Here’s an age-old question: is creative writing an art or a craft?

Artistically minded writers will say that writing is most definitely an art while those who who think more analytically will claim writing is a skill, a trade, and a business.

My answer is that writing can be either an art or a craft, and usually it’s both. You can approach writing armed with learned skills and an ability to string words together in a sensible manner, or you can approach writing as a purely creative endeavor and call it your art or your passion.

Both approaches work, and either one can lead to good, strong writing. However, the best writing is a hybrid. It’s both an art and a craft, a marriage between skill and creativity in writing.

Creativity in Writing

You read almost every day. Words appear on your computer screen, your television, on roadside signs, and product packaging. They’re everywhere, and they all make sense.

But every once in a while, you come across writing that simply dazzles you. Have you ever responded emotionally to the way a writer uses language? Have you ever put down a novel and remarked at how impressed you were with the author’s ability to create realistic characters or a riveting plot? Have you ever read a poem and felt transported to another time or place?

That’s the magic of creativity in writing. It captivates the imagination. It’s transcendent.

How to Be More Creative: Tips and Resources for Writers

There’s an old, outdated belief that creativity is talent; it’s inherent. Some of us are born right-brained (creative) and others left-brained (mechanical, analytical). That’s only partially true. Writing can be learned as a skill, but so can creativity. Sure, some people have a more natural inclination toward creative thinking. But anyone can foster and nurture creativity.

So, how do you foster creativity in writing? Below are some tips and resources to get you started. Whether you’re creative by nature and want to enhance your creativity or think you lack creative skills and want to build on them so you can produce better writing, these resources will point you in the right direction.

  1. Marelisa Fabrega’s How to Be More Creative — A Handbook for Alchemists is packed with tools for fostering creative and innovative thinking. It’s one of my favorite creativity resources!
  2. Don’t want to spring for the e-book? You will after you peruse the idea-packed creativity section on Marelisa’s blog.
  3. Find out how asking questions and encouraging curiosity can lead to creative writing ideas.
  4. Head over to the Creativity Portal, where you’ll find tons (and by tons, I mean TONS) of creativity articles, resources, and project ideas.
  5. Nothing gets a writer’s creativity flowing like poetry. If you think poetry is relegated to tweens, academics, and literary elites, think again. Poetry can be raw and brazen, and it will open your mind to new creative insight and strengthen your language skills. Read it, watch it, listen to it, and then try some poetry writing exercises.

Where do you go to turn up the volume on creativity in your writing? Do you have a favorite book or website, a quiet place in the woods or a quaint coffee shop in the city that you like to visit? Do you have any favorite creativity resources? Share your tips and ideas for how to be more creative by leaving a comment.

Writing Forward

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