Get out more!
One of the best creative writing success skills you can develop is the skill of observation. Become a keen watcher of the world around you. Become a skillful interpreter of what you see so that you can open new doors of experience for others.
To do that, you really gotta get out more.
Just get out more and you’ll find that your deepest insights come from assimilation of things you observe and read, mixed with your personal experiences in the world and the nonpareil perspective you bring to your interpretations of them. No one can or will tell the story quite the way you can. Believe that. And GO.
No one writes great things from within a vacuum. There has to be some interesting exchange, some interactivity between parties, some comparison made or a conflict to be resolved. Don’t confine yourself to writing from within your comfort zone. Go to places you’ve never been. To engender the most meaning, sometimes things have to get a little raw. Uncomfortable. Even disruptive. That’s what keeps the writing life interesting. And real. That’s what ensures you have something compelling to say.
Getting out ensures you never stop learning. In the comments below, share something interesting you learned about yourself while traveling (literally or figuratively).
Here are some fresh perspective ways to get out more:
Travel more. Via various modes of transportation: Plane. Ship. Covered wagon. Carrier pigeon. Imagination. Video. However you go, travel is a cultural eye-opener. Seeing the way others live in their normalcy can widen your horizon, both literally and physically. Seeing amazing new plant species and wildlife creates a whole new set of backdrops for your work and a new appreciation for the awesomeness of God’s creation. Travel leads you to discover things about yourself as well, and illuminates how very much you may be taking for granted.
Read more. Literature and creative non-fiction. Whenever I feel at a loss for ideas, I just pick up a book or visit a blog by a writer who inspires me. Reading others’ work takes me to that place, that mysterious locale outside of myself but within my mind where creative ideas are waiting to be discovered. They are there. Hidden in plain sight. Sometimes you have to seek them. Sometimes you have to get your shovel and mine for them. And sometimes, with the prompting of a good read, they just appear.
I’ve been enlightened by writers like Alice Walker, Toni Morrison, Anne Lamott and a recent discovery, Jeff Goins. (videos below) Among many other authors, their work, their eloquence with language, really resonates with me and takes me to another level. Reading is a figurative way of getting out. You can immerse yourself in a completely new world from the inside of a book or blog post and come out energized, rejuvenated and ready to write something new and intriguing.
Listen more. In addition to audio books, consider subscribing to podcasts. There are many on writing and things related, plus numerous other topics of interest that will expand your world. Listening to these conversations can bring forth ideas from your own head that you might never have come to without prompting. Download a podcast app or listen in on your computer and discover the amazing world of podcasts for learning and development as a writer.
Choose your mode of transport. Then just GO.
Enjoy these videos from some of my favorite writers: