With every new writing project you expect to learn something new; and I’m certain you do.If you’re aware of this, then you’ll know that mastery comes from seeking mastery, and from practice. Practice differs from free creation in one very critical way: it is artificial.
Actually, I’d like to see writers who do my exercises post the results on their Facebook or their Website, to encourage the others – but mostly to show that most creative people create better within constraints.
All the writers I’ve worked with write better to order than when writing what they want to write. Most writers do not write full time – though since the e-book revolution, a lot more do than ever did before.
And you need to become more creative, and become a better artist, to become a better writer. Which is easier for a salesperson: Wouldn’t you rather try to make money selling great books than try to make money trying to sell mediocre ones?
The answer: You should look for creative writing ideas for practice. The more you go looking for them, the more you will find them.
Heresy Even I’d admit that the very greatest writers chuse stories with great care.
But they aren’t just plucking the stories out of the air.A conflict is easy to express in a few words, and its resolution always brings a sense of release, and of completion. Artificial restrictions are exactly what you need when you practice.So give yourself limits in both the idea itself, and in the treatment: All of which means that practice shouldn’t take up too much of your time.If the restrictions are tight enough, it will force you to explore and discover and innovate and experiment.And this will have consequences when you go back to your book.The aim of practice is not to produce a work of art, but to hone your ability.I’ve produced a whole range of exercises for exactly this.But why would you feel guilty about looking for ideas? and once we start to see ourselves as artists, we start to see the value in being seen as special.And because we want to be what we seem, we try to be more special.You’re an artisan, you have a specific skillset related to writing, but you’re well aware that this is a skillset that takes a lifetime to master, that there is always new knowledge to add, new skills to incorporate.This means that the core of your career as a creative writer is learning and development.