical performances, shows I’m directing, and then some slim notebooks to take with me while I head out to events. Note-taking observations is a full-time job, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
17) I write and doodle first thing every morning. I started this practice on Jan 1 this year and it’s now a good daily habit. That’s my tip… Push through and write everyday, no matter what. And always date stamp your writing.
18) Write more in a bullet journal format – there is something pleasing yet efficient about this format, You’ll never forget a task or an idea if you’ve written down plus you can easily push the task tomorrow if not completed
19) Commit to minutes a day! Especially if it’s for work or for a want of work. #writerswrite – it’s as simple as that. It doesn’t matter if you think the words are good, bad, or irrelevant. Just write. The more you write the less you procrastinate. For 10 or 20 or 30 minutes a day. On a computer, or a tablet or in a notebook. Just write…. #putpentopaper
20) I’m a ghostwriter, blogger, journaller and bullet journalist so I find myself writing all the time. My top tip is to have a notebook that you love with good quality paper, and a good quality pen that just glides across the paper! Having tools that you love helps inspire you to use them. If you’re not sure what to write about, there are plenty of prompts to be found on the web to get you started.
21) I keep a work journey to document the design/decision process as well as keep track of the 101 tasks I need to do. I like drawing flow charts and having check boxes for tasks to draw my eye to things that new completing. Also it’s incredibly satisfying flipping through and seeing everything I’ve covered. To keep me motivated, I rotate the inks and pens used by day. It’s a rainbow on paper.
22) Have separate notebooks for work, writing and personal use. Try and switch off from electronic devices at night after dinner and pick up a pen and a notebook and journal.
23) I have a personal journal for recording life’s events as well as a daily sketchbook that I often write in! (Find out the benefits of journalling on this blog.)
24) I write for study! So I find an abundant supply of super sexy stationery helps for motivation!
25) I keep a very irregular journal and don’t allow myself to get caught up in the fact that it’s not an everyday thing. Perfect journaling is whatever works for you!
26) To write regularly I need to have supplies out and at the ready. I always have an assortment of inked pens (too many) and several notebooks and a variety of letter paper and note cards. If I have to start getting things out, I will find excuses to put off writing. And I take my Nook case with several pens and a pocket notebook whenever I go to meetings.
27) I write more effectively / productively by using a Pomodoro app – Tides is one made specially for writers and other creative
28) My love for writing is ever evolving. Commencing in my early childhood with nightly journaling to now currently lusting over modern calligraphy and writing endless notes on a daily basis. My pen hoard has now exceeded a ridiculous limit, however it’s true, you can never have too many pens (because the perfect pen is the secret to coherent writing)
29) I work in IT and when I learnt it my lecturer at the time said ‘Write everything down before during and after you fix a computer’. If you save it to the PC and it crashes you will loose it. Also by writing it down it calms my clients down because I talk to them – and I find out exactly what happened because people can explain things better when they are calm.
30) I’ve been trying to write more regularly this year. One thing I’ve found helps is using a paper planner. Not only am I writing my daily appointments, but I’ve met other people that enjoy using pen and paper.
31) I write case notes, goals, lists and study notes but my favourite is noting down my dreams…I have my dream journal and my fave LAMY next to my bed so I can write as soon as my feet hit the floor and my brain is still in a semi-lucid state. Love my dreams.
32) Writing is my life, I write everyday. it keeps me sane, I love nothing more than the feel of smooth creamy paper and the supple flow of ink from the nib of a well crafted fountain pen. To see my thoughts and feelings emerge on the page is magic. “The moving finger writes and having writ moves on…”