I’ve always written since I was a little girl. I still have the half-finished diaries tucked away in the corner of my closet to prove it.
But I remember I only really used to write when something important happened or I was angry. Back then important meant, the guy who liked me talking to me or something like that. But it wasn’t until I got to college at Temple that I actually learned what stretching in your writing meant.
Here’s the thing, there are so many avenues you can venture into as writer. There is no box here people. You have novelists, journalists, copy writers, essayists, bloggers, and the list really goes on extensively. But I have found that we often don’t find our sweet spot unless we have ventured into various different styles of writing. Trying new things is good for your soul in general and definitely for your writing.
Click To Tweet // Trying new things is good for your soul in general and definitely for your writing
I started my college career as a Journalism major at Drexel University. In that process, I quickly realized that I was in NO way, shape or form interested in news writing. I thought to myself, “This is awful.” But it wasn’t before I learned really important pointers in regard to my writing based on the beginning journalism classes I had the chance to take. Those classes made me a lot more conscious as a writer. I learned how to get to the point of who, what, when, where, and why. I learned about the flow and outline of a good story and how to write better leads. I also learned to DOUBLE and TRIPLE check names because in that class you failed if for any reason you misspelled a name. And though I write way more creatively than those classes allowed, it aided in my ability to write better essays and opinion stories as well.
When I went to Temple, I talked on the blog before about taking a class called Poetry as Performance. But I got so much more out of that class than a book of poems. What it did was stretch me creatively. Though I had no interest in becoming a traveling performance poet or anything like it, writing in different styles and writing about very different life experiences made me of a well-rounded writer. It opened the roof for my creativity regardless of whether I was writing an essay or blog post.
I also spent a lot of time writing songs. You want to learn how to be creative? Try telling a whole story in three minutes in thirty seconds with a rhyme scheme. LOL. But really. That was another way to expand in my writing. How can I say this quickly? What words sound better when someone is singing them? These were all completely different things to consider than the college papers I was used to writing. But all these experiences still contributed to this very moment of where I am today.
Burnout is super real and if you haven’t experienced it yet in your writing career it’s because you haven’t written enough. There will come a point where you sit down to write and absolutely nothing comes to mind. I call them like dark days. And I hit a wall like that probably about a year or so ago. Things were finally picking up for my blog and I was trying to stay consistent and post multiple times a week and I woke up one morning feeling completely uninspired. That’s when I picked my journals back up.
Click To Tweet /// Burnout is real and if you haven't experienced it yet in your writing career it's because you haven't written enough
I am a huge advocate for journaling. If you have read the blog or attended one of my writing workshops, I always stress this. And it’s because I really believe in its power. Once I started journaling again, the ideas for my blog posts began to flow. I NEEDED, like desperately needed some writing that was strictly for me. You’ll see after you’ve been writing some time that writing for an audience can be exhausting. And sure, I am writing for me on this blog, but I also care that it resonates with the people who spend their time reading. So it’s a balance and I needed a place where I could say whatever Ashley was feeling. I wanted to be able to share my dark moments and my inner most feelings and I didn’t necessarily want to be judged on them or receive comments. And so that place for me is my journal. And no I don’t necessarily plan out blog posts there, but relieving that part of what I need to say, opens up the space for what I need to say on this platform.
I also LOVE creative writing. I’ve written short stories FOREVER! So I also will write short vignettes and some pieces that who knows may become the intro to a novel one day. It felt sooooo good too. Just to get back to the writing that I love so much and get lost in my thoughts a bit and in fiction and in gooey love stories. Writing should be fluid like that.
So I beg of you, do some other writing! Sure, your blog is great. But I know that there are other stories and other thoughts in you that may not necessarily fit the mold of niche or resonate with your audience. But those words still need to be written. Those stories and thoughts still need to be expressed.
Click To Tweet /// There are other stories and thoughts in you that may not resonate with you audience, but those words still need to be written
Make sure you are signed up for the Writers Write Mailing List! We’ll do 30 days of prompts over the summer, but in the meantime, you’ll receive a digital download including prompts from the past challenges. Get to writing!
And if you’re looking for more inspiration and weekly prompts, you can join The Writer’s Muse Facebook group.
So tell me, how are you stretching in your writing? Leave a comment below!
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: