What are universal subjects for creative writing

Creative writing | Exercises & tips

Image impulses for creative writing

The two exercises mentioned above can be wonderfully combined with another technique that is often recommended for creative writing: with image impulses. Images stimulate a completely different store of knowledge than words - our thinking is generally very strongly shaped by images. Therefore, images also inspire our thinking apparatus. You will notice that once you vary the exercises listed above with pictures. For the cluster exercise, you simply use pictures instead of individual words, which you can use in the form of Sketchnotes draw. For example, you can start with a tree and continue to write down other images that come to mind (tree, bird, cloud, rain, river, etc.).

You change the second exercise for freewriting by taking a picture as the starting point of the writing exercise. To do this, look at a specific photo for a few minutes. This can be, for example, a family photo that you particularly like, or you take a popular painting in front of you. Then try to put yourself in the position of the depicted scene. Then you can start with the writing exercise. Many then find it easier to come up with a story associatively with the image.

Stimulate your own creativity

If you study creativity techniques in depth, you will come across many exercises that will help you improve your creative writing. As you can see in the figure below, the literature you produce is not only dependent on creativity, but writing itself produces a creative environment that further encourages your creativity - the circle is full. So you don't have to be creative before you can start writing, creativity develops as you write. If you don't have a routine yet, the tasks mentioned will help you.

Fig. 2: The context for creative writing (Source: Model of the creative writing scene, Fig. 1, Gesing 2014, 35)

You can find many more tips in the book by Mario Leis (2019) - he has put together a total of 111 exercises in it. Jesse Falzoi (2017), who comes from the English-language creative writing scene, is more concerned with the question of how to come up with an original story. But he also gives practical tips - he also assumes that creative writing can be learned.

As you can see, creativity is not innate, it can be practiced. The more you do such exercises, the easier it will be for you to find creative writing over time. The nice thing about it is that many of the exercises are fun right away, so that working on the text is pure pleasure.